The American School of Homeopathy and the International Hahnemannian Association: The High Point of Homeopathy
PART III—Liga News 2016; No. 17 (Apr.): 17-23.
by André Saine, N.D., F.C.A.H.
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In a post-debate exchange, the skeptic Dr. Steven Novella from Yale University asked me the following question: “What do you consider to be the best clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of homeopathy for any indication?”
I had previously mentioned in the debate with Dr. Novella that likely the most compelling evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy is found in the extensive records of its use in epidemics.
In 2003, I began a detailed examination of those vast records. The main finding is that the results obtained by homeopathy during epidemics reveal an important constancy, which is an extremely low mortality rate. That observation holds true regardless of the physician, the time, the place or the type of epidemic disease, including diseases that are known to have a very high mortality rate, such as cholera, smallpox, diphtheria, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and pneumonia.
In my response to Dr. Novella’s post-debate question, I compared the outcomes in mixed populations of ambulatory and hospitalized pneumonia patients for three different therapeutic interventions: homeopathy, pre-antibiotic allopathy (PAA), and contemporary conventional care (CCC). As pneumonia is today divided into two main categories, namely community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and health-care-acquired pneumonia (HCAP), and the morbidity and mortality are much higher in HCAP than in CAP, I limited the mortality comparison of CCC with PAA and homeopathy to CAP.
In summary, I demonstrated that homeopathy unequivocally offers the safest and best outcomes ever demonstrated by any system of medicine for patients with pneumonia and therefore, from the perspective of evidence-based medicine, would receive the highest possible recommendation of any intervention for these patients (1A/strong recommendation with high-quality evidence). The results of this mortality comparison are shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Comparative Mortality from Pneumonia under Homeopathy, PAA, and CCC
|Treatment||Number of Patients||Number of Recoveries||Number of Deaths||Survival Rate (%)||Mortality Rate (%)|
|CCC (limited to CAP)||33,148||28,607||4,541||86.3%||13.7%|
The 3.4% mortality rate for pneumonia patients treated with homeopathy represents the overall average from different levels of expertise and ways of practicing homeopathy, including pathological prescribing and alternation of low-potency remedies, as can be found in the 1850 report of Dr. Jean-Paul Tessier at the St. Marguerite Hospital in Paris. In no way, however, does it represent what that can be achieved with genuine Hahnemannian homeopathy.
In fact, if we look at the outcomes for pneumonia patients treated with different levels of expertise and ways of practicing homeopathy, we find that mortality rates can vary from 0 to 16.3% (see Table 2).
Table 2: Mortality of Patients with Pneumonia under Homeopathic Treatment
|Homeopathic Physician or Institution and Years||Cases||Deaths||Mortality rate (%)|
|Infantry Hospital, St. Petersburg, 1829||71||0
|Rosenberg Collection, 1843 01 ||390||14
|Dr. Bosch 01 ||100||3
|Mercy Hospital, Vienna, 1835-1842, 1849-1854 01 ||954|| 47
|Mercy Hospital, Vienna, 1843-1848 01 ||88||1
|Nechanitz Hospital, 1846-1848 01 ||19||1
|Mercy Hospital, Kremsier, 1846-1848 01 ||49||8
|Turin Military Hospital, 1851 01 ||89||0
|Bruges Dispensary, 1861 01 ||19||0
|Five Points House Industry Hospital, NYC, 1861-1887 01 ||222||7
|Military Hospital Kansas City, 1861-1863 01 ||194||3
|Roubaix Hospital, 1863-1864 01 ||49||2
|Cavalry Depot Hospital, St. Louis, 1865 01 ||25||1
|St. Rochus and Besthesda Hospitals, Budapest, 1870 01 ||711||63
|Gyongyos Hospital, Hungary 02 ||20||0
|Guns Hospital, Hungary 02 ||32||0
|Leipzig Hospital 02 ||34||2
|Military Hospital, Vienna 02 ||79||0
|Munich Hospital 02 ||5||0
|Bond Street Dispensary, 1865-1871, NYC 01 ||815||12
|Poughkeepsie Dispensary, 1865-1867 01 ||15||0
|Dr. Routh's collection, 1852 03 ||738||45
