I gladly seize the opportunity of propitiating the reader in favour of my work, afforded by a preface; because I fear the peculiar plan I have adopted in treating my subject, may at the first glance be repulsive, especially to those of my brethren busily engaged in their professional duties.
I have often thought that treatises on the practice of Medicine professing to be free from theory, and to contain nothing more than a description of diseases, and the methods of treatment, are of questionable utility. The condensed style in which they are usually written, admits of no detailed exposition of the principles laid down, or of the facts from which those principles are deduced. The writer, conse quently, appears to dictate, rather than to state an argument; to be the occupant of a professorial chair, rather than a fire side companion. The interest which physiology might give to the subject is lost sight of and thus the work is dry and uninteresting, and never studied. If used as a book of reference, the rules for correct diagnosis and treatment are so precise, as to want the necessary elasticity of application to the ever-varying forms of disease; or so general, that they only increase the doubt and difficulty they are intended to diminish. At best, the practice recommended is empirical; and often is so far from being devoid of theory, that it is founded on very doubtful hypotheses.
Scientific medicine has a much wider range of immediate practical usefulness and prospective benefit than this mere practical medicine. Its rules are less applicable to individual diseases, than to the infinite variety of individual cases. It gladly makes use of empiricism; but it studies symptoms to demonstrate their causes, and relieves the former by removing the latter, or counteracting their effects. And when science fails to guide, it is still able to apply empirical knowledge with precision and effect.
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Publisher - Forgotten Books
Language - English
Author(s) - Thomas Laycock
Published Date - August 24 2019
ISBN - 9780484312141
Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
Page Count - 393
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