Methods of medical treatment: Current methods of medical treatment can be roughly divided into three groups.
The most common method is to fight disease with strong pills and injections. Allopathy, ayurveda and hekemii [hakims](1) can be included in this group.
In this method of treatment the selection of medicines involves great risk, because more emphasis is placed on the indications of the disease than on those of the patient, and because of the possibility of causing death…. it is nearly impossible to arrive at a firm conclusion about the precise nature of germs. Whether diseases are caused by germs or germs are created from diseases which are caused by other factors is a matter of controversy…. Moreover, as poisons are used, they may seriously affect the vitality of the patient. Just imagine, if the doctor is incompetent or is completely motivated by a business mentality, what will the plight of the public be?
There was a time when diagnosing illnesses and prescribing medicines were not very difficult because diagnoses were based on three constituents of the body – air, bile and phlegm – with blood as a fourth constituent. But increased physical and glandular complexity has led to a corresponding increase in the number and complexity of diseases…
Homoeopathy treats the symptoms of the patient, not the disease or its symptoms. So there is very little possibility of causing harm, even if the diagnosis is not quite correct. A doctor with good powers of observation and a subtle sense of discrimination can easily prescribe remedies according to the patient’s symptoms. Another speciality of homoeopathy is that medicines are administered in subtle doses, not in the form of strong tablets, and such doses quickly become active in the molecules of the patient’s body as well as in his or her mental sphere.
The greatest difficulty with homoeopathy is that it is based upon the subtle intellect of the doctor, and to achieve such a degree of subtlety regular, sustained effort is absolutely essential. Yet homoeopathic treatment is generally quite slack, and slackness is particularly evident in the proficiency of homoeopaths. Anybody can become a homoeopath by studying a few books. No one will object. In most countries there are no proper regulations either…in certain instances the need for surgery as well as injections cannot be denied. Nowadays of course surgery is gradually being incorporated into homoeopathy. This is definitely a positive development.
Naturopaths do not believe in using medicine. They think that it is possible to cure patients through the gifts of nature only – through earth, water, light, heat and air, together with a proper diet. I do not deny that this is possible, but it is also often difficult to gradually and completely attune the body to nature. People should recognize that medicine does not cure disease; rather nature cures disease with the help of the body’s own healing power. Medicine only helps to accelerate the activity and speed of the healing process.
In cases where disease is caused by unnatural activity, I do not see the harm in using medicines to help nature…Of course precautions must be taken when using medicines to help the healing power of the body, to ensure that they do not cause physical side-effects or psychic disturbances. Where a person has not engaged in unnatural activity, he or she may still contract a disease due to pollution in the air, earth or water. In such cases is it possible to attune the body to nature.
All medical systems can be equally faulted for wrong diagnoses; but as far as wrong prescriptions that lead to death, in my opinion more blame should fall on those who use heavy doses of medicine.
If various types of treatment are available, changing from one type to another will not be difficult in the event of the patient not responding to a particular type of treatment.
However, I do not support orthodox psychologists who believe that all diseases can be cured by psychological treatment, because psychological treatment does not work in all cases; it just cannot. Those who believe, as idealists do, that only the mind exists and not the five fundamental factors (2) (of such idealists Lenin said, “They believe that there is a mind but not a head”), argue that the mind is responsible for all diseases. But does mind alone determine human existence? Does not the mind, which becomes agitated when the physical body is pinched, depend on the physical body? Taking hashish, marijuana, opium or wine causes a peculiar change in the mind. This is but one proof of the mind’s dependence on the body and its nerves.
A disease can be mental or can be physical. Similarly, medicine may be mental or may be physical; hence it is most desirable and productive if both kinds of medicine are administered simultaneously in all diseases, whether they are physical or mental. Those who only believe in psychological treatment for mental disease know from experience that such treatment will not permanently cure the disease and the patient will soon relapse. Only where, along with psychological treatment, guidance concerning diet, bathing and behaviour is given, and to normalize the diseased glands of the body medicines prepared from the five fundamental factors are prescribed, can the disease be permanently cured.
In the same way, if patients suffering from a physical disease are given proper medicine, food, light and air but at the same time are subjected to constant criticism and humiliation, it will be difficult for them to fully recover….
The conduct of doctors and nurses: The patients’ faith is more important than medicine in curing a disease, but where does their faith come from? From the conduct of the doctors and nurses, who have to win their confidence and inspire them with faith. Labourers perform manual work in order to earn their livelihood; they therefore dig the ground without regard for the earth. The relationship between doctors and patients should not be like this. Doctors must use all the qualities of their minds to win over their patients. It will certainly not add to the glory of any country or government if doctors and nurses complain, “Because of the tremendous pressure of our work, we have lost all our sympathy, tenderness and sweetness.”
But while complaining we fail to notice all the difficulties that doctors and nurses have to face in their daily lives. If we discuss such matters not as patients but as human beings, then perhaps we might see that those against whom we have a long list of complaints have been forced by society, consciously or unconsciously, to get involved in antisocial activities.
Those doctors who continue to treat patients as their friends and serve society as genuine social workers while living in an antisocial environment deserve our deepest respect.
A dishonest doctor or nurse is more harmful to society than an ordinary criminal, because such doctors and nurses not only harm society directly, they also add to social problems by not performing social service according to their capacity. Their problems should be seriously and sympathetically considered and their difficulties should be immediately solved.
To eliminate the financial difficulties faced by doctors, temporary arrangements can be made. For example, young doctors who have financial difficulties can be sent from countries with surplus doctors to countries with insufficient doctors so that they can get the opportunity to earn a living and serve society.