|Gumpendorf Hospital 03 ||1,415||48
|Leopoldstadt Hospital, Vienna 03 ||149||9
|Linz Hospital 03 ||99||1
|St-Marguerite Hospital, Paris 03 ||41||3
|London Homoeopathic Hospital 03 ||63||3
|Professor Henderson, Edinburgh 03 ||11||0
|Dr. Watkins, London, 1898 01 ||14||0
|Dr. Bodman, Bristol, 1900-1910 03 ||50||0
|Dr. Hood's collection (52 physicians), 1906 03 ||6,605||251
|Dr. Del Mas, 1914 04 ||30||0
|Hahnemann Hospital, 1908-1921 06 ||190||14
|Survey: Am. Inst Hom., 1928 05 ||11,526||323
|Drs. A and D. Pulford, Ohio, 1929 01 ||260||4
|Royal London Hom. Hospital, 1948-1953 01 ||55||1
This range of mortality rates widens even more when professed homeopaths added allopathy to their homeopathic practice. For example, in 1922, Dr. G. Harlan Wells, professor of clinical medicine at the Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, published the outcomes for patients with lobar pneumonia treated at the Hahnemann Hospital between 1908 and 1921, with the analysis broken down by attending physician and the method of treatment that had been used— homeopathy alone, allopathy alone, or a mix of allopathy and homeopathy.
There was an incredibly large difference in mortality rates among the staff doctors, ranging from 0 to 37.5%. Three out of 10 members of the staff had zero mortality, which means that it was not at all exceptional to obtain a perfect record. Out of 190 patients who were treated exclusively with homeopathy, 14 died, a mortality rate of 7.4%. Out of 153 cases that were treated exclusively with allopathy there were 92 deaths, a mortality rate of 60%. And out of 101 cases that were treated with a mix of homeopathy and allopathy 50 died, a mortality rate of 49.5%.
Dr. Wells made sure to elucidate whether confounding factors could have benefited the only homeopathy group: “The assumption that all the cases in this series that were treated homeopathically were mild infections (Type IV) is invalidated by the severity of many of these cases, by the extended period of time covered and the varying conditions present.”
He later clarified the main goal of his study, in which he was conscientious about remaining objective: “The purpose of the following study has been to determine the comparative value of homeopathic and physiological medication in the treatment of lobar pneumonia. This is a day when theories and theorists abound in the realm of medicine. It is usually impossible to determine by the ordinary processes of reasoning which theories are true and which are false. The court of last resort for the practical physician is the bedside of the patient and laying aside all theoretical considerations, what he most desires to know is ‘What is the effect of the treatment upon those to whom it is administered?’
“In the present study of 444 cases of lobar pneumonia, the writer has endeavored to approach the subject with an unbiased mind. No attempt has been made to prove or to disprove the value of either homeopathic or non-homeopathic treatment. The duty of the physician is not to practice homeopathy or allopathy but, as Hahnemann so admirably stated, to heal the sick. …
“It is well known that the mortality rate in pneumonia varies from year to year; that it varies with the different types of pneumococcus; that it varies with the age and condition of the patient, and that it is notably higher in hospital than in private practice. It is always difficult in any comparative study to make due allowance for all of these factors and it has seemed equitable to study, without any attempt at selection, the ordinary run of cases as admitted to the wards of the Hahnemann Hospital over a period of thirteen years in the service of ten different clinicians. …
“It was found in a study of the treatment employed in lobar pneumonia that some patients received no medication except the homeopathic remedy, others received the homeopathic remedy and a few doses of some physiological drug, such as codeine or strychnine, while still another group received physiological [allopathic] drugs throughout the major portion of their illness. …”
Following his detailed data analysis, Dr. Wells concluded, “Intelligent hygienic care combined with the indicated homeopathic remedy is the most effective treatment for lobar pneumonia now known.”
