The physician’s high and ONLY mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed.


The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.


If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases, that is to say, in every individual case of disease (KNOWLEDGE OF DISEASE, INDICATION), if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, in each individual medicine (KNOWLEDGE OF MEDICINAL POWERS), and if he knows how to adapt, according to clearly defined principles, what is curative in medicines to what he has discovered to be undoubtedly morbid in the patient, so that the recovery must ensue—to adapt it, as well in respect to the suitability of the medicine most appropriate according to its mode of action to the case before him (CHOICE OF THE REMEDY, THE MEDICINEINDICATED), as also in respect to the exact mode of preparation and quantity of it required (proper DOSE), and the proper period for repeating the dose;—if, finally, he knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them, so that the restoration may be permanent: THEN HE UNDERSTANDS HOW TO TREATJUDICIOUSLY AND RATIONALLY, AND HE IS A TRUE PRACTIONER OF THE HEALING ART.


He is likewise a preserver of health if he knows the things that derange health and cause disease, and how to remove them from persons in health.


Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable EXCITING CAUSE of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its FUNDAMENTAL CAUSE, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.


The unprejudiced observer—well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience—be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (MORBID PHENOMENA, ACCIDENTS,SYMPTOMS) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.


Now, as in a disease, from which no manifest exciting or maintaining cause (CAUSA OCCASIONALIS) has to be removed, we can perceive nothing but the morbid symptoms, it must (regard being had to the possibility of a miasm, and attention paid to the accessory circumstances, §5) be the symptoms alone by which the disease demands and points to the remedy suited to relieve it— and, moreover, the totality of these its symptoms, OF THIS OUTWARDLY REFLECTED PICTURE OF THE INTERNALESSENCE OF THE DISEASE, THAT IS, OF THE AFFECTION OF THE VITAL FORCE, must be the principal, or the sole means, whereby the disease can make known what remedy it requires—the only thing that can determine the choice of the most appropriate remedy—and thus, in a word, the totality  of the symptoms must be the principal, indeed the only thing the physician has to take note of in every case of disease and to REMOVE by means of his art, in order that the disease shall be cured and transformed into health.


It is not conceivable, nor can it be proved by any experience in the world, that, after removal of all the symptoms of the disease and of the entire collection of the perceptible phenomena, there should or could remain anything else besides health, or that the morbid alteration in the interior could remain uneradicated.

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