A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine Page: 52 of 724
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are, therefore, preliminary and indispensable. That
great and distinguished author, Liebig, says:-" From
what a different point of view should we contemplate
the abnormal, or diseased conditions of the human body,
if we were first thoroughly acquainted with its normal
conditions-if we had established the science of phy-
siology upon a satisfactory basis. How differently would
the treatment of diseases be conducted, if we had per-
fectly clear notions of the process of digestion, assimila-
tion and excretion. Without just views of force, cause
and effect--without a clear insight into the very essence
of natural phenomena-without a solid physiological
education, the object of the empiric (those who know
nothing of physiology or chemistry) is only whether a
remedy, in any given case, had a good or bad effect.
This is all he cares about. He never asks why? He
never inquires into the cause of what he observes, con-
sequently is it to be wondered at that men should be
found advocating the absurd notions of Homeopathy and
The study of mere symptoms, without endeavoring to
ascertain the signification of these symptoms, has at all
times been the cause of producing much mischief in the
treatment of diseases.
It is quite embarrassing to a great many, the exami-
nation of a patient ; this only arises from a want of order
and method. The first thing is to examine the exterior,
and you should extend the examination to every portion
of the body. I have a case in point which will demon-
strate this necessity. I was called in consultation with a
medical gentleman some years ago, to a patient who,
some six or eight days before we were sent for, had been
thrown from his horse. My friend had examined the
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Massie, J. Cam. A Treatise on the Eclectic Southern Practice of Medicine, book, 1854; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143817/m1/52/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.