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paralytic deformities of the spine, very considerable improvement, and in many cases even cure, can be effected, by attending to the pathogenetic cause of the paralysis—by preventing, through passive movements on the paralysed parts, their wasting, and, finally, by training the will of the patient to influence the weakened muscles.
To the class of traumatic curvatures I would add those which are produced by the injudicious application of leg-irons with steel waist-bands, used under the impression, or rather illusion, that they will cure various deformities of the legs, originally caused by partial paralysis of the abductors or adductors. In several strumous complaints of the knees, it is also the fashion to apply leg-irons which are connected with crutches. The patient is obliged by this mechanical appliance either to stoop to lean on the crutch, or to raise the shoulders to prevent his being hurt by the pressure: besides the stooping position of the body, the head is sinking between the shoulders, and the chin poking forwards in a horizontal position. I have just such a case under treatment, where a strumous and imperfectly anchylosed knee was treated for several years by the support I have named, and which produced the additional weakness and curvature of the spine.
My object in publishing these few notes is—
I. To counteract the prevalent opinion, or rather illusion, (a.) That spinal curvatures are merely mechanical aberrations of form, and have no relation to the affection which caused them.
(b.) That any plan of treatment based upon the solitary fact of a (mechanically) bent spine can cure a curvature.
(c.) That there is no harm in neglecting the treatment of beginning curvatures.. And,
II. My second object is to induce my professional brethren (a.) Not to trust too much to spinal doctors and their
(b.) To enter fully into the anamnesis of each spinal curvature.
(c.) Not to neglect the hygienic and medicinal treatment of patients suffering from spinal curvatures.
(d.) To make themselves acquainted with scientific medical gymnastics, which is "surgery without a knife," and for which I claim the following, from Mr. Bowman's address on surgery at the last meeting of the British Medical Association:—
"It is the hand of God .... the human hand permitted now, through insight into God's laws, to be the saving instrument of earthly life and organisation."
Lectures Publiques sur V Hommopathie faites au Palais des Facultes de Clermont-Ferrand, par A. Imbert-Gourbeyre, Professeur de Matiere Medicale a l'Ecole de Medecine de Clermont-Ferrand, &c. &c. Bailliere.
Dr. Imbert-gourbeyre is already well known to the readers of this Journal. Professor of Materia Medica in an allopathic school of medicine, free to write in the pages of allopathic journals, he has devoted his pen for these fifteen years past to the cause of Homoeopathy. His thesis for the doctorate was an account of the pathogenetic and therapeutic action of Orange-flowers, a3 an instance of the working of the law of similars; and his labours have been concluded, down to the present time, with a most elaborate survey of the action of Arsenic in health and disease, designed to illustrate the same great truth. In an early volume of this Journal, we gave an account of the thesis on Orange-flowers; and in later volumes we have translated the memoirs On Arsenical Epistaxis (vol. xxii, p. 519), On the Action of Arsenic upon the External Genitals (vol. xxiii, p. 77), and On the Febrigenic Properties of Arsenic (vol. xxiv, p. 72). In vol. xix, p. 367, also appears a version of a study of Antimonial Eruptions by the same author. Our readers are thus prepared to welcome any farther production of so able and industrious a worker in our cause.
The volume now before us, however, rather sustains the reputation of its author than adds to it. The phrase "Lectures Publiques" hints that we have not to expect anything very scientific; and we do not proceed far before we find that he is addressing a popular audience, and accommodating himself to its needs and capacities. We have not, what we should most desiderate', Dr. Imbert-Gourbeyre's own judgment on the numerous questions which arise in connection with our doctrine, as many years ago we had that of Arnold (see vol. x, p. 325). The Public Lectures are simply an exposition and defence of the law of similars and the infiitesimal dose, made moreover ad populum rather than ad clerum.
In speaking thus, we are by no means disparaging the merits of the work as it stands. In some respects, indeed, it is the best of its kind. We know no better " putting " of the argument for the efficacy of infinitesimals than that contained in the fifth of these lectures. France, doubtless, needs such a volume. But, for ourselves, we have had so many of them, that from men of long experience and high standing we look for something more directly conducive to the advancement of our science.
We are glad, however, to gain incidentally from our author the opinion he has formed upon the great controversy between stationary and progressive homoeopathy. Thus he writes (p. 142)—
"I abandon Hahnemann as a pathologist, but I hold to him as the greatest therapeutist that has appeared these two thousand years. I am disposed to condemn him upon many points of doctrine which it is useless to discuss here, as the psoric theory; and these are matters in which the majority of the disciples have not followed the master.
"There exist at the present time among homoeopaths two very distinct parties. The one professes a homoeopathy which they call 'pure/ but I 'exaggerated.' These see in the master's doctrine much more than a simple method of cure. To them it is a new medicine, whose calling it is to overturn the ancient medicine from the very foundation. Besides a homoeopathic therapeutics, they would have a homoeopathic physiology and pathology. These antiscientific pretensions have contributed not a little to retard the progress of homoeopathy.
"The other party is that of the eclectics, and this is the most numerous. These do not accept the works of the master without discrimination and checking. They reject his pathological mistakes, and rally only around the two fundamental principles of his doctrine, the law of similars and the infinitesimal dose, disencumbering themselves, even here, of his errors in detail. For my part, I belong to the eclectic party, and defend homoeopathy only as reduced to its true value."
Again, upon the question of dose he writes (p. 165)—
"Homoeopathy is so independent of the question of globules, that there are at this hour in the school of Hahnemann homoeopaths of all kinds (so to speak) as regards doses. I know a great number of homoeopaths, both in France and abroad, who use only the traditional massive doses. There are others who never administer any but infinitesimals. Others again employ, according to the nature of the case, sometimes massive, sometimes infinitesimal quantities, and profess to administer their medicines in all kinds of dose, omni dosi. I belong to this last category."
Lest, however, it should be supposed that Dr. ImbertGourbeyre stands in any inimical attitude towards Hahnemann, it is only fair to him to cite his defence of the pathogenesis given us by the master:
"After having perceived the full import of the law of similars, I was anxious to know whether Hahnemann had spoken truly in ascribing to each drug that long catalogue of symptoms which is called its pathogenesy. It was impossible for me to verify all; it was necessary, if I would satisfy my conscience on this point, to choose one as a specimen of all. I gave the preference to Arsenic, because M. Trousseau has singled out the pathogenesy of this medicine as an object of attack and ridicule. Which had spoken truth, Hahnemann or M. Trousseau? Should I pass over to the side of Hahnemann, or remain in the ranks of the majority? This was the problem I had to solve. I made up my mind to study it thoroughly, and set to work in the first instance to search out all tradition on the subject. There is not a treatise, a monograph, a memoir, or a thesis upon Arsenic which I have not consulted. There is not a single observation of arsenical poisoning in any degree which I have not examined. I have given a home in my library to all that has been published on this subject in Europe and