In the discussion that followed Dr. Wells’ presentation before the meeting of the American Institute of Homeopathy, Dr. W. H Hanchette from Sioux City said, “The question of the treatment of pneumonia, which, as a school of medicine, we have been remarkably successful in treating. Pneumonia has been called one of the most dreaded diseases, and certainly any physician of extended practice knows that it is one of the fatal diseases. The statistics, as compiled on the treatment of pneumonia, have always seemed to me exaggerated in the wrong direction. I can hardly believe that a good homeopathic physician loses anything like the percent of cases that we see so often reported.
In a long and extensive practice in general medicine, I have felt that pneumonia was a disease in which our remedies acted most magically. … I am sure that if we know how to select the remedy in pneumonia there is no reason why such fatalities, as has sometimes been reported, should occur. I realize that in the large cities, where patients are brought in from the slums near unto death at the time they enter the hospital, the treatment can not be compared with the work of the physician in general practice.”
What Dr. Hanchette said echoes what veteran Hahnemannian homeopaths have always known from clinical experience, namely, that the recovery from pneumonia should unquestionably be close to 100% under accurate homeopathic prescribing and proper hygienic care.
In this regard, we will now look at four mortality reports of pneumonia patients from Hahnemannian homeopaths of the American school of homeopathy. In 1885, the venerable Dr. P. P. Wells of Brooklyn, one of the great leaders of this school, commented that a death rate of even 2% or 3% in pneumonia patients was still too high under “right” homeopathy and gives the example of Dr. Reiss, who in his practice between 1843 to 1848 in the hospital of Linz, Austria, had a 1% mortality rate. He continues, “We believe this because we have the proof of this in our own experience. In a practice of this system which reaches forty-three and two-thirds years, which most of the time has been very large, and of a general character as to the diseases treated, of which, no doubt, pneumonia has made an average part, I have not lost one case.”
Pneumonia was quite common in the days of Dr. Wells because many acute diseases, common to his time and place, such as influenza, diphtheria, measles, rubella, whooping cough, scarlet fever, typhus, and typhoid fever, often ended up in pneumonia. In fact during the late 1800s, in the United States pneumonia was the leading cause of death due to infectious disease and, depending on the decade, was the first to third overall leading cause of death. If we assume that he saw at the very minimum one patient a month with pneumonia during his career, he would have had no deaths in well over 500 cases.
Dr. Wells’s success is corroborated by the present author’s experience, for in over 33 years of practice I have treated over 180 pneumonia cases, many of which were apparently at death’s door, having failed to recover under allopathy, and there has not been a single death under homeopathic treatment.
It is in fact hard to imagine a person dying from pneumonia under genuine homeopathic treatment, even in the worst conditions when all hope has been given up. I have witnessed homeopathic cures in infants and young children in the last stage of viral pneumonia; a 99-year-old woman in a very weakened state who was not responding to conventional treatment, but who lived until 103; a man in his early 70s with advanced lung cancer whose family had been told that nothing more could be done and death was imminent, and who lived six more weeks; and a comatose patient in the last stage of AIDS presenting with pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, cryptococcal meningitis, and liver and kidney failure while being on toxic doses of antifungal drugs, high doses of morphine, and a daily dose of 80 mg of prednisone. His loved ones had been told that death was imminent, but he responded within minutes of receiving his first dose of a homeopathic remedy and experienced an uninterrupted recovery from all these acute conditions under continued homeopathic treatment.
