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No allusion whatever was made to Reid by way of acknowledgment; the surgeon's name was immediately prefixed to the method; reporters and editors extolled the ingenuity of the operator; and to this time it is familiarly referred to as this surgeon's method of reducing dislocations of the thigh. We are quite willing to admit that such instances are few and exceptional, but the fact that they do occur in the very centres of medical respectability abroad, certainly tends to mitigate our own shortcomings, and to relieve us somewhat of the censure which we so frequently receive. We deprecate this spirit, and regard it as inconsistent with the liberal and fraternal feeling which should pervade all ranks of a learned profession. Medicine, cultivated as a science, aims by innumerable influences to unite its members in a universal brotherhood, and that fraternity should be one of perfect equality. There can be no class privilege, no aristocracy, and no distrust among medical men who properly estimate the honorable character of their calling. They will accord to each new member that generous confidence and fraternal regard which is due to brethren bound together by a common sympathy. Nor will that bond be broken, nor that confidence destroyed, except by the most absolute proof of professional delinquencies.




NE of the most wide-spread of the popular errors created and fostered by the friends of homoeopathy, is that which attributes to this pretentious system of quackery the comparatively diminished amount of medicine prescribed by regular physicians. And it far too frequently happens that medical men tacitly or openly acknowledge the truth of the assertion. Admitting the fact that less medicine in bulk is now administered than formerly, they see no other explanation than that so often alleged which has now well-nigh passed into a proverb. The admission of this statement is utterly false, and damaging to the profession. Homœopathy is entitled to as little credit for the improvement of our therapeutics as for the advancement of pathological or surgical science. It is important that we should understand on what basis rests the actual changes in our present materia medica, that we may give a rational explanation, and not make improper concessions to quackery. It should be understood that the homoeopathic hypothesis was made at a peculiar period in the history of medicine, and one well adapted to give

it popularity. About the time of its promulgation a great change had taken place in the science of chemistry, especially in that branch which we may term pharmaceutical chemistry. The alkaloids, the active medicinal principles of remedies, were just then discovered, and by this discovery a new impetus was given not only to chemistry but to therapeutics. The oft reiterated query of centuries-Can you not give your remedies in smaller bulk, and in a more agreeable form ?was about to be answered. It was apparent that the physician could give the same strength as formerly in a very much less, in fact in a minute dose, and there was hope that eventually all medicines would be thus reduced. Where the older practitioners gave opium or bark in large bulk, the younger therapeutist gave the small and elegant preparations of morphine or quinine. The homoeopaths very early finding the utter inertness of the medicines they professed to give, surreptitiously administered these alkaloid principles, which could be given in minute doses, and produce marked results. A sect which had started upon a new hypothesis, presenting so many points of favor with the public, did not intend to lose these advantages by any concessions of the inability of their infinitesimals to produce marked and visible effects upon the systems of their patients. Where infinitesimal doses did not succeed, the alkaloids, most frequently administered by their own hands in full doses, pro

duced certain and marked results, thus presenting to the public an apparent confirmation of the soundness and truthfulness of their dogmas. This system of medication immediately gained favor with the delicate, the nervous, the fastidious. Many of the older practitioners who had become routinists did not attempt to investigate these causes of success, or use the new remedies which science had presented to them, but continued to administer the old and nauseous medicines, thus driving many of their best patients into the hands of the homoeopaths. In those preparations which could be taken with but little taste, most persons believed that there was but little real medicine, and boasted to their former physicians of the minuteness of the dose which now affected them, little thinking that frequently in the small quantity was concealed treble the medicinal power which they previously took in large quantity. Thus the assertion of the homœopaths that they administered less medicine than the other physicians, and much less than was formerly given, was in fact a falsehood; for by calculating the amount of active principle given within a specified time, it was found to exceed the amount of the same principle contained in the crude material formerly used. There can be no question that the innocent dupes of homœopathy are constantly dosed with powerful medicines, which make them perpetual patients. In homoeopathic families the habit of dosing be

comes permanent to the infinite injury of all the members, but especially to the young and susceptible. This practice tends to but one result, viz., constant minor ailments which ultimately lead to prolonged medical attendance and large fee bills. It is a demonstrable fact that patients who have left their old medical attendants, and placed themselves under the care of homoeopaths, have had much more sickness than before, and have more than quadrupled the amount of their expenses. The number of alkaloids and active principles that have been discovered, though numerous, do not present remedies for all cases. Therefore in some instances the whole medicinal substance or plant is still used by physicians. But this can not be done by homœopaths, because they have promised the public minute and almost tasteless remedies. When, therefore, cases are presented to them that can not be reached by these new remedies, the patient must and does suffer a longer and more dangerous sickness. If he recovers, his convalescence is tedious, with complications which might have been prevented by appropriate treatment at an early stage of the disease. But with the numerous fallacies of the system of homoeopathy we have nothing at present to do. It was our present purpose simply to answer the oft-repeated assertion that homoeopathy has taught regular physicians to use less medicine, and also to refute the error that homoeopaths use less

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