The Ethical Physician
‘Eleutheria’ is an ancient and modern Greek term for, and personification of, liberty.
Wikipedia defines a code of ethics as,
“A code of ethics often focuses on social issues. It may set out general principles about an organization’s beliefs on matters such as mission, quality, privacy or the environment. It may delineate proper procedures to determine whether a violation of the code of ethics has occurred and, if so, what remedies should be imposed. The effectiveness of such codes of ethics depends on the extent to which management supports them with sanctions and rewards. Violations of a private organization’s code of ethics usually can subject the violator to the organization’s remedies (such as restraint of trade based on moral principles). The code of ethics links to and gives rise to a code of conduct for employees.”
Six of the values that commonly apply to medical ethics discussions are:
- Autonomy – the patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment. (Voluntas aegroti suprema lex.)
- Beneficence – a practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient. (Salus aegroti suprema lex.)
- Non-maleficence – “first, do no harm” (primum non nocere).
- Justice – concerns the distribution of scarce health resources, and the decision of who gets what treatment (fairness and equality).
- Dignity – the patient (and the person treating the patient) have the right to dignity.
- Truthfulness and honesty – the concept of informed consent has increased in importance since the historical events of the Doctors’ Trial of the Nuremberg trials and Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
Up until now, we’ve employed values such as these in order to help dictate how we might conduct ourselves in handling a particular situation, a framework for understanding conflict externally. The other aspect associated with the more Kantian, traditional laying down of ethics seems to be an “outside-in” approach. An external list of authoritarian values that dictate the conduct of one human being towards another, while important, these codes nowhere describe the nature of the inner ethical being. This is the key issue in this discussion. In the allopathic medical world, doctors are mandated “externally” by things like the CPS (Compendium of Pharmaceuticals), and other standardized procedures and protocols which must be followed in order for the doctor to keep their license to practice from the external authority. What does it mean to be an ethical physician at the human level? How does one conduct themselves if one is an MD with the knowledge that vaccinations have been causing undue harm for decades? (See this report on vaccines at Natural News). Or that Statin drugs cause more harm then good. What would you do if you found out that the number one killer in North America was pharmaceutical drugs and you were the prescriber?
As I continue in my research looking up moral values, Answers.com elicits, “…values based on deeply held beliefs such as those derived from or associated with religious convictions. Moral values typically are expressed as judgments of whether specific behaviors or situations are right or wrong. Moral values may have beneficial or harmful health consequences, for example related to sexual behavior, where they may inhibit promiscuity and reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, or may lead to public policies, such as prohibition of effective contraception, that are inimical to the reproductive health of girls and women.” Again, we view another external construct based on Kantian philosophy which means that due to the limitations of our intellect, we can conceptualize externally, but we can’t seem to define the inner ethical landscape of the heart of the ethical physician.
For fun, note if you feel a deadening effect reading the following excerpt on medical ethics from Wikipedia,
“When moral values are in conflict, the result may be an ethical dilemma or crisis. Sometimes, no good solution to a dilemma in medical ethics exists, and occasionally, the values of the medical community (i.e., the hospital and its staff) conflict with the values of the individual patient, family, or larger non-medical community. Conflicts can also arise between health care providers, or among family members. Some argue for example, that the principles of autonomy and beneficence clash when patients refuse blood transfusions, considering them life-saving; and truth-telling was not emphasized to a large extent before the HIV era.”
I’ll get the smelling salts to wake you back up!
The Introduction to The Sixth Edition of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann’s Organon of The Medical Art (edited by Wenda Brewster O’Reilly) illustrates how one ethical physician began to examine the lawful homeopathic treatment of patients, also with an interest to reduce the adverse effects of medicines,
“Through numerous experiments conducted over several years, Hahnemann established that any medicine will cure a particular disease if it is capable of producing symptoms in healthy individuals which are similar to the totality of disease symptoms in the sick. These experiments also led to Hahnemann’s development of guidelines for medical experimentation, which include testing medicines only upon healthy individuals (to avoid confounding the action of the medicine with the symptoms of the disease), the use of small doses, and the testing of any medicine on both men and women and on people with various bodily constitutions in order to determine a medicine’s full range of action.
