Spirit of Prophecy Analysis
MEDICINAL DRUGS 2
DISCLAIMER - IMPORTANT NOTICE "In case of sickness, it is important that you contact your physician, so that he can diagnose, prescribe and otherwise care for your physical disability. Do not attempt self-diagnosis or self-cure. You are not qualified to do this."
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SPECIFIC DRUGS THAT ARE MENTIONED AS BEING HARMFUL?
Several of the drugs commonly used in her day were mentioned by name. Since that time, additional drugs have been developed which operate on similar physiologic principles as those used earlier (eliminate symptoms by transferring physical activity to coping with the introduced poison). Of the nine drugs she specifically named (calomel, alcohol, mercury, mercurial preparations, nux vomica, opium, quinine, strychinine, and nicotine) most of these are used today in medical practice:
Calomel -is mercurous chloride, and the common dosage today is 2% gr. or 0.15 Gm.
Alcohol -as ethyl alcohol, is used in various syrups that are dispensed, because of its preservative qualities.
Mercury and murcurial preparations - of which quite a few are in use today. Mercuric chloride, mercuric oxide, and mercurous chloride. These are used as purgatives, cholagogues, alteratives, antiseptics, disinfectants and astringents. Mercurochrome, calomel, and mercurol are three well-known names for murcurial preparations.
Nux vomica -a poisonous seed from an East Indian tree, containing several poisonous alkaloids, the principal ones being brucine and strychinine. This is a standard USP item. Dosage is 1 m. or 0.1 cc.
Opium-The dried juice of the unripe poppy capsule, Papaver somniferum. It contains a number of alkaloids, including morphine, narcotine, codeine, papaverine, thebaine, narceine, cryatopine and laudanine. The derivatives of opium are very important today in the medical world as sedatives, in cough medicines, respiratory depressants pain relievers (in liniments, plasters, and in direct injections), and hemorrhoidal preparations. Dosage for opium is 1gr or 0.06 Gm. For laudanium: 10 m or 0.6 cc. Camphorated opium or paregoric is 1 dram or 4 cc.
Quinine-a bitter, crystalline, white alkaloid derived from conchona bark. Its salts are used therapeutically as the most common treatment for malaria. Its four alkaloids are used in various forms for the treatment of this illness. Dosage is 15 gr. or 1 Gm. for malaria, and as a general tonic, 1 gr. or 0.1 Gm.
Strychine -a poisonous alkaloid obtained from plants. It is used today as a stimulant to increase the heartbeat, bowel action, gastric secretions, as well as reflex actions. It is also used as a tonic for those convalescing from weakening diseases, as well as those with some nervous conditions, and as a purgative stimulant. It is also much appreciated in lead poisoning, alcoholism, and diphtheria. Dosages of its two primary forms, strychnine nitrate and sulfate, vary greatly with the conditions for which they are dispensed.
Nicotine- it appears that this alone, of the nine specific drugs mentioned by Ellen White, is no longer dispensed by physicians. But of this I may be mistaken. The statement is often made that the drugs that Ellen White spoke of as being used in her day, are no longer used today. And, in addition we are told from time to time that modern medications do not change the form or location of disease or have injurious side-effects, as did those of a century ago.
The pattern of personal health care outlined in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy we believe was given of God to mankind to help mankind at this difficult time in history.
The following question was penned to Ellen White: "From our study of the Testimonies and the little work, How to Live, we can see that the Lord is strongly opposed to the use of drugs in our medical work .. Several of the students are in doubt as to the meaning of the word 'drug' as mentioned in How to Live. Does it refer only to the stronger medicines as mercury, strychnine, arsenic, and such poisons, the things we medical students call 'drugs,' or does it also include the simpler remedies, as potassium, iodine, squills, etc.? We know that our success will be proportionate to our adherence to God's methods. For this reason I have asked the above question." Here is the reply:
"Drug poisons mean the articles which you have mentioned. The simpler remedies are less harmful in proportion to their simplicity; but in very many cases these are used when not at all necessary. There are simple herbs and roots that every family may use for themselves and need not call a physician any sooner than they would call a lawyer. I do not think that I can give you any definite line of medicines compounded and dealt out by doctors, that are perfectly harmless . . The practitioners are very much in earnest in using their dangerous concoctions, and I am decidedly opposed to resorting to such things. They never cure; they may change the difficulty to create a worse one. Many of those who practice the prescribing of drugs, would not take the same or give them to their children. ..Not a particle of these strong drugs should be introduced into this human living organism.
