Homeopathy went through its own share of struggles in New Zealand in the 1800’s, way before the Homoeopathic Society and Association were founded in the early 1900’s. However even nowadays, nothing has changed; homeopathy is still facing ongoing unfair resistance despite its clinical evidences in saving lives rapidly and efficiently.
To demonstrate the difficulty that homeopaths faced and also the growth of public demand for homeopathy, I wish to share a brief timeline with excerpts of articles that were published in several daily newspapers.
These are the dates of publications and the actual text:
On 12 April of 1872 – Were the orthodox school men to examine Homeopathy thoroughly, they certainly would, if honest men, be compelled to adopt it; and if they would but faithfully follow it out, a vast decrease in the death rate would be the result. We expend large sums in bringing immigrants to our shores, but are careless of the lives of the present inhabitants of these islands. Should not the Government look to the matter to the extent, at least, of employing none but homeopathic physicians?!
Dr. Routh, in his work entitled ‘The Fallacies of Homoeopathy’ gives the following result of the old and the new mode of treatment:
1. Inflammation of the lungs – Dr. Routh states that in the Allopathic Hospital of Vienna, 23 patients out of every 100 die whilst in the Homeopathic Hospital, in the same city, only 5 patients die out of every 100.
2. In pleurisy, 13 patients out of every 100 die in allopathic hospitals, whilst only 3 in the same number die in homeopathic hospitals.
3. In inflammation of the bowels, 13 out of every 100 die in allopathic hospitals, whilst only 4 in every hundred die in the homoeopathic hospital.
4. In dysentery, allopathic hospitals lose 22 out of every hundred, whilst homeopathic hospitals lose only 3 in the same number of patients.
Again, the following statistics of the treatment of epidemic cholera in 1851, extracted from the printed documents of the House of Commons, will establish the superiority of the homeopathic treatment. In cholera cases, generally, the number of deaths under allopathic treatment was 45 in every hundred; under homeopathic treatment, only 17 in every 100. In the more severe form of the disease, attended with collapse, or sinking of the life-powers, 69 in every 100 died under allopathic treatment, but only 30 in the same number under the homoeopathic. To the foregoing indubitable facts, might be added the testimony of many eminent medical men, the experience of every practitioner of homeopathy, and the willing acknowledgments of many families, who have participated in its advantages and success.
On 20 January of 1877 – When speaking of this department – Medical – we might ask, has it occurred to anyone that we should have a homeopathic ward in the Hospital? No one can deny that homeopathy has made giant strides in these days. In America it is becoming all powerful, and magnificent hospitals are entirely devoted to the practice of this new school of medicine. Its disciples are not inconsiderable in number in Dunedin, and there is another city in this Colony where hundreds of families, including a very large proportion of the leading, intelligent, and influential citizens are ardent homeopaths. In a spirit of fairness we ask, is it right that the section of the people who believe in the treatment of this new and rapidly progressive school of medicine should have not even a little corner in this great General Hospital, which is to be supported by the moneys of the whole people? This is a question which should be treated as one of simple justice, and as in no way affected by the bitter jealousies of rival schools of medicine.
On 26 April of 1884 – A movement has been started by some influential citizens, to create homeopathic wards in the district hospital, for both sexes.
On 15 July 1884 – Fourteen hundred persons have signed a petition to the Hospital Committee in favour of a homoeopathic ward. One of the medical staff has lodged a formal protest.
Four years later, on 11 July of 1888 – Letter to a newspaper’s editor: Sir, the paragraph in your issue of today giving statistics of the appalling mortality in typhoid fever that has been prevalent in Sydney during the last few years, and which, even though now decreasing, is as high this year as 38.16 per cent, has set me wondering if the public of these Australasian colonies ever think seriously about the proved superiority of homeopathic treatment in this common and fatal disease. In a former letter I pointed out that in my own practice here I had only lost one case out of forty, but the vital statistics of the recent annual report of the Melbourne Homeopathic Hospital, which is supported by voluntary subscriptions and a Government grant, afford a striking confirmation and extension of my statements. During the year ending June 30, 1887, 570 in-patients were admitted into the Hospital, and 1,770 patients were treated in the dispensary rooms. The total death rate from all causes among the in-patients, of whom 13 died within 60 hours of their admission, was 7.89 per cent. The exceptionally severe epidemic of typhoid fever in Melbourne affected this mortality in general, but not to the extent that might have been anticipated had not the treatment been so different and so much more successful than at the city’s Allopathic Hospital.
Whereas the Central Board of Health reported from January 1 to June 11th, 1640 cases, of which 384 were fatal, a death rate of 23.41 per cent, the Resident Medical Officer of the Homeopathic Hospital reports 145 cases of this disease, with 14 deaths – a mortality of only 8.96 per cent. When Dr. Macmullen, some four years ago blocked the way against introducing homeopathy into our Hospital, and an influential petition containing 1,400 signatures was consigned to the Board. An injustice was done to that large and ever increasing minority of our citizens who either believe in homeopathy, or would like to see it tried in a public institution.
Now in this modern era, let’s ask the same fair questions again. Give homeopathy a chance to serve in an integrated section in every hospital, and judge the outcome based on statistics and how much money can be saved by utilizing homeopathy in conjunction with other modalities of medicine in a health care system.
Source: The National Library of New Zealand.