The Review and Herald


August 15, 1899

Disease and Its Causes

Drugs and Their Effects


The human family have brought upon themselves diseases of various forms by their own wrong habits. They have not studied how to live healthfully, and their transgression of the laws of their being has produced a deplorable state of things. The people have seldom accredited their sufferings to the true cause—their own wrong course of action. They have indulged in intemperance in eating, and made a god of their appetite. In all their habits they have manifested a recklessness in regard to health and life; and when, as the result, sickness has come upon them, they have made themselves believe that God was the author of it, when their own wrong course of action has brought the sure result. When in distress, they send for the doctor, and trust their bodies in his hands, expecting that he will make them well. He deals out to them drugs, of the nature of which they know nothing; and in their blind confidence they swallow anything that the doctor may choose to give. Thus powerful poisons are often administered, which fetter nature in all her friendly efforts to recover from the abuse the system has suffered; and the patient is hurried out of this life. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 1

The mother who has been but slightly indisposed, and who might have recovered by abstaining from food for a short period, and ceasing from labor, having quiet and rest, has, instead of doing this, sent for a physician. And he, who should be prepared to give a few simple directions, and restrictions in diet, and place her upon the right track, is either too ignorant to do this, or too anxious to obtain a fee. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 2

He makes the case appear a grave one, and administers his poisons, which, if he himself were sick, he would not venture to take. The patient grows worse, and poisonous drugs are more freely administered, until nature is overpowered in her efforts, and gives up the conflict, and the mother dies. She was drugged to death. Her system was poisoned beyond remedy. She was murdered. Neighbors and relatives marvel at the wonderful dealings of Providence in thus removing a mother in the midst of her usefulness, at the period when her children need her care so much. They wrong our good and wise Heavenly Father when they cast back upon him this weight of human woe. Heaven wished that mother to live, and her untimely death dishonored God. The mother's wrong habits, and her inattention to the laws of her being, made her sick. And the doctor's fashionable poisons, introduced into the system, closed the period of her existence, and left a helpless, stricken, motherless flock. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 3

This is not always the result which follows the doctor's drugging. Sick people who take these drug-poisons do appear to get well. With some, there is sufficient life-force for nature to draw upon, to so far expel the poison from the system that the sick, having a period of rest, recover. But no credit should be allowed the drugs taken; for they only hindered nature in her efforts. All the credit should be ascribed to nature's restorative powers. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 4

Although the patient may recover, yet the powerful effort nature was required to make to induce action to overcome the poison, injured the constitution, and shortened the life of the patient. There are many who do not die under the influence of drugs; but there are very many who are left useless wrecks, hopeless, gloomy, and miserable sufferers, a burden to themselves and to society. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 5

If those who take these drugs were alone the sufferers, then the evil would not be so great. Parents not only sin against themselves in swallowing drug-poisons, but they sin against their children. The vitiated state of their blood, the poison distributed throughout the system, the broken constitution, and various drug-diseases, as the result of drug-poisons, are transmitted to their offspring, and left to them as a wretched inheritance. This is another great cause of the degeneracy of the race. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 6

Physicians, by administering their drug-poisons, have done very much to increase the deterioration of the race, physically, mentally, and morally. Everywhere you may go you will see deformity, disease, and imbecility, which in very many cases can be traced directly back to the drug-poisons administered by the hand of a doctor as a remedy for some of life's ills. The so-called remedy has fearfully proved itself to the patient, by stern, suffering experience, to be far worse than the disease for which the drug was taken. All who possess common capabilities should understand the wants of their own system. The philosophy of health should compose one of the important studies for our children. It is all-important that the human organism be understood; then intelligent men and women can be their own physicians. If the people would reason from cause to effect, and would follow the light which shines upon them, they would pursue a course which would insure health, and mortality would be far less. But the people are too willing to remain in inexcusable ignorance, and trust their bodies to the doctors, instead of having any special responsibility themselves. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 7

Several illustrations of this great subject have been presented before me. The first was a family consisting of a father and daughter. The daughter was sick, and the father was much troubled on her account, and summoned a physician. As the father conducted him into the sick-room, he manifested a painful anxiety. The physician examined the patient, and said but little. They both left the sick-room. The father informed the physician that he had buried the mother, a son, and a daughter, and that this daughter was all that was left to him of his family. He anxiously inquired of the physician if he thought his daughter's case hopeless. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 8

The physician then inquired in regard to the nature and length of the sickness of those who had died. The father mournfully related the painful facts connected with the illness of his loved ones. “My son was first attacked with a fever. I called a physician. He said that he could administer medicine which would soon break the fever. He gave him powerful medicine, but was disappointed in its effects. The fever was reduced, but my son grew dangerously sick. The same medicine was again given him, without producing any change for the better. The physician then resorted to still more powerful medicines, but my son obtained no relief. The fever left him, but he did not rally. He sank rapidly and died. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 9

“The death of my son, so sudden and unexpected, was a great grief to us all, especially to his mother. Her watching and anxiety in his sickness, and her grief, occasioned by his sudden death, were too much for her nervous system, and she was soon prostrated. I felt dissatisfied with the course pursued by this physician. My confidence in his skill was shaken, and I could not employ him a second time. I called another to my suffering wife. This second physician gave her a liberal dose of opium, which he said would relieve her pain, quiet her nerves, and give her rest, which she much needed. The opium stupefied her. She slept, and nothing could arouse her from the deathlike stupor. Her pulse and heart at times throbbed violently, and then grew more and more feeble in their action, until she ceased to breathe. Thus she died, without giving her family one look of recognition. This second death seemed more than we could endure. We all sorrowed deeply; but I was agonized, and could not be comforted. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 10

“My daughter was next afflicted. Grief, anxiety, and watching had overtasked her powers of endurance, and her strength gave way, and she was brought upon a bed of suffering. I had now lost confidence in both of the physicians I had employed. Another physician was recommended to me as being successful in treating the sick; and although he lived at a distance, I was determined to obtain his services. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 11

“This third physician professed to understand my daughter's case. He said that she was greatly debilitated, that her nervous system was deranged, and that fever was upon her, which could be controlled, but that it would take time to bring her up from her present state of debility. He expressed perfect confidence in his ability to raise her. He gave her powerful medicine to break up the fever. This was accomplished. But as the fever left, the case assumed more alarming features, and grew more complicated. As the symptoms changed, the medicines were varied to meet the case. While under the influence of new medicines, she would, for a time, appear revived. This would flatter our hopes that she would get well, only to make our disappointment more bitter as she became worse. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 12

“The physician's last resort was calomel. For some time she seemed to be between life and death. She was thrown into convulsions. As these most distressing spasms ceased, we were aroused to the painful fact that her intellect was weakened. She began slowly to improve, although still a great sufferer. Her limbs were crippled as the effect of the powerful poisons which she had taken. She lingered a few years, a helpless, pitiful sufferer, and died in much agony.” RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 13

After this sad relation the father looked imploringly to the physician, and entreated him to save his only remaining child. The physician looked sad and anxious, but made no prescription. He arose to leave, saying that he would call the next day. RH August 15, 1899, Art. B, par. 14