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There Is Neither A Specific Nor A Prophylactic To Be Relied On
Category: TREATMENT OF SCARLET-FEVER.
Source: Hydriatic Treatment Of Scarlet Fever In Its Different Forms
All these different methods and remedies, and many others, have been and
are still used with more or less effect. But where there are three
physicians to recommend one of them, there will always be four to
contradict them. They may all do some good in certain epidemics or
individual cases; they may relieve symptoms; they may save the life of
many a patient who would have died without them (although many a patient
who died, might have lived also, had he been under a more judicious
treatment, or--under no treatment at all.) But none is reliable in
general; none contains a specific to neutralize the morbid poison; none
is a reliable prophylactic, such as vaccina for small-pox; and if single
physicians, or whole classes of physicians, assert to the contrary, the
fault must lie somewhere, either in their excess of faith in certain
authorities, which induces them to throw their own pia desideria into
the scales, or in a want of cool, impartial observation continued for a
sufficient length of time to wear out sanguine expectations. _The fact
is that there neither exists a reliable prophylactic, nor has a safe
specific been found as yet; that all is guess-and-piece work; and that
people are taken by scarlet-fever and die of it about the same as before
those vaunted methods and remedies were discovered._ I wish to impress
my readers with this fact--the proofs of which they can easily find in
the mortality lists of the papers--to make them understand that by
giving up for the hydriatic method any of the modes and remedies, which
have been in use hitherto, they do not run a risk of losing anything.
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