Dear Reader, I would like to bring you the following remarkable article that was so well written by Dr. M. Croserio, M.D., a member of the French Homeopathic Society and president of the Homeopathic Society of Paris. It was written in 1837 in response to a negative letter about homeopathy sent from the Royal Academy of Medicine, to the Minister of Public Instruction.
“After having read the letter of the Royal Academy of Medicine to the Minister of Public Instruction, against Homeopathy, I had at first conceived the idea of critically examining the assertions which it contained; on reflecting, however, on the ignorance, which the members of this society had shown of this doctrine during the discussion, which had preceded the adoption of this singular manifest, I thought that a rapid exposition of the fundamental doctrines and the advantages of Homeopathy, when compared with the imperfections of the old doctrine, would still better serve the cause of humanity, by acquainting the public with the principles of the healing art, and at the same time enable them to estimate the objections of the Academy.
Homeopathy, repulsed by the learned and the schools of medicine, meets with the fate of all important discoveries made in this science. For how long a time have not inoculation, vaccination, and other discoveries been disowned by the Academies?
The quinine so generally esteemed, was it not for a long time proscribed by them? The same is the case with antimony. Harvey, for having made a discovery of immense importance by its results to physiological and medical science, was so persecuted and calumniated by his colleagues, that by their means, his patients forsook him, and he was reduced to the greatest distress. Galileo, because he proclaimed the great truth of the motion of the earth was assuredly not sustained by the learned of his time, for he passed a part of his life in danger.
In taking a cursory view of all great discoveries we always see them rejected at first by persons, with whose opinion and authority they come into collision; the obscurity in which the name of the majority of those is enveloped, who introduced the most useful innovations is another proof of this caprice of the human mind.
The discovery of Homeopathy completely overthrows all the theoretical fabrications of the ancient doctrines and forms a new creation. Is it, therefore, at all surprising that eminent physicians should oppose with all their might the admission of these principles? The passive resistance, which they have adopted, is the surest means to obtain this object; for a serious examination, an examination by experiments, such as Hahnemann demands, would infallibly lead them to recognize the truth; this, at least, is what has always been the result of experimental research to this day.
The experiments which they had undertaken for the purpose of proving its falsity, demonstrated to them its solid worth, and led to their conversion; but these experiments must not be made as M. Andral has conducted them, without rules, without principles, without conforming to the conditions prescribed by the Homeopathic doctrine, nor without leaving the habits of the old school of medicine.
Homeopathy is too directly opposed to old opinions, and can therefore not be judged by them. Being founded on experience, it can be demonstrated by experience alone. Hahnemann does not demand a blind belief of his doctrines, he repeatedly says in his works: “as improbable as all this may appear, I am not afraid of being contradicted by experience.”
A doctrine, which was proclaimed with such a liberal spirit and under such auspices, was worthy of being treated more seriously by an assembly of grave men, of whom the government demanded an opinion of its importance. If the discussion had not amply demonstrated, that none of its members had any exact or just idea of it, and that the majority of them absolutely knew nothing but the name, the words similia similibus and the infinitely small doses, this society would have been still more culpable in making such an answer.
The letter of the academy may be translated nearly as follows: We know that homeopathic medicine makes proselytes in Germany, Russia, and Italy, we see that it begins to spread over France, and that even patients treated in vain by ourselves, have been cured by Homeopathy. This doctrine, contrary to what has been communicated to us by our masters, is very difficult and very abstract; but as the only means of convincing ourselves of its merit, would be to make experiments in suitable hospitals, we beg of you to deny us that means of enlightening ourselves, in order to prevent its spreading, or at least to retard its propagation during our lifetime, so that we may quietly enjoy our places, without being obliged to have recourse to such a painful labour.
When the governments of Russia, Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Baden etc… have passed laws to facilitate the practice of Homeopathy; 9 clinical hospitals are established and supported, solely by the subscriptions of its adherents ; when three-fourths of the inhabitants of the North of Germany, will not be treated otherwise than by this method, when the councils of Darmstadt have unanimously adopted the resolution of founding a chair of Homeopathy in the medical schools of the Dutch, and not hereafter to permit the practice of physic to any physician, who has not been also examined on Homeopathy; when 500 inhabitants of Hanover petitioned the government for the erection of a Homeopathic chair; when 18 journals, which are exclusively devoted to it, disseminate it in every quarter of the globe, it had surely acquired sufficient importance, to merit an examination.
This necessity seems very well to have been felt by the minister. The question which he put to the Academy, was it not an indirect appeal to engage its members to an early study of it? The Academy is, moreover, still more culpable in this decision, taken without examination, against a doctrine supported by such a numerous body of facts, as the society of homeopathic physicians in Paris had offered by letter of the 1st of March last, to put in its possession, and to place at its disposal all the documents necessary to throw light upon the subject and even to make experiments under the inspection of the committee. The Academy has preferred to pronounce judgment without a hearing, and to be guilty of a veritable prevarication.
Under these circumstances, the Homeopathists have got justice on their side; by the exposition of their doctrines it will be seen, if they have not reason also. The injuries to which the sick are liable from the erroneous ideas of the public on medical subjects, and the obstacles which theses errors often oppose to the success of the best concerted homeopathic treatment, have induced me to address this outline to the nonmedical part of my readers.
I am not ignorant of the disfavour attached to a popular work on medicine, but the present one is only in the nature of a defence, that is, an answer to the accusations which the royal Academy of Medicine has itself preferred against Homeopathy, with the evident design of influencing public opinion; it becomes therefore necessary to address the Academy itself and to show the errors, and the bad faith of these prevaricating judges.
The study and practice of the old system, for thirty years have enabled me to judge of its merits and defects, and it was only after a profound conviction derived from knowledge of both doctrines, that I have recognized the importance of the Hahnemannean reform.
Several years of experience in its practical application have served only to confirm my convictions of its merit; this circumstance together with the well known fact that no practitioner, who has within thirty years adopted it, ever returned to the old system, the principles of which appear truly a paltry absurdity to one who has been practising for some time on the clear and rational precepts of Homeopathy, are pretty favourable arguments of its real value.”