"As the matter was laid open before me, and the sad burden of the result of drug medication, the light was given that Seventh-day Adventist should establish health institutions discarding all these health-destroying inventions, and physicians should treat the sick upon hygienic principles."-Letter lie, 1893.
SOME OF THE MOST COMMON DRUGS USED TODAY DRUGS THAT AFFECT THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Drugs given for various other conditions may have side-effects on the nervous system, many of which may not be desirable. Specific nerve drugs include:
STIMULANTS: Caffeine -to reduce fatigue -in excessive doses it may cause headache and heart palpitation. Over long-range usage, it damages the heart muscle. Many people do not realize that it is an addictive narcotic.
Amphetamine Sulfate (Benzedrine) -to keep one awake-and lessen the appetite, weakens the heart muscle, and may become addictive.
Dextro Amphetamine Sulfate (Dexedrine) -similar uses and dangers as Benzedrine.
DEPRESSANTS -Alcohol-in various medications -can affect the heart rate, and blood pressure, and cause coma. Organic and brain damage are long-term effects.
Cocaine -lessens fatigue and pain -powerful addictive narcotic which increases pulse and respiration rates, followed by fainting and failing respiration.
Curare -toxic extract of Strychnos plant used to paralyze nerve endings -and unless closely supervised it will also adversely affect the patient permanently.
The Opiates: Opium, Morphine, Codeine, Dilaudid, Metopon, Demerol, and Paregoric -powerful narcotic pain relievers -most of these can result in nausia, vomitting, and permanent addiction.
Marijuana -stimulates and depresses-and causes dangerous loss of judgment and restraint, and inevitably results in brain damage.
HYPNOTICS AND SEDATIVES- Choral hydrate -powerful hypnotic or sleep inducer -can cause coma and death by paralyzing the heart or stopping the respiration.
Bromides -slow down mental and physical activity and remove worry -and irritate the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting, and gradually accumulate in the body, and cause skin eruption, loss of appetite, digestive disturbances and mental depression.
PAIN AND FEVER REMEDIES- These are coal-tar products and include Phenacetin, acetanilid and Pyramidon -mild pain relievers and help reduce fevers- and cause difficult breathing, irregular pulse, pallor or cyanosis, cold sweat and subnormal temperature. These dangerous preparations are often included in headache powders.
Sodium Salicylate-a common pain reliever can result in stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears and profuse sweating. Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) -a widely used form of salicylic acid for headache and nerve pain -and can lead to intense hives, extreme skin and mucous membrane swelling and other reactions. These symptoms are sometimes fatal.
Wintergreen oil- a salicylate applied to the skin to relieve pain-may cause irritation if rubbed too vigorously, and internally has brought fatal results.
TRANQUILIZERS -which include the following brands: Serpasil, Thorazine, TrilaIon, Sparine, Equanil, and Miltown -reduce worry, anxiety and over activity -and can result in drowsiness, dizziness, nasal dryness, edema, dermatitis and other difficulties.
Barbiturates about 200 of them are now available (Luminal, Nembutal, Seconal, etc.), but are alike in action and reaction-sleep inducers -and leave after-effects of depression, general weariness, rashes, etc. Over dosage is common because of a desire for a stronger effect. The result frequently is death.
DRUGS THAT AFFECT THE HEART AND THE BLOOD VESSELS
Digitalis (and Digalen and Digifolin)-the most important heart stimulant, derived from the poisonous Foxglove plant -produces a marked slowing of heart rate, nausea, abdominal discomfort and poor appetite. Even slight changes in dosages may result in coma and death.
Quinidine -cardiac depressant -undesirable symptoms are headaches, faintness, nausea, vomiting and heart palpitation.
Nitroglycerin -a powerful heart stimulant. One dose could also blow up a bridge, for it is the explosive constituent of dynamite -and unless carefully given, can bring instant death.
