Quacks and Grafters: Being an Exposé of the State of Therapeutics at the Present Time, With Some Reasons Why Such Grafters Flourish, and Suggestions to Remedy the Deplorable Muddleby Anonymous
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There has been but one other period in the history of medicine when so many systems of the healing art were in vogue. In the seventeenth century, during the Reform Period, following the many epoch-making discoveries, as the blood and lymph circulation; when alchemy was abandoned and chemistry became a science; when Galileo regenerated physics, and zoology and botany were largely extended; when Newton enunciated the laws of gravitation; when cinchona bark, the great febrifuge, was introduced into Europe, and the cell doctrine was founded by Hooke, Malpighi and Grew, the old Hippocratic, Galenic and Arabic systems of medicine were undermined. In that transition period, when the medical profession was trying to adjust its practice with the many new theories, its authoritative voice was lost, and in the struggle for something tangible, innumerable new systems sprang up…That history repeats itself is a truism well illustrated in medicine to-day. The new cellular pathology, founded by Virchow and Cohnheim and elaborated by innumerable men since; the discovery of parasitism and the germ theory by Davaine, Pasteur and Koch; antisepsis by Lister; the introduction of anesthesia by Morton, Simpson and Koller; the application of more exact methods in diagnosis by Skoda and others, and many other innovations and discoveries have revolutionized medicine in the nineteenth century. The transition period of to-day is very analogous to that of the seventeenth century.
Suggestive therapeutics has its advocates in the Emmanuel movement, Lourdes water, Christian Science, New Thought, faith cure and psycho-therapy. The uric acid theory is a curious survival of the old chemical system. The iatro-chemical system is the prototype of Metchnikoff’s theory of longevity. And, strange to relate, despite the claims of wonderful discovery by A. T. Still and D. D. Palmer, the iatro-physical system of the seventeenth century was more complete as a guide to healing than is Osteopathy and Chiropractics to-day. Verily, there is nothing novel under the solar rays.
That graft in surgery and shystering in internal medicine exists no one in the medical profession denies. It has come so insidiously that the profession itself was taken unawares. However, that sweeping denunciation of the entire profession should follow is unwarranted. Every other profession and calling has its black sheep, and it is the duty of the leaders in each to eliminate them. Elimination, however, cannot come entirely from within. The public has its share of responsibility and duty to perform, and the sooner this is realized, the better for all concerned.
To aid in the work of obtaining better things in therapeutics, the establishment and extension of a national bureau or department of health is imperative. Any effort along this line will hasten the day of rational healing. Preventive medicine will then gradually supplant the present haphazard system of palliation and cure.
And education is the watchword of the day!
G. STROHBACH, M.D.
Cincinnati, Ohio, 1908.
CH1. By Way of Introduction.
CH 2. Graft and Failurephobia.
CH 3. Why Quacks Flourish.
CH 4. Turbid Therapeutics.
CH 5. The Expert Witness and Proprietary Medicines.
CH 6. Faith Cure and Graft in Surgery.
CH 7. Some Definitions and Histories.
CH 8. The Osteopathic Propaganda.
CH 9. Theory and Practice of Osteopathy.
CH 10. Osteopathy as Related to Some Other Fakes.
CH 11. Tapeworms and Gallstones.
- Denise Henry
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