Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Aphorism 67- Hahnemann's Justification for Palliatives in Suspended Animation

Till 1833, when Fifth Edition of Organon of Medicine was published, Hahnemann was against palliative mode of treatment under all circumstances.

According to the Hahnemann, the Life principle, in its healthy condition, works through by expressing normal sensations and functions and Life principle expresses in its deranged condition  through altered sensations and functions, called disease. 

A small homeopathic dose of a drug certainly produces a primary action which is only perceptible to a sufficiently attentive observer; but an opposite secondary counter action is not perceptible as the vital force reacts just enough to restore the healthy state of the individual whose health was altered by the quite minute homeopathic doses of drugs. Now a similar artificial disease take the place of the natural disease and organism ceases to suffer from the natural disease force if drug is in minute doses because the effect of medicinal disease is transient and disappears so rapidly of its own accord. Thus vital force freed from both natural as well as artificial medicinal disease and returns to its original normal condition and lead to healthy functional and sensations of living organism.

According to Dr. Stuart Close- : "The homeopathic doctrine of dosage, like the law of cure was based upon the discovery of the opposite action of large and small doses of medicine . It is another application in medicine of Law of Mutual Action - the third Newtonian law motion - "Action and Reaction are Equal and Opposite".

The main reason for not using a palliative drug in sick person is palliatives (Physiological doses) cannot replace the natural disease completely and permanently in the living organism but transient neutralization of dynamic derangements of the organism and induce the vital force to produce an  antagonistic symptoms to this palliative drug and disease symptoms becomes worse after the action of palliative action has expired.

But he modifies his previous views in Footnote to Aphorism 67 in the Sixth Edition where he pointed out some exceptional circumstances where the use of palliatives appeared to be justified. Hahnemann, after showing the futility of palliative medication as a curative method and pointing out the dangers incidental to its use, admits the utility and necessity of resorting to palliation in certain emergencies.

In Footnote to Aphorism 67 he said, "Only in the most urgent cases, where danger to life and imminent death allow no time for the action of a homeopathic remedy-not hours, sometimes not even quarter hours and scarcely minutes in sudden accidents occurring to previously healthy individuals--for example, in asphyxia and *suspended animation from lightning, from suffocation, freezing, drowning, etc.-it is admissible and judicious at all events as a preliminary measure, to stimulate the irritability and sensibility (the physical life), with a palliative."

Occasionally circumstances arise which make it necessary, for the homeopathic physician to use drugs in "physiological" doses for their palliative effect. The homeopathic physician should never forgets that the necessities and the welfare of his patient are first.

*Note- : Suspended Animation - : A state in which the processes of the body (such as blood circulation) stop or become very slow for a period of time while a person or animal is unconscious or  temporary suspension of the vital functions (as in persons nearly drowned).

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