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Wednesday October 22, 2014
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Michigan's Homeopathic Hospital

 

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The homeopaths also altered their practice. In fact, after homeopathic treatments were exhausted, they even sometimes turned to surgery. As part of the hospital's opening ceremony, Professor Copeland invited the guests into the hospital's state-of-the art aseptic amphitheater with its iron railings, solid marble seats, and rubber floor mats. Then, patients were brought in, and he demonstrated some difficult eye operations.

By then, Paul Starr writes in The Social Transformation of American Medicine, "The sectarians [homeopaths] shared most of the fundamentals of medical science in common with the regular profession; as scientific knowledge advanced into the area of therapeutics, their differences tended to diminish. The growth of science thus reinforced the effect of the new institutional relations, laying the ground for a new professional consensus."

After the turn of the century, medical science advanced rapidly while homeopathy lost adherents. Homeopathic hospitals and teaching colleges around the country closed down or switched to medical curricula. Homeopathy didn't disappear--it still has adherents around the world--but it never again achieved the level of institutional and political support it enjoyed in the nineteenth century.

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