Again, just this week, I was called to treat a 100-year-old woman who had been admitted to an intensive care unit with bilateral aspiration pneumonia, black vomitus, sepsis, delirium, early signs of failing heart and kidney, pronounced anemia, and an oxygen saturation index of 50%. The treating staff had very little hope for her survival. However, as soon as the indicated remedy was given, the saturation index began to rise and her respiratory rate dropped from 28 to 24 per minute. Within 24 hours, her lactate level dropped from 9.8 to 3.2 mmol/L and was normal at 1.0 mmol/L in another 24 hours, by which time she had experienced a “dramatic improvement.” She had regained consciousness, was no longer threatened by heart and kidney failure, and was back to her “feisty” personality to the surprise of the entire staff, but not of her family, who had experienced the power of homeopathy for the last 30 years and are now looking forward to celebrating, in less than two weeks, the 101st birthday of their elder who is an Auschwitz survivor. The main treating physician, who is in her 40s, said she had never before seen so sick a patient survive. Incidentally, in all such critical cases, a change for the better should be obvious within one or two hours of beginning homeopathic treatment and recovery should progress steadily as long as treatment is properly continued.
In 1914, Dr. R. Del Mas reported having treated more than 30 cases with pleuro-pneumonia during his first 10 years of practice in Minnesota. His patients were between five and 75 years old, and despite the fact that four of them were in a state of delirium and another one had septicemia following a self-induced abortion, he reported no mortality. He wrote that in the treatment of his pneumonia patients he used only homeopathic remedies without adjunctive care, aside from “plenty of cleanliness, cheerfulness, cold water to drink and fresh air,” and that “all felt well enough, or inclined, to leave the bed within twenty-four hours after the administration of the homeopathic remedy and all were up and about, within six days, free from weakness, free from sequelae, free from that dreadful convalescence that is often worse than the disease.”
In 1928, Drs. Alfred and Dayton Pulford, both staunch defendants of Hahnemannian homeopathy from Toledo, Ohio, wrote in their monograph on pneumonia, “It has been stated, and we have every reason to believe truly, that fully 80 percent of all pneumonia cases would get well without any medical interference whatever, under proper nursing, so that any system or method of medical healing that cannot lower the death-rate to less than 20 percent would seem rather a menace than a blessing to pneumonia patients. After treating 242 cases of pneumonia, of all types and degrees of severity, some coming directly from and others having been confirmed in the diagnosis by allopaths, with but 3 deaths, a rate of but 1.4 [1.2] percent, we can hardly understand a fixed minimum death-rate of 25 percent much less a maximum rate of 95 percent, in a disease as readily amenable to the proper remedy as is pneumonia. The death rate under the homeopathic simillimum should at no time exceed 5 percent, a higher rate would rather reflect on our ability.”
In the following year, 1929, Alfred Pulford wrote in the publication of their 249th and 250th cases of pneumonia, of which one was a failure the other a success, “Our 249th case of pneumonia proved a failure thus making our fourth death from this disease, all of the four being over 70 years of age. The first two were due to our own medical ignorance, the other two to serious complications.
“Death—About six months ago Mrs. V., aged 75, was taken with an abdominal trouble, the nature of which we could not learn. Her allopathic doctor among other things gave her freely of acidophilus milk, which soon produced a persistent looseness of the bowels which he finally could not control and she lost over 100 pounds in that space of time, her normal weight being 225 pounds. At this juncture she was turned over to us. Under Podophyllum she was progressing splendidly until she went out in the rain and came down with a severe chill resulting in the development of lobar pneumonia affecting the lower lobe of the left lung. Just prior to coming to us she had lost a son that was the idol of her heart and not long before that her husband died suddenly, from all of which she had become profoundly despondent and told her son-in-law that she had no desire to live. Right from the start she dropped into a coma with delirium. She refused to give any symptoms and neither volunteered nor acknowledged anything. Rhus tox given on the cause and what the nurse could gather brought prompt and temporary relief for three days and then came without any apparent cause as prompt a relapse. What the nurse could collect and what we could observe pointed strongly to Arsenicum album, which seemed for three days to have proven more indicated than Rhus tox, but on the morning of the 6th day at 6 A.M. without warning and with a pulse strong and regular, she lay back in bed and peacefully expired in spite of the fact that the lung previously was clearing up beautifully.
