Can a Homoeopath Practise Allopathy?Views
NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HOMOEOPATHY 1995 Jul / Aug Vol IV No 4.
[EDITOR: In response to this query our readers have rushed in their views. Here below we carry them for you. If it sets your mind ticking, you too could pen your thoughts.]
From my long experience of inspecting some of these mushrooming Homoeopathic Colleges turning out half baked Homoeopaths, my reply to the above question is positively - NO. Very few Homoeopathic Colleges send their students to learn surgery, mid-wifery and Gynaecology and other allied sciences. What is taught in the Homoeopathic Hospital is very cursory, and is taught by Doctors who have not had the benefit of Allopathic training. We are required to prescribe a Homoeopathic remedy; instead half a dozen remedies are prescribed simultaneously in high potencies and at times allopathic medicines too. This should stop. There are cases where the patient should be allowed to continue their Allopathic medicines for serious diseases, or else the results will be tragic. To give you a few examples - Diabetes, high blood pressure, and Chronic Bronchial Asthma are diseases wherein sudden discontinuation of allopathic medicines would be disastrous. Hence medicines should be carefully tapered to avoid complications. From my experience our remedies work on a higher plane, so there is no harm giving a Homoeopathic remedy carefully spaced.
Some champions may not agree to what I have said; they may be the incarnation of Hahnemann or Kent while I am only a humble Homoeopathic Physician.
Dr SAROSH WADIA Bombay
Why should a genuine Homoeopath be compelled to go to another system in his practice?
A doctor sometimes might feel that he was not getting the desired results from various medicines prescribed in a certain case. But then that is not the fault with or insufficiency of the system. The prescriber might have missed some important aspect of the case and if he carefully reviews the given case again, he shall find his mistake!
Every system has its limitations and failures and our system is no exception. Had this not been the case with Allopathy the doctors from the old system of medicine would not have been attracted to Homoeopathy and become good Homoeopaths. Our great Master Dr Hahnemann's life is the best example of this.
Homoeopathy is based on scientific principles and the provings are done only on healthy human beings and therefore chances of failures are less as compared to other systems, provided we give proper attention to treat our patients according to the law of similars. If the case is in the curable range and if we go deep down to the history of the case again and take a proper review. It is possible to find we missed something important and then prescribe again; then the case is certain to get cured. And if there is some obstacle in the way it is the duty of a Homoeopath to overcome it rather than to throw up his hands in dejection and seek shelter under Allopathy.
Moreover, both the systems are based on different and diverse principles; whereas one adopts a suppressive method, the other aims at rooting out the disease. If a Homoeopath is allowed to practise allopathy he will only mess up the case and will not be able to practise either system in its proper and pure form and that will not be in the best interests of society at large.
Dr DWARKA DASS Chandigarh
1) It is true that a seat in an allopathic medical college is most coveted and a seat in a Homoeopathic medical college is accepted when one fails to get the former. Even at that stage the student in a Homoeopathic college considers his qualification in Homoeopathy will be a license to practise allopathy legally. There are exceptions where the student takes up Homoeopathy for the love of it.
2) A consultation with a leading Homoeopath, say in Bombay, may entail a long waiting period of several weeks or even months.
3) Leading Homoeopaths in towns and cities in India earn as much if not more than a good surgeon. But the average Homoeopath has neither the competence nor the ambition to achieve the degree of success in Homoeopathy that an allopath is supposed to have. Even now Homoeopaths carry on debates and organize essay competitions on whether Homoeopaths should practise allopathy.
4) So, for many decades, practitioners of Homoeopathy and other indigenous systems of medicine have carried on agitations to force the Government to permit them to prescribe allopathic drugs.
5) But Government being generally overawed by the powerful allopathic lobby have not yielded, and one the other hand had issued a circular in February 1990 to all the State Governments and Union territories to implement certain recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Homoeopathy attached to the health ministry, of which 'making it obligatory on the part of Homoeopathic practitioners to use drugs according to principles of Homoeopathy and drugs prepared according to Homoeopathic pharmacopoeia-' and aiming thus to prevent Homoeopaths from prescribing, or dispensing medicines not in the Homoeopathic pharmacopoia!' The core.
6) Since then police in some states were prosecuting Homoeopaths prescribing allopathic drugs.