Hydralazine Hydrochloride (Apresoline)-lowers blood pressure and may give disturbances such as headache, heart palpitation, nausea, vomiting, and joint pains.
Pentolinium Tartrate (Ansolysen)-for hypertension-with unpleasant side effects such as mouth dryness, visual disturbances, urinary retention and faintness.
DRUGS USED TO TREAT INFECTIONS
THE ANTIBIOTICS -the "miracle drugs" made from molds and bacteria and used to treat infections. They operate by destroying organisms (both good and bad) within the system.
Penicillin -hives, fevers, and a large number of other reactions may occur. A sudden drug-reaction can result in death.
Streptomycin -impaired hearing, disturbances of the equilibrium, ringing in the ears, dizziness, rashes, aching muscles, and other symptoms. Other related drugs include Terramycin and Aureorrrycin, which are used to treat skin infections-and are accompanied by a history of similarly induced symptoms.
THE SULFONAMIDES- prepared from sulpher compounds, include sulfadiazine, sullamethazine, sulfamerazine, sulfasurxidine, Gantrisin, etc. and are used in treating various infections -and may cause skin rashes, kidney damage, nausea and dizziness. They are often given in combination with the Antibiotics for a stronger effect.
DRUGS THAT AFFECT THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
SPRAYS AND NOSE DROPS -including ephedrine and epinephrine are applied locally to shrink the mucous membranes, or as antiseptics in silver preparations, such as Argyrol or Silvol, applied by spray, drops, or swabbing. Many physicians feel they do more harm than good by spreading infection into sinuses or the middle ear. Also the dropper may transmit the infection from one patient to another.
EXPECTORANTS -such as terpin hydrate and codine, and Brown's mixture, remove mucus and reduce coughing -but it has been found that a preparation that helps one kind of cough may be harmful for another.
ANITUBERCULOSIS DRUGS -streptomycin, isoniazid and para-aminosalicylic acid (PAS) are used in the treatment of tuberculosis -but the tubercle bacilus tends to become resistant to them, and over a long period they have marked toxic effects on the body. The best combination is PAS -which has dizziness, nausea and vomiting as side-effects, -as used with Streptomycin which over a prolonged period will produce deafness which often may be permanent.
DRUGS THAT AFFECT THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
It is well known that these drugs deal with symptoms alone. BITTERS -given to increase appetite, are generally an elixir of iron, quinine and strychnine, and may increase gastric action. The effect of quinine and strychnine have been listed on the preceding page in this tract. Both are dangerous..
ANTACIDS -alkali substances that neutralize stomach acids, the most common being sodium bicarbonate or soda -which can cause alkalosis, which is a dangerous excess of alkali in the body. Magnesium oxide is used for the same purpose -and may cause diarrhea.
ANTIEMETICS-especially chlorpromazine (Thorazine) for relieving nausea and vomiting caused by cancer and x-ray treatments, and the action of certain drugs -with side-effects of this tranquilizer being drowsiness, nasal congestion and urticaria.
CATHARTICS-to induce defecation, include mineral oil -which absorbs oil-based vitamins in the digestive tract and is there to be considered harmful, and the saline cathartics (mineral salts), which include magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts), magnesium citrate, milk of magnesia, and Seidlitz powders-which remove excessive amounts of water from the body and may deposit unwanted salts within the tissues.
DRUGS THAT AFFECT THE URINARY SYSTEM
The sulfonamides and streptomycin are replacing earlier drugs for urinary tract infections. We have earlier discussed the dangers of these two drugs. The sulfa drugs, as we have observed, tend to damage the kidneys.
DIURETICS to increase urine flow, include theophyfline, theobromine, and caffeine, all of which cause stomach problems. Mercuhydrin and salyrgan are mercury-based drugs, and the effects of mercury, we have already mentioned on the preceding page of this study.
DRUGS THAT AFFECT THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
ERGOT, the well-known poison derived from a parasitic fungus or mold of rye, is used to increase uterine contractions (as well as treat migraine), and has several adverse effects, which include vomiting, cramping, diarrhea, weak pulse, convulsions, gangrene, etc.