“Recovery—Our 250th case was that of a care-taker of Toledo’s most exclusive club, a man off 55 years of age, who was taken with a severe chill, an excruciating backache and a severe splitting headache just such as might precede the breaking out of smallpox. He was taken home and thinking it only a bilious attack the family tried out their own remedies. He got rapidly worse and on the fourth day we were called in and found a fully developed and typical case of lobar pneumonia complicated with pleurisy. The pleura dry and rubbing like two pieces of rubber scraping over each other, the lower half of the right lung and the inner part of the upper half of the same lung congested and almost solid and feeling like a heavy load in and on the chest. The case was masked and it was two days later before we could get clear indications for the indicated remedy, but they came and they came beautifully as follows: aggravation beginning at 2 A.M., reaching its height at 3 A.M. (sun time, the time on which all our remedies were proven) and ameliorating at 6 A.M., irritability, irascibility, quarrelsome, impatient, fearful, oversensitive, sharp stitching, cutting pains in the area affected worse on every attempt at deep inspiration, the respiration rapid and superficial, severe suffocation on every attempt to ear or drink or on every exertion, temperature ranging around 103 or 104, great thirst for cold drinks, could rest only lying on the back, head and shoulders raised, cough in double paroxysms, once to loosen the mucus and the second one to raise it, and always followed by exhaustion and weakness, sputum at first quite bloody, later thick, yellow and stringy, pulse rapid and weak, slight puffiness under eyebrows, bowels constipated, no appetite, nose plugged up with mucus, lips covered with sores, little sleep and what little he did get was full of troublesome dreams. …
“The above case gave an unquestionable indication for Kali carbonicum. The 30th was all we had with us. He received a single dose on May 2nd at 6 P.M. In just 30 minutes he was decidedly easier, on the morning of May 3rd the dry rubbing of the pleura and the pains had disappeared and the improvement continued steadily for three days when it slowed up. A single dose of the 200 C was then given. On May 8th everything was cleared up. On May 10th we discharged him and he said he expected to return to his work the following Monday. If this is not cutting short a typical well developed case of lobar pneumonia, just what is it?”
The tabulation of these four anecdotal reports from Hahnemannian homeopaths over different eras (see Table 3) shows the same constancy as mentioned earlier, for the results obtained by homeopathy in all types of epidemic diseases, but this time the mortality rate is not just extremely low but it is almost nil, as there were only four deaths in about 960 patients with pneumonia of all types of severity.
Table 3: Mortality from Pneumonia under Hahnemannian Homeopathy
|Hahnemannian physician and the years of reporting||Number of Patients||Number of Deaths||Mortality Rate (%)|
|P.P. Wells, 1841-1885|| 500
|Del Mas, 1904-1914
|A. and D. Pulford, Ohio, 1899-1929
The overall outcomes from these Hahnemannian homeopaths are now compared to the ones of the original three therapeutic intervention groups, namely homeopathy, PAA and CCC (see Table 4).
Table 4: Comparative Mortality from Pneumonia under Homeopathy, Hahnemannian Homeopathy, PAA and CCC:
|Treatment||Number of Patients||Number of Recoveries||Survival Rate||Number of Deaths||Mortality Rate (%)|
(limited to CAP)
The treatment effect of genuine Hahnemannian homeopathy is enormous, for the odds of surviving CAP are 28 to 1 when we average the outcomes from all the ways of practicing homeopathy; were 3 to 1 with PAA, and are today 6 to 1 with CCC. But with genuine Hahnemannian homeopathy they are 239 to 1.
This means that out of every 100 cases with pneumonia, genuine Hahnemannian homeopathy saved 24 more lives than PAA, would today save 13 more lives than CCC, and saves three more lives than the overall average from all the ways of practicing homeopathy. However, this last number should be closer to 7 lives being saved out of 100 if we subtracted the outcomes of Hahnemannian homeopathy from the original therapeutic intervention group “homeopathy,” in which it was included.
Not only has genuine homeopathy demonstrated its superiority in the treatment of patients with pneumonia in comparison to all the other ways of practicing homeopathy in particular and CCC in general, but this superiority is also observed in other acute diseases, as well as chronic diseases.
