Humility, the Best Medicine

A patient can survive without doctors but a doctor cannot survive without patients

Vidya dadhaathi vinayaha” is an old saying in the ancient Sankhya School of Indian philosophy. It means true education bestows humility on the educated. I congratulate Fiona Godlee, the editor of the leading medical weekly, the British Medical Journal (BMJ), for her editorial on humility (17 July 2015). The so-called ‘modern medicine’ had been arrogant in claiming that it alone is scientific and the rest of the healing systems in the world are all unscientific. The American Homeopathy Association was started in the early part of the 19th century by disgruntled doctors of medicine (MDs) who were shocked by the cruel treatment methods in their own system. When homeopaths started making money, others in the older system started the American Medical Association (AMA), half a century later. When asked why they started AMA, the answer was: “The homeopaths came to our area and made money so we want to get back our turf to make money.” Science was not in the picture.
Advances in quantum physics have shown how fallacious our modern medical reductionist science is. It is a statistical non-science. One example will suffice: Consciousness is fundamental in physics now. All matter is derived from consciousness. Human mind is not a product of the human brain. Psychiatric drugs, therefore, end up damaging the human brain but do very little to the human mind. Two important studies have shown that dementia is a drug-induced crime on mankind.
While we condemn homeopathy as a placebo, we should also look at our own reductionist chemical drugs. All of them also work like placebos because they are rejected by the human system as foreign poison. Cancer research is another area which a double Nobel Laureate, Linus Pauling, called the biggest fraud. Animal studies, which gave lots of hope, did not translate into patient benefit. Now, quantum physics shows that animal consciousness interacts with the researchers’ consciousness in any experiment and cannot be extrapolated to human patients! If our patients survive in spite of us doctors, we take the credit. When they die, we blame their delay in seeking help from us. We still fool ourselves about our omnipotence. 
Yes, even a placebo can have side-effects: when the placebo, as in many of our placebo trials, contains a drug. If the placebo is innocuous, it cannot have side-effects. Another imaginary claim against homeopathy is that one cannot detect any chemical molecule in homeopathic drugs. Naturally, because all homeopathic drugs are in nano and piko forms and cannot be detected by conventional science. Additionally, we now know that many drugs in very tiny doses are bio-positive while they could become bio-negative in larger doses, the process called Hormesis. Hormesis works with homeopathic drugs. Let us not forget that homeopathy gave us one of our great drugs—isosorbide dinitrate—which has been used for more than 350 years in modern medicine: it is still useful to keep the small coronary vessels open. 
Let us not forget also that a patient can survive without doctors but a doctor cannot survive without patients. Before all patients leave us to go elsewhere, let us set our glass house in order and not throw stones at others! The medical establishment has become the leading cause of patient death and disability (JAMA 2000; 284: 483-485). Fiona’s suggestion about humility is an excellent one. In fact, future sickness care has to depend on modern medical quick-fixes for all times to come, but a judicious mix of other scientifically authenticated complementary systems would be nice. Homeopathy-bashing, a fashion these days, should stop for the good of mankind’s future. There is so much bad in modern medicine and so much good in homeopathy that neither has any right to criticise the other. 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)
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    Meenal Mamdani

    6 years ago

    Dr. Hegde makes some valid observations. Unfortunately he overstates his case. He abhors the mechanistic practice of medicine, and rightly so as it is a disgrace.
    But then he makes some untenable claims. Would he really like us to revert to faith healing, sadhus and swamis to manage our medical ailments because modern medicine has become too materialistic? I doubt it. He needs to come up with specific instances where modern medicine hurts and the age old remedies are superior.

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