The Menace, an Exposition of Quackery Nostrum Exploitation and Reminiscences of a Country Doctor Page: 8
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It is probable that in no other organic disease does the
psychic element play the important part that it does in con-
sumption. No other sick people are so easily influenced,
for better or worse, as those who suffer from pulmonary
tuberculosis. How great a factor the mental one is, was
strikingly shown by the experiments of Albert Mathieu, the
great French physician. Mathieu gave his tuberculosis
patients to understand that he had discovered a wonderful
cure for tuberculosis in the shape of a serum to which he
gave the name "Antiphymose." To these patients he gave
injections of what they supposed to be this wonderful life-
giving serum, but what actually was a small quantity of a
weak solution of common salt, and carefully noted their
A remarkable change was seen; the appetite improved,
the temperature diminished, the cough, the expectoration,
and night-sweats were mitigated, and the patient began to
gain in weight. With the discontinuance of the injections
the old symptoms returned. Mathieu's experiment was
merely a scientific proof of a fact that is familiar to every
physician who has treated tuberculous patients. Any change
in treatment, or in the individual giving the treatment, re-
sults in temporary improvement of the patient. It is this
curious psychological fact that makes the tuberculous pa-
tient a pitifully easy victim of those ignorant, unconscion-
able, villains, who traffic in human life and advertise to
The speciously worded advertisement, the exaggerated
claim, the favorable testimonials, all combine to convince
the consumptive that here at last is the long-hoped-for
"cure." Hence the profitableness of this most despicable
branch of quackery. As the viciousness and cruelty of this
form of fraud is realized, it seems unbelievable that a civi-
lized community should tolerate it. To the disgrace of our
laws, be it said, the consumption "curer" and the cancer
quack are allowed to ply their nefarious trade practically
unmolested by State or municipal authorities.
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Dixon, Chas. D. (Charles D.). The Menace, an Exposition of Quackery Nostrum Exploitation and Reminiscences of a Country Doctor, book, 1914; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143569/m1/16/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.