Selected Messages Book 2


Counsel on the Administration of Drugs

Seldom Needed—Use Them Less and Less—Drug medication, as it is generally practiced, is a curse. Educate away from drugs. Use them less and less, and depend more upon hygienic agencies; then nature will respond to God's physicians—pure air, pure water, proper exercise, a clear conscience. Those who persist in the use of tea, coffee, and flesh meats will feel the need of drugs, but many might recover without one grain of medicine if they would obey the laws of health. Drugs need seldom be used. [In harmony with these words was Mrs. White's counsel when asked concerning the use of quinine in the treatment of malaria. Her son, who traveled with her and assisted her, reports the following: 2SM 281.4

“One time while we were in Australia, a brother who had been acting as a missionary in the Islands, told mother of the sickness and death of his first-born son. He was seriously afflicted with malaria, and his father was advised to give him quinine, but in view of the counsel in the testimonies to avoid the use of quinine he refused to administer it, and his son died. When he met Sister White, he asked her this question: ‘Would I have sinned to give the boy quinine when I knew of no other way to check malaria and when the prospect was that he would die without it?’ In reply she said, ‘No, we are expected to do the best we can. ’”—W. C. White letter, September 10, 1935.—Compilers.]—Counsels on Health, 261 (1890).

Seek to Lessen Their Use—In their practice, the physicians should seek more and more to lessen the use of drugs instead of increasing it. When Dr. A came to the Health Retreat, she laid aside her knowledge and practice of hygiene, and administered the little homeopathic doses for almost every ailment. This was against the light God had given. Thus our people, who had been taught to avoid drugs in almost every form, were receiving a different education.—Letter 26a, 1889 (To a prominent physician in institutional work). 2SM 282.1

Strong Drugs Need Not Be Used—The first labors of a physician should be to educate the sick and suffering in the very course they should pursue to prevent disease. The greatest good can be done by our trying to enlighten the minds of all we can obtain access to, as to the best course for them to pursue to prevent sickness and suffering, and broken constitutions, and premature death. But those who do not care to undertake work that taxes their physical and mental powers will be ready to prescribe drug medication, which lays a foundation in the human organism for a two-fold greater evil than that which they claim to have relieved. 2SM 282.2

A physician who has the moral courage to imperil his reputation in enlightening the understanding by plain facts, in showing the nature of disease and how to prevent it, and the dangerous practice of resorting to drugs, will have an uphill business, but he will live and let live.... He will, if a reformer, talk plainly in regard to the false appetites and ruinous self-indulgence, in dressing, in eating and drinking, in overtaxing to do a large amount of work in a given time, which has a ruinous influence upon the temper, the physical and mental powers.... 2SM 282.3

Right and correct habits, intelligently and perseveringly practiced, will be removing the cause for disease, and the strong drugs need not be resorted to. Many go on from step to step with their unnatural indulgences, which is bringing in just as unnatural [a] condition of things as possible.—Medical Ministry, 221, 222 (General Manuscript entitled “Sanitariums,” 1887). 2SM 283.1

As It Is Generally Practiced—Drug medication, as it is generally practiced, is a curse.—Healthful Living, 246 (1888). 2SM 283.2

Less Dangerous if Wisely Administered—Do not administer drugs. True, drugs may not be as dangerous wisely administered as they usually are, but in the hands of many they will be hurtful to the Lord's property.—Letter 3, 1884 (To workers at St. Helena Sanitarium). 2SM 283.3

Discarding Almost Entirely—Our institutions are established that the sick may be treated by hygienic methods, discarding almost entirely the use of drugs.... There is a terrible account to be rendered to God by men who have so little regard for human life as to treat the body so ruthlessly in dealing out their drugs.... We are not excusable if through ignorance we destroy God's building by taking into our stomachs poisonous drugs under a variety of names we do not understand. It is our duty to refuse all such prescriptions. 2SM 283.4

We wish to build a sanitarium [in Australia] where maladies may be cured by nature's own provisions, and where the people may be taught how to treat themselves when sick; where they will learn to eat temperately of wholesome food, and be educated to refuse all narcotics—tea, coffee, fermented wines, and stimulants of all kinds—and to discard the flesh of dead animals.—Temperance, 88, 89 (Manuscript 44, 1896). 2SM 283.5

The Ideal—Finally Cease to Deal Out Drugs—When you understand physiology in its truest sense, your drug bills will be very much smaller, and finally you will cease to deal out drugs at all. The physician who depends upon drug medication in his practice, shows that he does not understand the delicate machinery of the human organism. He is introducing into the system a seed crop that will never lose its destroying properties throughout the lifetime. I tell you this because I dare not withhold it. Christ paid too much for man's redemption to have his body so ruthlessly treated as it has been by drug medication. 2SM 283.6

Years ago the Lord revealed to me that institutions should be established for treating the sick without drugs. Man is God's property, and the ruin that has been made of the living habitation, the suffering caused by the seeds of death sown in the human system, are an offense to God.—Medical Ministry, 229 (To a leading physician and his wife, 1896). 2SM 284.1