A CONSIDERATION OF THE MOST PROMINENT
OF THE PRESENT TIME,
WITH AN ENUMERATION OF SOME OF THE CAUSES WHICH
CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR SUPPORT.
By DAN KING, M.D
"If quackery, individual or gregarious, is ever to be eradicated, or even abated, in civilized society, it must be done by enlightening the public mind in regard to the true powers of medicine."—Jacob Bigelow.
PRINTED BY DAVID CLAPP.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Believing the diffusion of intelligence to be the only means by which the errors and mistakes of social life can ever be overcome, the author of the following pages has endeavored to present such information as might assist every impartial reader in understanding and judging of the numerous medical schemes and means now before the public. The work has not been written so much for professional, as for general readers; and it is confidently hoped that no one who gives it a careful perusal, will fail to be improved, although, among so many mooted subjects, it cannot be expected that every reader will adopt the views and sentiments of the author: but if it awaken a spirit of inquiry, which eventually leads to the truth, an important object will be accomplished. It has been compiled and written, at intervals of respite from professional labors; and if the reader should find the same sentiments advanced and nearly the same language made use of more than once, in the course of the work, the author hopes to be excused by all who are practically acquainted with the interruptions incident to professional life. In considering the subject of Homœopathy, he has made numerous extracts from the Organon, and several other works, which are of the highest authority with that order; and he acknowledges himself also much indebted to a work entitled, "Homœopathy, its Tenets and Tendencies," of which Prof. J. Y. Simpson, of Edinburgh, is the author. From the unsparing manner in which the author has commented upon several kinds of quackery, some might be led to infer that he has been prompted by personal animosity. But such is not the case; he has many highly esteemed personal friends among those whose medical theories he wholly repudiates, and he entertains no ungenerous feeling towards any individual, merely on account of his professional creed; but he has the charity to believe that there are many honorable, well-meaning men, who have, some how or other, been led astray into the devious paths of empiricism. Yet the author would have been false to his own convictions, false to his profession, and false to the interests of humanity, if he had not given unreserved utterance to the sentiments of his heart. And in offering to the public the following brief and imperfect sketches of some of the most prominent varieties of quackery, with a consideration of some of the causes which have led to their encouragement and support, he invokes the careful and candid attention of the reader. The subject is certainly one of importance, and deeply concerns every class and every individual in the community: and its examination should not be postponed to the moment of casualty or the hour of sickness, but should be made and settled in the quiet sunshine of health and serenity of reason. It is hoped, that from the hints here thrown out, many will be induced to examine more thoroughly, and understand more correctly, the true principles of medical science.
Taunton, Mass., June 1, 1858.