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ance with our honoured president; for, as I long ago sought to make good, our knowledge of the morbific action of the medicines (i. e. of our materia medica) depends on our knowledge of pathology and diagnosis; because we are always directed to the comparison between medicinal and natural diseases, only in order to find out their mutual resemblances and differences.
Hence follows the necessity for all unprejudiced persons, who would systematically understand and duly value the homoeopathic Materia Medica, to be first thoroughly conversant with those indispensable branches, pathology, pathogenesy, and diagnosis, i. e., they should be first regularly trained and accomplished physicians, and then take homoeopathy in hand. In his further deductions respecting the importance and value of our Materia Medica, and of the law of similitude, which are announced as the only actual bases of homoeopathic curation, Dr. Gerstel at last comes to the conclusion "that we retrograde so much the more, under the reproach of ignorance and indecision, in proportion as we accommodate ourselves to the views of the dominant school, and are willing to give up the Mat. Med. Pura as the foundation of our curative indications, in order to substitute in exchange the evidences formulated in clinical practice." «
These words of Dr. Weber at Dursburg (compare Bd. 86 AUg. Horn. Zeit., No. 4), on which Gerstel supports himself and which he sets forth as his own view, stand in glaring contradiction to his own propositions above quoted, and form as it were a parody on my "progressive tendencies," in which I defined the physiological school as the very heart and soul of the totality of auxiliary sciences which embrace medicine as a whole, and I incessantly stood up for its appropriation by us. According to my idea, the physiological school is the very groundwork of the whole circle of theoretic medicine, and is the common property of all therapeutic schools; who, all alike, seek to utilise it for their curative purposes, according to their respective judgments, principles, and views. It ought not to be identified with allopathic therapeutics in particular, for allopathy represents not only the densest conservatism, the chronic dependence on tradition and prejudice, self-satisfaction with delusive effects, with unprofitable narcotising, depletion, and enfeebling of the constitution, &c., but she is to the highest degree intolerant towards us "into the bargain;" and, in her grandeur and high-mightiness, wilfully overlooks our splendid results, which she explains without exception as "spontaneous recoveries." It never could enter the thoughts of any educated and scientific homoeopath to lean on the " indications" of allopathy and value them for the purposes of our therapeutics. The physiological school has nothing in common with these excrescences of the old medicine; but teaches us to know the natural laws under which the various functions of the human body take place, gives us an insight into the phenomena which occur in health and disease, and leads us on those ways which show the possibility of a good result, both in a physiological point of view and also that of pathology and organic chemistry.
These are the true acquisitions of the physiological school, the indisputable signs of progress in every sense, which the homoeopathic physician has to appropriate to himself, and to utilise for his curative purposes. These alone have I tried to avail myself of in my treatment; and have, from this true standpoint, ranked homoeopathy with the physiological school, not with the allopathic therapeutics.
Unfortunately, there is still a great mistake prevalent as to the meaning of the "Physiological school," by which expression many of us understand allopathy itself! Wherefore there were many, and even the late highly gifted Trinks, who were alarmed at the title "homoeopathic treatment on the foundation of the physiological school," by which I understand not allopathy, but the newest advance of recent times in the sciences that lend their aid to universal medicine. Unfortunately, my honoured friend Gerstel belongs to the category of those who are caught by this error, otherwise he would not possibly have quoted the above words of Weber's with approbation.
Naif in the highest degree seems to me the grand finale of Dr. Gerstel's gala-speech, in which he emphatically says, "The newer researches of medical science ought to accommodate themselves to homoeopathy; they ought not to pay homage to their actual progress in homoeopathy, and they should not assume a conservative attitude towards her!" The newest researches in medical science are purely objective; they follow no therapeutic direction, but simply attend to the matter on which they are treating. Much does pathological anatomy trouble itself about curing the "subject!" If it ever does so, it is in general only to expose the blunders of the dominant therapeutic school, as was the case long ago in Berlin, Vienna, Prague, and even in London and Paris, where the clinical professors regularly found themselves more or less on a warlike footing with the post-mortem class. The physiologist, the histologist, the microscopist, the chemist, nay even the pathologist, the biologist, the epidemiologist, &c., follow their own path without any regard to curation. On the contrary it is the necessary task of therapeutics to estimate precisely the lessons of these departmental sciences, and to utilise them for their own curative purposes. That method of treatment alone rests on the modern standpoint, and possesses stability which appropriates the lessons of universal medicine, and supports itself on them, not on tradition or caprice.
Much we care whether our opponents are giving up their conservative standpoint or sticking to it! We have to care for ourselves and our future, for the permanence, the diffusion, and genuine scientific development of homoeopathy. If we abide on the old standpoint handed down to us by Hahnemann, without sharing the profits of the modern acquirements in pathology, physiology, nosogeny, diagnosis with all its aids, microscopy, &c., then the future of homoeopathy is very questionable, and its recognition by the scientific world can never be expected. As long as the psora, metastasis, and dynamization theories keep flitting about in our brains, so long are we occupying ourselves merely with the outer coverings of the symptoms, and not paying at the same time due regard to the pathological processes, and so long are we seeking power in the smallness and not in the suitability and correct choice of the doses; on the other hand, as long as we do not occupy ourselves with the cognisance and differential diagnosis of the diseases and only cultivate that of the remedies, so long are we not justified in announcing our therapeutic system as a rational one, intelligible and accessible to all educated physicians. Homoeopathy groans under dogma as well as under conservatism; she sighs under the pressure of one-sidedness, and gasps under the shackles of restriction; nor will she ever, in such " form" as this, be able to lay claim to universal esteem and recognition.
Conservatism is, as Dr. Gerstel described it, the deathknell of homoeopathy! The old will die off one by one, and the young will turn away with aversion from our method, glorious and blessed as it is. The young are otherwise led and otherwise schooled than by conservatism. We must work and live amongst the principles of modern medicine as a whole, and turn them to account for our doctrine. That is what I understand by "Progress;" for I am incessantly pressing it on my homoeopathic colleagues that it is only by progress that our method of cure will ever grow in vitality, and thus be in a condition to maintain itself for the coming generation, to overspread the wide world, and dispense blessings to its utmost limits.
ON CERTAIN PATHOLOGICAL POINTS OF
By Edward T. Blake, M.D., of Reigate.
(Read before the British Homoeopathic Society.)
I. Sublingual Ulceration in Hooping-cough.
Mr. President And Gentlemen,—It is my purpose first to consider a peculiar pathological condition coexistent with a very ordinary disease always endemic in some part of this country, which has, strange to say, escaped the observation of physicians till within a comparatively recent period. I allude to ulceration beneath the tongue occurring in the course of hooping-cough.
You are aware that MacCall has pointed out the existence of the sublingual sore of pertussis. The observation was made during the winter of 1869-70, when MacCall found ulceration present in 111 out of 252 children attacked with hooping-cough, i.e., in more than 44 per cent. The affection varied in degree from a mere abrasion to a deep fissure with a grey or yellowish surface, and often bleeding during or after a paroxysm. In 105 of the 111 it was situated in front of the fraenura; in 4 out of the other 6 its varying position was accompanied by some abnormal disposition of certain teeth.
He considered it to be due to the rubbing of the tongue against the latter in the act of coughing. He looks upon it as a valuable diagnostic sign in cases where the cough is not heard by the physician.*
Unfortunately for the probability of the explanation afforded by Dr. MacCall, children rarely cough with their tongues extruded, and it is quite an anatomical impossibility
* Glasgow Medical Journal, 1871, iii, 172.