Dr. Hooker and his 1850 medical bookThings tend to stay the same the more they change. Recently, Google published an incisive, thoughtful book regarding medical quackery which shows how people can easily believe on things that don’t really make sense as such. Dr. Worthington Hooker wrote the book in ‘MDCCL’ or 1850 to make things much easier for you. The title of the book is, Lessons from the History of Medical Delusions. Despite the book being 160 years old, it still remains very relevant today.

Medical delusions that laypersons and doctors believe

In the book, Dr. Hooker makes key observations on what he refers to as ‘Medical Delusions’ that are believed by laypersons and doctors. These delusions are usually based on a logical fallacy referred to as ‘pos hoc ergo propter hoc’ in Latin. The fact that something happens after another doesn’t imply that one event resulted because of another. For instance, if a person takes a certain antibiotic and gets a rash, does that mean that he is allergic? He may be allergic or not as there are other reasons that can cause rashes. Just before the rash started, the antibiotic ends up taking the entire blame. Careful studies show that few than 10 percent of people who tend they are allergic towards penicillin are allergic actually. Clear medical thinking demands that such events are looked into scientifically and the assumptions tested before a conclusion is made.

Another point that Dr. Hooker notes is that it is highly likely that there is no one theory that actually explains all the aspects of health and wellness or that there is an approach or a cure which can solve all the problems. Normally diseases are caused by environmental factors, nutrition, genetics and infection among other things. There needs to be a variation in therapeutic and preventive approaches depending on the exact cause. If you think well about it, there is a less likelihood for one medicine to cure insomnia, asthma, bunions and liver disease.

The book also targets medical fashions

Dr. Hooker also targets medical fashions in his book. It is no secret that patients, doctors and the media do love new ideas, new diseases and new things. While everyone could be thinking about the most fashionable disease, this doesn’t mean that everyone’s symptoms are explained. Patients stand to benefit far much more from clear thinking and honest, simple and reliable observations rather than focusing and theorizing on in style single disease processes.

Despite this book by Dr. Hooker being written way back in 1850, the truth is that it’s still very readable. The doctor seems to be very proud of his medical profession but he is also very humble about the mistakes and errors that have placed the medicine field. He points out that the best tools that can help in advancing medical knowledge are scientific observations, studying and listening.