The profession suffered greatly from infighting, complacency, the rise of the pharmaceutical industry, and opposition from modern, scientific medicine.
The American Medical Association formed in 1847 to “improve the ethics” of medical practitioners and to put out of business those engaged in “traffic in secret remedies and patent medicine.”
Homeopathy gained the unforgivable label of “quackery,” its science and methods called into question by the new doctors directly competing with homeopaths for business.
There were two other important reasons for the disdain of homeopathy by doctors: the idea that a person’s illness was uniquely individual, and the fact that its remedies were inexpensive.
The Politics of Modern Medicine
The entire modern medical system was built on the premise of naming the symptoms so that a drug could wage war against them. We have wars on people, wars on drugs, and wars on disease. We are told to fight our bodies, our feelings, our creativity — we are told these things oppose natural order. We are told that our own body works against itself by developing autoimmune disorders. Why on earth would our body try to harm itself? This world, this earth, exists to fulfill all of our needs. Nature is not meant to kill us.
The short story about homeopathy could just as easily be applied to the fields of chiropractic, osteopathy, acupuncture, nutrition, massage therapy, naturopathy, and many, many more specialties. Chiropractors won a landmark decision in 1987 when an antitrust lawsuit was settled in their favor.
In her published opinion, the district court judge stated that the AMA had conducted “a nationwide conspiracy to eliminate a licensed profession.” This campaign included the encouragement of medical doctors to slander chiropractors as quacks, as well as to withhold treatment from patients who pursued chiropractic treatment. Noting the long-term damage to the reputation of chiropractic, the judge stated, “it is ethical for a medical physician to professionally associate with a chiropractor.
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