THE ESTROGENS, prepared from female hormone extracts and used to treat various female difficulties -are also the subject of much controversy within the medical profession and outside of it, due to several striking contraindications that the estrogens manifest.
DRUGS THAT ARE USED IN THE TREATMENT OF ALLERGIES
THE ANTIHISTAMINES -for treating hives, hay fever, and various drug serum reactions, include Benadryl -which may bring sleepiness, dizziness, nausea, nervousness and irritability.
A far more complete listing of the side-effects ("contraindications") of the above drugs, as well as hundreds of other current drug medications, may be found by examining a copy of "The Physician's Desk Reference," which you will find in your doctor's office. It is frequently revised and contains thousands of drug descriptions, with appended lists of uses and negative effects. "The United States Pharmacopeia," published under the authority of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, provides legal standards for the compounding of the various chemicals that are used in drug medications in the United States. In addition, each year the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association publishes a book describing new medications that the Council has investigated and approved. This publication, "New and Nonofficial Drugs," is considered to be extremely valuable by physicians in prescribing new medicines that have just been released.
OFFICIAL MANUSCRIPT READ TO THE GENERAL CONFERENCE REGARDING LOMA LINDA (9 T- 173-178) WASHINGTON D. C., MAY 31, 1909.]
(It is well to read the whole chapter that begins on pg. 153.)
The Loma Linda College of Evangelists- While attending the General Conference of 1905, at Washington, D. C., I received a letter from J. A. Burden describing a property he had found about four miles from Redlands. As I read his letter I was impressed that this was one of the places I had seen in vision, and I immediately telegraphed him to secure the property without delay. Later, when I visited the property, I recognized it as one of the places I had seen nearly two years before in vision. How thankful I am to the Lord our God for this place!
One of the chief advantages of Loma Linda is the pleasing variety of charming scenery on every side. The extensive view of valley and mountain is magnificent. But more important than magnificent scenery and beautiful buildings and spacious grounds is the close proximity of this institution to a densely populated district and the opportunity thus afforded of communicating to many, many people a knowledge of the third angel's message. We are to have clear spiritual discernment, else we shall fail of discerning the opening providences of God that are preparing the way for us to enlighten the world.
With the possession of this place comes the weighty responsibility of making the work of the institution educational in character. Loma Linda is to be not only a sanitarium, but an educational center. A school is to be established here for the training of gospel medical missionary evangelists. Much is involved in this work, and it is very essential that a right beginning be made. The Lord has a special work to be done in this field. He instructed me to call on Elder and Mrs. Haskell to help us in getting properly started a work similar to that which they had carried on at Avondale. Laborers of experience have consented to unite with the forces at Loma Linda to develop the school that must be carried on there. As they go forward in faith, the Lord will go before them, preparing the way.
In regard to the school I would say: Make it especially strong in the education of nurses and physicians. In medical missionary schools many workers are to be qualified with the ability of physicians to labor as medical missionary evangelists. This training, the Lord has specified, is in harmony with the principles underlying true higher education. We hear a great deal about the higher education. The highest education is to follow in the footsteps of Christ, patterning after the example He gave when He was in the world. We cannot gain an education higher than this, for this class of training will make men laborers together with God.
To have the higher education is to have a living connection with Christ. The Saviour took the unlearned fishermen from their boats and their fishing nets and connected them with Himself as He traveled from place to place, teaching the people and ministering to their needs. Sitting down on a rock or on some elevated place, He would gather His disciples about Him and give them instruction, and, before long, hundreds of people would be listening to His words. There are many men and women who suppose that they know all that is worth knowing, when they greatly need to sit humbly at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him who gave His life that He might redeem a fallen world. We all need Christ--the One who left the royal courts, laying off His kingly robe and crown and His majesty in the heavens, and clothing Himself with humanity. The Son of God came as a little babe, that He might understand the experiences of humanity and know how to deal with them. He knows the wants of the children. In the days of His earthly ministry He would not allow them to be forbidden to come to Him. Send them not away, He said to His disciples, "for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
In the work of the school maintain simplicity. No argument is so powerful as is success founded on simplicity. You may attain success in the education of students as medical missionaries without a medical school that can qualify physicians to compete with the physicians of the world. Let the students be given a practical education. The less dependent you are upon worldly methods of education, the better it will be for the students. Special instruction should be given in the art of treating the sick without the use of poisonous drugs and in harmony with the light that God has given. In the treatment of the sick, poisonous drugs need not be used. Students should come forth from the school without having sacrificed the principles of health reform or their love for God and righteousness.