Hahnemann’s use of minute, potentized medicinal doses originally arose from his interest in reducing the adverse affects of medicines. He then discovered that by successively diluting and succussing a medical substance, not only were the adverse effects of the medicine diminished, but the inherent curative power of the substance was dramatically increased. This led to his discovery that medicines and diseases act dynamically, not materially…”
Dr. Hahnemann’s Aphorism 1 of his Organon of The Medical Art affirms as follows:
“The physician’s highest and only calling is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called.
Footnote to Aph. 1: The physician’s calling is not to spin so-called systems from empty conceits and hypothesis concerning the inner wesen (nature) of the life process and the origins of disease in the invisible interior of the organism (on which so many physicians mongering for fame have hitherto wasted their time and energy). The physician’s calling is not to make countless attempts at explanation regarding appearances and their proximate cause (which must ever remain concealed) holding forth in unintelligible words or abstract and pompous expressions in order to appear very learned and astonish the ignorant, while a sick world sighs in vain for help. Of such learned fanaticism (to which the name theoretical medicinal art is given and for which special professorships are instituted) we have had quite enough. It is high time for all those who call themselves physicians, once and for all, to stop deceiving suffering humanity with idle talk, and to begin now to act, that is to really help and to cure.”
Observing and feeling the intent behind Dr. Hahnemann’s words over 200 years ago as he lays down the first maxim that applies singularly to the individual physician is both refreshing and soulful. It speaks of a time not much different than our present where mercury fillings have been unethically put in mouths of patients since the war of 1812 and Chemmotherapy touts less than 3% efficacy as per John Robbins, Reclaiming Our Health. During Hahnemann’s time the medical system was also subject to practices with little known efficacy and clearly caused harm. Hahnemann stated that the patient rarely died from their natural diseases, but generally succumbed due to the unethical treatment.
During Hahnemann’s time, treatments such as blood-letting, purging, diaphoretics, diuretics and other unproved medicines, increased the certainty of suffering and death. Hahnemann knew that very few physicians were actually aware of the real ‘cure,’ or how to apply it ethically, without causing an ounce of harm. Sadly, after 200 years, the allopathic community still attempts to ‘treat’ the hypertension, the thyroid, the cardiac problems, the renal problems. And the treatment is often life-long with its own set of debilitating side-effects or worse. The worst part is that a lot of the ‘treatment’ is not even justified or is outright wrong. For a majority of viral otitis media and sore throats, allopaths still continue to prescribe antibiotics. “Anti” means “against” and “bios” means “life. As mentioned, the pharmaceutical ‘medicines’ are the number 1 cause of death in North America as per Dr. Mercola.
That is why Hahnemann made it very clear that while your work is to treat, your aim should be to cure the patient. This is the ethical code provided for each individual Physician, not an external treatise with any ambiguity whatsoever. There is a difference in the level of commitment between your ‘work’ and your ‘mission’. People can be sloppy or careless about their work. They may not fulfill their ‘duty’. But when the commitment comes from within, when it becomes your mission, you will really do what is in the best interest of your patient. And that is what Hahnemann wanted each one of us to do. That is critical. It is up to Mothers and Fathers to raise sons and daughters who question the status quo, who are connected to their ethical centre, and righteous anger, and who are self-governing and disciplined to activate their internal desire and excitation for true work. This is not the product of compulsory education. This is the state of mind born out of the home-schooled child, the righteous teen and the sound judgement of an ethical adult or physician. It is at the core of the of the sterling Physician. In fact, the word ‘Physician’ derived from the Greek means “knowledge of the Physis/Spirit.”
Now we move on to the next part and that is the meaning of the word ‘cure’. I have already discussed above the difference between your work and your mission as a physician. Hahnemann has made it very clear that while our work is to treat and heal the patient, our mission should be to cure the disease outright. It is what we are ordained to do, our highest and only calling. Hahnemann gave us this very brief and precise definition of our mandate so that there is no room left for any ambiguity. People often confuse suppression of symptoms with drugs for a cure. Health, is not an absence of symptoms. We know the difference as the underlying cause often rears it’s ugly head again in an expression of the same symptoms, or switches the pathology up a bit just to cause the patient and unsuspecting Allopaths more beeping, buzzing confusion.
