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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 13


page 83

The following able letter from the pen of Dr Trail, the well-known American author of numerous works on the Hygeio-therapeutic or natural system of treating disease, and president of the Hygeio-therapeutic College of New York (a College empowered by the U.S. Government to confer Medical Degrees), appeared in the columns of the London Medical Mirror, on the 1st August, 1867. It will doubtless be read with the interest it demands by the thoughtful and intelligent reader—its object being to point out the mischievous fallacy of drug medication, by which the world has been victimised for the last 3000 years, substituting in its stead a rational and natural system, pre-eminently successful in its results, simple as it is scientific, and healthful as it is natural.

No favour can of course be expected for such a system from the bigotted majority of drug practitioners, or the vested interests of the apothecary and drug vender, no more than the Temperance cause could expect assistance from the distiller or licensed publican, whose occupation it seeks to undermine for the general benefit of society. It can therefore only appeal to the common sense, intelligence and self-interest of mankind, by the force of whose voice alone, reform must be forced on an unwilling profession. As no one could a priori suppose that the administration of a poison could be a healthful operation, or anything else than injurious in its effects, it would be sufficient for the opponent of such a system simply to deny its therapeutic use, and call upon his adversary to prove it. This being the case, how doubly incumbent is it, on the drug practitioner, to come forward and defend his practice, when it has been logically and powerfully assailed by a regularly educated physician; and yet page 4 although five months have now elapsed since the publication of Dr Trail's letter, not a single practitioner has attempted to reply to the arguments advanced in it, although the editor of the Medical Mirror promised that a competent champion should be forthcoming to answer them. Surely if they did not feel the unanswerable nature of Dr Trail's arguments, so serious an attack on their citadel would not have so long remained unanswered: whenever they fancy that they have a case in their favour they are only too ready to attack their opponents.

Dr Trail's letter is as follows:—