Pioneers of homeopathy
by Dr Thomas Lindsey Bradford Presented by Dr Robert Séror
The Newpaper contains the following :
On March 5, 1877, at Riga, at the age of eighty-four, State Councilor and Chevalier Dr. Brutzer, for a long time a homoeopathic physician. Bojanus, writing for the World's Convention of 1876, says that Dr. Brutzer, of Riga, in 1833, made a bold stand in favor of the new system. He put the question openly to a medical society of which he was a member,
" Is it becoming in a conscientious physician under present circumstances to refuse to study Homoeopathy ?"
Two years later he repeated the question and quoted cases from his own homoeopathic practice. This created much commotion and Dr. Brutzer resigned from the society. Persecution followed, but he gained a strong party among the more intelligent of the public, who presented him with a large silver cup in acknowledgment of his fearless championship.Since then both he and the system he defended have derived advantage from his great talents, noble character, and enormous activity, and full of years and memories of an honorable life, he still lives at Riga.
Amongst the men whose names and works are part of the history of Homoeopathy, Brutzer occupies a prominent position. He was dissatisfied with the scientific arguments propounded in the Organon. He held that the essence of Homoeopathy does not rest on the use of medicines producing like symptoms but like conditions. He would replace " Similia similibus curentur" by " Idem efficientibus eodem debellantur." and the name Homoeopathy by Isocraty or Isonergy.
But whatever the value of such criticisms as these, he entertained some just views on the condition of the Materia Medica, which he characterized as defective, since it contains mostly subjective symptoms ; paying no heed to the anatomical, pathological and chemical changes produced in the organism.
To this imperfection he attributed the frequent want of success of homoeopathic remedies, and considered it to be the source of the famous psora theory.He urged the reproving of remedies, with a studious regard to pathological anatomy, the aid of chemical analysis, and the light derived from experiments with animals with poisonous doses.Thus, he thought, we should learn the general characteristics of remedies, and by a proper classification of them, materially aid the selection of the proper remedy in a given case.
In 1836 there appeared in the German St. Petersburger Zeitung, No. 32, an article signed by two allopathic physicians, Drs. Seidlitz and Weisse, announcing that the St. Petersburg Society of Corresponding Physicians proposed to give a prize of fifty Dutch ducats for an essay.
The announcement was as follows :
"The St, Petersburg Society of Corresponding Physicians," starting from the conviction that all cases of disease treated homoeopathically are only examples of the natural course of morbid conditions in the organism, such as rational physicians can rarely see, and that only when they abstain from treatment, wished : That the histories of cases contained in the whole homoeopathic literature should be reviewed, critically elucidated and arranged, so that the course of development of whole classes and genera of diseases, as also of particular diseases, should be exhibited in the clearest possible way ; the result of these researches must be compared with the normal development of disease in the Hippocratic sense.
At the same time the phenomena which usually precede the favorable as well as the unfavorable termination of diseases treated homeopathically as also the metaschematisms of morbid affections are to be prominently exhibited.At the same time all polemics against Homoeopathy as a system, and against homoeopathic practitioners, were to be avoided and the prize was to be awarded to the essay which should most fulfill the expectations of the society.This remarkable offer was ridiculed by the Homoeopaths, and even some allopathic writers said it was unscientific and did not deserve notice.The prize was awarded the following year to a Dr. Simson, of Breslau, who, in the preface of his treatise, declares that he has written with the " purest scientific intentions, and with the deepest abhorence of everything which has the slightest relation to Homoeopathy," declarations which evidently touched the hearts and opened the collective purse of the "Society" to the prize-seeker.
Dr. Brutzer then offered a prize of 100 Dutch ducats for an essay that should give a fair and scientific statement, and elucidation of the cases of disease published in homoeopathic works, and draw logical inferences from them, even should these, far from fulfilling the expectations of the Society go directly counter to them.Brutzer appointed a committee of five foremost members of the medical faculty to award the prize, and named two years as the limit of competition.He advertised the offer extensively. Essays were sent to Brutzer from Goullon, Sr., of Weimer, and Dr. Heubel, of Wulk. Heubel got the prize, but his essay was not published.
Goullon was not satisfied, and Brutzer wrote that he only offered the prize as a demonstration against the allopathic society, and wondered that any one could take his offer in earnest.Dr. Heubel then wrote that he had got the fifty ducats paid him. Brutzer wrote a work published in Riga in 1838 : Attempt at a Scientific Foundation of the Homoeopathic Principle.
(Allg. hom. Zeit., vol. 94, p.96. World's Con., vol. 2 , pp. 255, 263. Brit. Jour. Hom., vol. 38, pp. 310, 315.)
Numérisation, vérification, mise en page, Copyright © Robert Séror 2002