7) Then came the judgment of the Supreme Court (AIR SC PPI 317 - 1318 - 1992) in the Writ Appeal, A K Sabapathy Vs State of Kerala which ruled that the provision in the Kerala State Act on Medical Practioners and the notifications issued by the Government of Kerala under this provision were invalid.
Declaring an enabling provision in the state law as invalid it set aside a notification issued of the Government enabling the holders of a Homoeopathic qualification, D M S of Bihar, to practise allopathy.
The Supreme Court held that the provision in the state law empowering it to permit a person to practise allopathic system of medicine even though he does not possess the recognized medical qualification in that system of medicine is inconsistent with the provisions of the Central Act (Indian Medical Council Act, 1956) governing the registration of allopaths and the definition of allopathic medicine.
In another case before the consumer court, it was not entirely surprising that the apex body, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission failed to give a decision, for the reason that the Commission did not have competent legal assistance, but it was not called in by the Commission, because the Homoeopathic physician claimed that he was registered by the Homoeopathic Council as an allopath. This is a matter of serious concern, if true, how the Homoeopathic Council could register any medical practioners in any system. The registering authority of medical practitioners is the State Government. It is to be hoped that the Central Council of Homoeopathy will issue a clarification. It is also desirable to note that perspicacious patients opting for Homoeopathic treatment after alienation from allopaths, strongly resent if the Homoeopath prescribes allopathic drugs and stop further consultation on the reasoning that 'if I wanted allopathic prescription' I would certainly go to an allopath and not consult a Homoeopath.' Homoeopaths who indulge in this kind of dual practice prove to be neither good Homoeopaths nor successful allopaths. The major casualty is the reputation of the Homoeopathic system ultimately. If this degradation is not arrested, the system will lose public and Government support and the Homoeopathic colleges and hospitals will be taken over by the allopaths as had happened in the USA, where today there is not a single Homoeopathic college or hospital after the antibiotic era, and has seduced the patients and the doctors into abandoning Homoeopathy. In one of the States there the State Supreme Court had even declared the practice of Homoeopathy as 'quackery'. It is time that Homoeopaths ponder over the serious consequences of their 'dual' practice - the 'golden goose' cannot survive if the Homoeopaths try to cut it to get rich quick. Mutatis Mutandis, this principle of each system of medicine being practiced by those qualified in that system is a solitary practice and has to be seriously considered by all.
Dr D LAKSHMINARAYANAN
President Andhra Pradesh Homoeopathic Association
1) The SC had declared that Homoeopaths should not prescribe allopathic drugs. (This judgment was abstracted in the journal Medicina Futura Homoeopathy)
2) GOI had passed a specific law banning this practice.
3) But there is no corresponding ban on allopaths, surgeons, ayurveds, acupuncture, radionics/radiosthesia and other conglomerate rag-tag groups, masquerading under the umbrella of 'Alternative Medicine' who also use Homoeopathic drugs. Should there not be a ban on this?
4) This same 'Alternative Medicine' seems to be headquartered at Calcutta or Bengal. What is their legal status? This group confers such highly distinguished rarely conferred doctorate qualification of 'DSc' on a honoris causa basis. There is one such senior Homoeopath in Bombay who is adding 'DSc' after his name in his letter-head etc. there are only a very few prestigious old universities in India - Madras, Bombay, Andhra etc universities who confer DSc and that too only on senior scientists (not doctors), who already have published a series of scientific papers based on original research of a high standard. Should Homoeopaths accept such dubious and highly misleading titles from unauthorized bodies registered under the societies act>
5) The British Faculty of Homoeopathy is conducting courses in Hyderabad to physicians/surgeons holding degrees in medicine to train them in Homoeopathy on a part-time basis, holding tests and awarding the British Faculty certificates. Has the Faculty obtained permission from GOI? One understands that no one can start a Homoeopathic college/teaching institution in India without permission and recognition from the respective university authorities?
6) The terms 'medicine' and 'surgery' have not been defined under the central law on Homoeopathy will now, while the degrees and diplomas refer to both Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) why such serious lacunas are continuing?
A debate or a discussion on a sterile issue like using allopathic drugs may not serve any useful purpose, when there are so many major issues plaguing Homoeopathy.