How common it is to see patients treated with antibiotics (literally “against life”) for a cold, coming in for treatment of otitis media; how common it is to see patients taking antibiotics for an acute cold coming in for treatment of dry cough that often lasts for months; how common it is to see patients with allergic rhinitis taking anti-allergic drugs developing allergic bronchitis and asthma. If the conventional treatment was geared towards cure, why are there so many sequalae of treatment? You get appendicitis, they remove the appendix, you get tonsillitis, they remove the tonsils; you get inflamed adenoids, they remove the adenoids; you get uterine fibroids, they remove the whole uterus – and then call it a ‘cure’! Hahnemann was adamant about the meaning of cure. He has clearly said that once the treatment is complete, the person should be ‘restored’ to the original state of health. If the patient develops more but different problems afterwards, it is suppression. If you remove the organ with pathology, you are not curing your patient, you are not removing the diseased state – you are just creating another compensated state.
In the modern book, Open Minds, A New Perspective On Healing, you can read about how a traditional Psychotherapist uses homeopathy instead of drugs, how a Biological Dentist uses Cranial Sacral treatments to discern if the issues in your mouth stem from a musculoskeletal misalignment, and how an MD went on to become a Chiropractor and Heilkunst Physician in order to serve his patients ethically, without causing harm. Even Hahnemann, himself, pulled back from using bloodletting, cupping and leaching, strictly applying regimen as a means to assist his patients until he founded the principled law of cure. In Hahnemann’s Lesser Writings, he touted the benefits of good, clean water, daily exercise in the form of a walk after supper, fresh, locally grown foods, and 8-9 hours of sleep per night, then, and only then he would discern if the patient actually qualified for any medicine. Medical Doctors today study less that 2 hours of nutrition in their medical programs; apparently, there is little money in preventative medicine.
When researching Rudolf Steiner, in an effort to find out more about the ethical nature of the inner world of the individual Physician, I came across, the Course for Young Doctors consisting of eight lectures given at Christmas 1923, and five lectures given at Easter in 1924. For Rudolf Steiner it was to be a course on the humanizing of medicine. As such it is completely different in content and spirit from all other lectures he gave on the medical arts. In one of these “bridge lectures” Steiner states:
“There is warmth both outside and inside the human organism. As we have heard, in the human make-up warmth is an organism; the soul, the soul and spirit, takes hold of this warmth organism and by way of the warmth all that becomes active which we inwardly experience as the moral. By the ‘moral’ I do not of course mean what philistines (Answers.com – A smug, ignorant, especially middle-class person who is regarded as being indifferent or antagonistic to artistic and cultural values) mean by it, but I mean the moral in its totality, that is to say, all those impulses that come to us, for example when we contemplate the majesty of the universe, when we say to ourselves: We are born out of the cosmos and we are responsible for what goes on in the world.—I mean the [ethical] impulses that come to us when the knowledge yielded by Spiritual Science inspires us to work for the sake of the future. When we regard Spiritual Science itself as a source of the moral, this, more than anything else, can fill us with enthusiasm for the moral, and this enthusiasm, born of spiritual-scientific knowledge, becomes in itself a source of morality in the higher sense. But what is generally called ‘moral’ represents no more than a subordinate sphere of the moral in the universal sense.
All the ideas we evolve about the external world, about Nature in her finished array, are theoretical [abstract] ideas. No matter with what exactitude we envisage a machine in terms of mathematics and the principles of mechanics, or the universe in the sense of the Copernican system (Answers.com – Of or relating to the theory of Copernicus that Earth rotates daily on its axis and, with the other planets in the solar system, revolves around the sun) —this is nothing but theoretical [abstract] thinking, and the ideas thus formulated constitute a force of death within us; a corpse of the universe is within us in the form of thoughts, of [abstract] ideas [similar to the cold intellectual constructs of moral descriptions above].
These matters create deeper and deeper insight into the universe in its totality. There are not two orders, a natural order and a moral order in juxtaposition, but the two are one. [I read this over 2 or 3 times just to savor it!] This is a truth that must be realized by us today. Otherwise we must ever and again be asking ourselves: How can any moral impulses take effect in a world in which a natural order alone prevails?—This indeed was the terrible problem that weighed upon thinkers in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century: How is it possible to conceive of any transition from the natural world into the moral world, from the moral world into the natural world?—The fact is that nothing can help to solve this perplexing, fateful problem except spiritual-scientific insight into Nature on the one side and into Spirit on the other.”
*note that the square brackets are my notations.