The education that meets the world's standard is to be less and less valued by those who are seeking for efficiency in carrying the medical missionary work in connection with the work of the third angel's message. They are to be educated from the standpoint of conscience, and, as they conscientiously and faithfully follow right methods in their treatment of the sick, these methods will come to be recognized as preferable to the methods to which many have become accustomed, which demand the use of poisonous drugs.
We should not at this time seek to compete with worldly medical schools. Should we do this, our chances of success would be small. We are not now prepared to carry out successfully the work of establishing large medical institutions of learning. Moreover, should we follow the world's methods of medical practice, exacting the large fees that worldly physicians demand for their services, we would work away from Christ's plan for our ministry to the sick.
There should be at our sanitariums intelligent men and women who can instruct in Christ's methods of ministry. Under the instruction of competent, consecrated teachers the youth may become partakers of the divine nature and learn how to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. I have been instructed that we should have many more women who can deal especially with the diseases of women, many more lady nurses who will treat the sick in a simple way without the use of drugs.
It is not in harmony with the instruction given at Sinai that gentlemen physicians should do the work of midwives. The Bible speaks of women at childbirth being attended by women, and thus it ought always to be. Women should be educated and trained to act skillfully as midwives and physicians to their sex. This is the Lord's plan. Let us educate ladies to become intelligent in the work of treating the diseases of their sex. We ought to have a school where women can be educated by women physicians to do the best possible work in treating the diseases of women. Among us as a people the medical work should stand at its highest.
In Loma Linda we have an advantageous center for the carrying on of various missionary enterprises. We can see that it was in the providence of God that this sanitarium was placed in the possession of our people. We should appreciate Loma Linda as a place which the Lord foresaw we should need and which He gave us. There is a very precious work to be done in connection with the interests of the sanitarium and the school at Loma Linda, and this will be done, when we all work to that end, moving unitedly in God's order.
At Loma Linda many can be educated to work as missionaries in the cause of health and temperance. Teachers are to be prepared for many lines of work. Schools are to be established in places where as yet no efforts have been made. Missionaries are to go to other states where little work has been done. The work of promulgating the principles of health reform must be accomplished. God help us as a people to be wise.
I feel a deep interest that careful study shall be given to the needs of our institutions at Loma Linda and that right moves shall be made. In the carrying forward of the work at this place, men of talent and decided spirituality are needed. The best teachers are to be employed in the educational work, men and women who will walk circumspectly, depending wholly upon the Lord. If the teachers in medical lines will stand in their place in the fear of God, we shall see a good work done. With Christ as our educator we may reach a high standard in the knowledge of the true science of healing.
That which is of the most importance is that the students be taught how to represent aright the principles of health reform. Teach them to pursue this line of study faithfully, combined with other essential lines of education. The grace of Jesus Christ will give wisdom to all who follow the Lord's plan of true education. Let the students follow closely the example of the One who purchased the human race with the costly price of His own life. Let them appeal to the Saviour and depend upon Him as the One who heals all manner of diseases. The Lord would have the workers make special efforts to point the sick and suffering to the Great Physician who made the human body.
It is well that our training schools for Christian workers should be established near to our health institutions, that the students may be educated in the principles of healthful living. Institutions that send forth workers who are able to give a reason for their faith, and who have a faith which works by love and purifies the soul, are of great value. I have clear instruction that, wherever it is possible, schools should be established near to our sanitariums, that each institution may be a help and strength to the other. He who created man has an interest in those who suffer. He has directed in the establishment of our sanitariums and in the building up of our schools close to our sanitariums, that they may become efficient mediums in training men and women for the work of ministering to suffering humanity.
Let Seventh-day Adventist medical workers remember that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Christ was the greatest physician that ever trod this sin-cursed earth. The Lord would have His people come to Him for their power of healing. He will baptize them with His Holy Spirit and fit them for a service that will make them a blessing in restoring the spiritual and physical health of those who need healing.