Since the art of medicine should reflect the science on which it is based, and since society values the saving of lives above any other medical achievement, shouldn’t the medical system use the best treatments known to science? Should we not expect medical students to be trained in genuine homeopathy? Should we not discourage training in homeopathy that deviates from the teaching of Hahnemann and the great Hahnemannians? Should persons with diseases that are most amenable to homeopathy not request that their physicians treat them with genuine homeopathy?
Let’s now take a moment to imagine the difference that genuine homeopathy would make if it were offered to every patient with pneumonia. Almost immediately there would be a huge decline in the number of people dying from pneumonia. For example, if genuine homeopathy had been universally used in the U.S. in 1920, when the population was 106 million and the mortality from the combined effects of influenza and pneumonia (CIP) was estimated to be 207 per 100,000, it would have saved 206,590 lives in that one year.
Pneumonia is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality even in developed countries. In the United States for example, it is the leading cause of death due to infectious diseases, and the age-adjusted annual mortality for CIP has been steadily rising over the last few decades. That is despite the fact that contemporary conventional medicine enjoys the advantages of advances in nursing care, such as hydration and oxygenation of the critically ill patient. In 1979, the age-adjusted annual mortality for CIP was 11.2 per 100,000 per year, in 1998, it was 13.2, in 2011, it was 15.7, and pneumonia consistently accounts for the overwhelming majority of deaths between pneumonia and influenza without pneumonia., On the other hand, CCC has had to contend with the increase in the last few decades of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In the last available “Leading Causes of Death” report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 56,979 persons are reported to have died from CIP in 2013. Under genuine Hahnemannian homeopathy, 56,751 of these persons would theoretically have been saved.
This huge reduction in mortality would have considerable collateral benefits for any society that was wise enough to make genuine homeopathic care universal for its people. The 2003 Pneumonia Fact Sheet from the American Lung Association reported, “In 1996 (the latest data available), there were an estimated 4.8 million cases of pneumonia resulting in 54.6 million restricted-activity days and 31.5 million bed days.” Every year 1.2 million Americans are hospitalized due to pneumonia. In 2005, CIP represented a cost to the U.S. economy of $40.2 billion. In 2002 CAP cost the European economy $30 billion.
On the worldwide scene, an estimated 1.2 million children under the age of five die from pneumonia every year—more than from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Although mortality from pneumonia in children is low in developed countries, the World Health Organization estimates that in developing countries one in three children dies from an acute respiratory tract infection.
While CAP remains a major cause of death with a mortality rate of 13.7% in developed countries, HCAP carries a much higher mortality—between 50% and 70%. In Fine et al.’s meta-analysis, mortality was lowest in studies of a mixed population of ambulatory and hospitalized patients (5.1%); intermediate in only hospitalized (13.6%), elderly (17.6%), and bacteremic (19.6%) patients; and highest in nursing homes (30.8%) and in intensive care units (ICU) (36.5%). When pneumonia develops in patients already hospitalized for other conditions, the mortality rates is even higher, ranging from 50% and 70%.
Mortality goes up to 35% in cases of pneumonia associated with E. coli and Klebsiella species and to 61% in cases associated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa; it ranges between 5% and 9% with viruses other than influenza B and adenovirus. There is also no generally effective treatment in conventional medicine for most types of viral pneumonia, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), where mortality averages 14.5%. In 11,229 patients, or one-third of those surveyed in Fine et al.’s meta-analysis, mortality rose to 12.8% when the associated microbes were unknown. From personal experience, I would predict that the drop in mortality under genuine homeopathy would be most dramatic in nursing-home and ICU patients, regardless of the infective microorganisms involved, even those that are associated with a high mortality rate. That is because recovery time in cases infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria or in immuno-suppressed cases is as fast as in other pneumonia cases.