Dr LAKSHMINARAYANAN Hyderabad
[Editor: DR Dhillon furthers the argument and his comments, edited for want of space, are presented below.]
Though having invincible faith in the principles of Homoeopathy, I am constrained to practise allopathy due to our social milieu.
Our society seems to be hostile towards Homoeopathy. Our people want to be treated and cured instantly. They ask for "tika" (injections), "Goli" (tablet) and capsules for quick action to gratify their psychic fads.
There is an overflow of colleges but fresh doctors do not have the confidence to bolster them up for starting clinic on their own. Allopaths seem to be fortunate and at an advantage as after the completion of studies they can easily get house posts providing them "belly security" as well as experience. After getting sufficient experience and bucks they can independently handle a clinic of their own. Ayurvedic medicos have also got similar prospects as they are considered assistants to allopathic medical officers. Homoeopaths have no such provision as it is first difficult to convince hospital administration of their being equivalent to other medicos - allopathic and ayurvedic; secondly if somehow, he succeeds in getting the entry, seeds of death are sown, his grave dug and an impending allopathy practising Homoeopath (APH) is born.
In India, practicing Homeopathy is not lucrative. More Homoeopathic colleges than Homoeopathic hospitals are opened. Homoeopaths can hardly afford and maintain the modern amenities offered by sophisticated technology.
Now let us shift our attention from the above socio-economic aspect to the philosophical and legal point of view. Stating the flexibility and expedient nature of Homoeopathy, Dr Hahnemann in first aphorism of "Organon of Medicine" says that the "physician's high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, gently, rapidly and permanently". In this statement, he wants us to be physicians and not adamant Homoeopaths. According to Dr J T Kent, "The Homoeopathic physician is a physician of old school; but having extra knowledge of Homoeopathic medicine". Lack of standardization forced us to use allopathy, in the events of emergency, ie for acute pain etc. this is justifiable since physician's duty is to effect relief and convalescence. But these things consequently give rise to polypharmacy.
We must have flexibility and receptivity in the principles of Homoeopathic practice and should not always adhere to the medicines bearing the name and label of "Homoeopathic Medicine," thereby often ignoring the right given by law. In the Homoeopathic practitioners' Regulations Act approved by Central Government, it is written in Sec 12, subsection 4, "Homoeopathic practitioner shall use any drug prepared according to Homoeopathic principle and adopt "Other necessary measures" confers on us the right, to use so called allopathic life saving drugs. Having some knowledge, we can use Paracetamol as we know by the experience that Paracetamol is the best, rapid and fast, gentle acting anti-pyretic medicine. It is useless to name Paracetamol as Allopathic or Homoeopathic medicine,
It would also be a one-sided and adamant approach if we wield only so called Allopathic Medicine and not avail the well established results of other branches of medicines since life is more important than hollow principles.
Dr M S DHILLON Punjab
Should Homoeopaths be allowed to practise Allopathy?
The answer to the captioned question is certainly yes, if not, then why not? Allopathy and Homoeopathy are two sides of a coin. Both the pathies are incomplete. As we see, Allopathy is superior for investigation, diagnosis, surgery, palliation in terminal stages (when vital force is poor). But allopathy is lagging far behind in cases of allergic disorders, rheumatology, diseases related to immunology, diseases of children like primary complex, tonsillitis, diseases of women particularly hormonal disturbances and many other chronic diseases of human beings. In these cases Homoeopathy is better and gives cure or prolonged relief/palliation.
Homoeopathy is far behind allopathy in certain acute emergency cases like acute Myocardial Infarction, where there is a possibility of death.
Many times, fulminating falciparum malaria, which can be fatal can not be managed by Homoeopathy, but allopathy cures it.
Certain chronic organ diseases like cirrhosis of liver, chronic renal failure, hypertension, insulin dependent diabetes, congestive cardiac failure and epilepsy can be managed in a better way by allopathy as for palliation and relief to mankind is concerned.
Homoeopaths should be allowed to prescribe allopathic medicines. Those who oppose it, may be ignorant about limitations of Homoeopathy or they may be hypocrites.
But those who, have been in long practice know that allopathy is also an essential part of treatment along with/or separately in some cases.
Hence Homoeopaths must be allowed to prescribe allopathic medicines as and when needed.
Dr V P BANSAL