The therapeutic nihilist is a person for whom nearly every one has a brick-bat ready, and is not averse to hurling it when occasion offers. This species of nihilist is found almost exclusively in the haunts of the old school, though occasionally one is found in the domain of Homeopathy in the later realm he is always one who has never had a chance to use good drugs, does not know how when the opportunity offers, or is afflicted with the curious obsession that it is his powerful personality that cures. His case is hopeless, it is le grosse tete for which no cure is known unless it be one so radical that when completed there is very little left of the patient.
But for those of the species found roaming the allopathic regions there is some hope. Generally they are so big that it is unsafe for their fellows to brick-bat them. The hope for them is in their honesty. When young they were taught that the correct thing is mercury in syphilis, quinine in malaria, iron in simple anaemia, arsenic in pernicious anaemia, thyroid extract in cretinism ans myxoedema, antitoxin in diphtheria, digitalis in cardiac disorders, sodium salicylate in muscular rheumatism, strychnine in adynaemia, and so on. They go through the mill and afterwards become therapeutic nihilists. What else can they be? When taught the above rigamarole they are also most earnestly warned against the danger that threatens all who ever venture near Homeopathy; they know nothing about it, neither do their teachers, it being merely a case of “beware of the dog” when one of these nihilists plucks up courage to look into the region against which they are warned they become singularly expert homeopathists. Hahnemann was a very complete old school therapeutic nihilist, but he did not blame the drugs for the miserable results that followed their administration, but questioned the “authorities,” questioned their knowledge, demonstrated its worthlessness, and gave in its stead the true science of the use of drugs in the cure of disease.