Mortality from pneumonia can spike at any time in an emerging epidemic. For instance in 2005, there were more than 60,000 deaths from pneumonia alone in persons aged 15 years and over in the United States. In any case, morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases have been rising steadily in recent decades. For instance, from 1998 to 2005 the hospitalization rate in the U.S. for all infectious diseases increased from 1,525 per 100,000 to 1,667. Of patients hospitalized with pneumonia, 10% to 20% required admission to an ICU. Mortality was highest for CAP patients who were hospitalized; the 30-day mortality rate was as high as 23%. Despite the availability of and widespread adherence to recommended allopathic treatment guidelines, CAP continues to present a significant burden in adults. Furthermore, given the aging population in North America and the ubiquitous increase in microbial resistance to drugs, allopathic clinicians can expect to encounter increasing difficulty in treating a growing number of adult patients with CAP.
Knowledge is power, but despite robust epidemiological and observational evidence establishing cause and effect between genuine homeopathic treatment and the recovery of health and saving of lives—evidence which has been publicly available since at least the 1850s—very few people know anything about it. Why is the truth about genuine homeopathy and the countless benefits it could bring to society not better known?
In 2012, I was attending a conference in Reston, Virginia, where a much sought-after teacher of homeopathy came to me and suggested that we should unite our efforts. I responded, “How can water be mixed with oil?” He seemed puzzled by my answer, so I continued, “If you or your students can confidently treat, at their bedside 10 consecutive intensive-care-unit patients, and, when you return to follow up, be confident that every one of these patients will have begun to improve, we can no doubt unite our efforts to make homeopathy better.” He answered, “I have never treated a patient in an ICU.” I retorted, “All right then, could you confidently treat 10 consecutive patients with pneumonia of every degree of severity and in any condition and be confident when you followed them up that all of them would be better?” He answered, “I never treat patients with pneumonia.”
If the truth of homeopathy is not known by its professed teachers, how can we expect that it to be known by the general public? This is certainly a crucial internal problem which the homeopathic profession needs to solve quickly and permanently through better education in the art of homeopathy.
There are many obstacles to the dissemination of the truth, among which ignorance and bigotry are at the forefront. In the preface to the first edition of the Organon, Hahnemann warned his fellow physicians of such obstacles: “I must warn the reader that indolence, love of ease and obstinacy preclude effective service at the altar of truth, and only freedom from prejudice and untiring zeal qualify for the most sacred of all human occupations, the practice of the true system of medicine. The physician who enters on his work in this spirit becomes directly assimilated to the Divine Creator of the world, whose human creatures he helps to preserve, and whose approval renders him thrice blessed.”
The practice of Hahnemannian homeopathy, simple in principles but requiring assiduous rigor for its successful application, is based on the totality of the symptoms, the matching of the genius of the remedy with the genius of the patient’s disease, the use of reliable materia medica, and the single remedy in a large range of potencies. On this last point, I reported in my response to Dr. Novella’s question that a 10-year study on the treatment of pneumonia patients in a hospital showed that the higher the potencies used, the better the results on all six criteria that were measured, namely, (1) the seat of infiltration, (2) the duration of infiltration (reckoned from when it was first observed to when it began to be resolved), (3) the time at which resolution of the infiltration began, (4) the time at which resolution was complete, (5) the time at which all physical signs disappeared, and (6) the duration of convalescence.
It goes without saying that the best in the art of medicine should be at the service of everyone, and since genuine Hahnemannian homeopathy offers the intervention of choice, it should be made universally available, not only to any population threatened with infectious and epidemic diseases, but also to the rest of the population for prophylactic and therapeutic purposes. Unfortunately, four million people worldwide will continue to die from pneumonia every year as long as the politics of medicine is guided by ignorance, bigotry, and special interests.
From a scientific and moral point of view, homeopathic institutions and training programs in homeopathy should emphasize the teaching and practice of genuine homeopathy and at the same time discourage all other ways of practicing homeopathy, except for research purposes. There is no doubt that every effort we invest in this direction will have permanent value in our quest to make the world a better place.
(To be continued)
CAP: community-acquired pneumonia
CCC: contemporary conventional care
CIP: the combined effects of influenza and pneumonia
HCAP: health-care-acquired pneumonia
PAA: pre-antibiotic allopathy
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