In order to round out the experience of spiritual science in our study of ethics, we need to take a look at Wilhelm Reich’s, Sex- Economic Orgasmotherapy, Sex-Economic Problems of Biological Energy in order to assess further the edicts of ethics, from the sexual or more “earthly,” radial impulses with regards to an individual’s social behavior. A lack of ethics in this sphere becomes skewed, inappropriate or pornographic:
“Morality” is dictatorial when it lumps natural feelings of life together with pornography. In doing so, it perpetuates sexual smut and blights natural happiness in love, whether this is what it intends or not. It is necessary to raise a strong protest when those who base their social behavior on inner laws instead of external compulsive codes are labeled immoral. A man and a woman are husband and wife not because they have received the sacrament, but because they feel themselves to be husband and wife. The inner and not the external law is the yardstick of genuine freedom. Moralistic bigotry is the most dangerous enemy of the natural ethic and cannot be fought with another form of compulsive morality, but only with knowledge of the natural law of the sexual process. Natural ethical behavior presupposes that the natural life process can develop freely. On the other hand, compulsive morality and pathological sexuality go hand in hand.
The line of compulsion is the line of least resistance. It is easier to demand discipline and to enforce it authoritatively than it is to bring up children to take pleasure in doing independent work and to have a natural attitude toward sexuality. It is easier to declare oneself to be an omniscient Führer ordained by God, and to decree what millions of people are to think and do, than it is to expose oneself to the struggle between rationality and irrationality in the clash of opinions. It is easier to insist on legal fulfillment of respect and love than it is to win friendship through humane behavior. It is easier to sell one’s independence for material security than it is to lead a responsible, independent existence and to be master of oneself. It is more convenient to dictate the behavior of subordinates than it is to guide this behavior, while preserving what is singular in it. This is also why dictatorship is always easier than genuine democracy. This is why the complacent democratic leader envies the dictator and incompetently seeks to imitate him. It is easy to stand up for what is commonplace. It is difficult to stand up for truth.”
Now that we’ve discerned the heart, mind and feeling of the spiritual nature of the ethical Physician, or human being, we can now look out to how we want our ethics to appear in an external construct. At this point, we turn to Hippocrates, a Greek physician who lived in the 5th century BC is known as the “father of medicine”. He held that there were two methods of curing disease: By “opposition” and by “similars”. His insistence on ethics and observation earned him his contemporary title but with very few exceptions, the only thread that western orthodox medicine picked up from his two methods of cure was that of opposition. Hippocrates also had a strong belief in the power of the body’s immune system, stating that “Our natures are the physicians of ourselves.”
In my own professional association I adhere to a Code of Ethics only because it is in total alignment with my internal ethical guiding system. It is a reflection of the golden maxim to treat others only as you would want to be treated yourself. As a community, we developed our code of ethics together and it is utterly congruent for us and those human inidividuals that we serve, preserving their rights and freedoms as bestowed by the Almighty:
“CIHA regulation — Code of Ethics
All practitioner members of the CIHA and national affiliates agree to be bound by the following principles in their practice of the art and science of rational medicine – Heilkunst:
1. General Principles
1.1 The highest and only calling is to rapidly, gently and permanently restore the sick to health (soundness and wellness at all levels), based on the natural and spiritual principles as set out in the works of contributors to the Dynamic System of Thought, so as to promote the greatest degree of bodily and soul-spiritual freedom of each person coming to seek help.
1.2 The interests of the individual patient should be paramount in all professional acts undertaken and in the undertaking of research; the burden lies on each practitioner to act according to the highest level of ethics.”
In most cases, the patient is totally blind-sided by their diseases and is not in a rational position to wholly hold in their esteem their natural, labile healthy state. In cases of advanced Syphilis, Schizophrenia, Gonorrhea, and Autism the patient may be sufficiently possessed by the disease Wesen (spririt-like entity) that they are not in a position to exact the decisions on behalf of their own health during consultations. In many cases, the ethical Heilkunst Physician becomes their spiritual proxy or fiduciary, temporarily, until the patient achieves a level of health enabling them to take the reigns for their healthy-imbued essential self. This is the moment in treatment that is still beyond the scope of my earthly mind and pushes the boundaries of my cosmic imbued imagination. The mind-blowing moment when the patient tells you that not only are their symptoms are gone, but that they are wholly in-love with their essential selves and they’ve found their right work, lover, and geography. At that time, I lay down my Physicians staff and hold them in my human embrace and lovingly bid them well.
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