Editor’s Note: This story was written back in the 1860’s by my favorite author on
health, Ellen G. White. She was well over a hundred years ahead of her time. Here is
another one of her statements written at the same time. “More deaths have been
caused by drug-taking than from all other causes combined. If there was in the land
one physician in the place of thousands, a vast amount of premature mortality
would be prevented. Multitudes of physicians and multitudes of drugs, have cursed
the inhabitants of the earth, and have carried thousands and tens of thousands to
untimely graves.”
The daughter was sick, and the father was much troubled on her account, and
summoned a physician. As the father conducted him into the sick room, he manifested a
painful anxiety. The physician examined the patient, and said but little. They both left the
sick room. The father informed the physician that he had buried the mother, a son and
daughter, and this daughter was all that was left to him of his family. He anxiously inquired
of the physician if he thought his daughter’s case hopeless.
The physician then inquired in regard to the nature and length of the sickness of
those who had died. The father mournfully related the painful facts connected with the
illness of his loved ones. “My son was first attacked with a fever. I called a physician. He
said that he could administer medicine which would soon break the fever. He gave him
powerful medicine, but was disappointed in its effects. The fever was reduced, but my son
grew dangerously sick. The same medicine was again given him, without producing any
change for the better. The physician then resorted to still more powerful medicines, but my
son obtained no relief. The fever left him, but he did not rally. He sank rapidly and died.
The death of my son so sudden and unexpected was a great grief to us all,
especially to his mother. Her watching and anxiety in his sickness, and her grief
occasioned by his sudden death, were too much for her nervous system, and my wife was
soon prostrated. I felt dissatisfied with the course pursued by this physician. My
confidence in his skill was shaken, and I could not employ him a second time, I called
another to my suffering wife. This second physician gave her a liberal dose of opium,
which he said would relieve her pains, quiet her nerves, and give her rest, which she
much needed. The opium stupefied her. She slept, and nothing could arouse her from the
death-like stupor. Her pulse and heart at times throbbed violently, and then grew more
and more feeble in their action, until she ceased to breathe. Thus she died without giving
her family one look of recognition. This second death seemed more than we could endure.
We all sorrowed deeply but I was agonized and could not be comforted.
My daughter was next afflicted. Grief, anxiety and watching, had overtaxed her
powers of endurance, and her strength gave way, and she was brought upon a bed of
suffering. I had now lost confidence in both the physicians I had employed. Another
physician was recommended to me as being successful in treating the sick. And although
he lived at a distance, I was determined to obtain his services,
This third physician professed to understand my daughter’s case. He said that she
was greatly debilitated, and that her nervous system was deranged, and that fever was
upon her, which could be controlled, but that it would take time to bring her up from her
present state of debility. He expressed perfect confidence in his ability to raise her. He
gave her powerful medicine to break up the fever. This was accomplished. But as the
fever left, the case assumed more alarming features and grew more complicated. As the
symptoms changed, the medicines were varied to meet the case. While under the
influence of new medicines she would for a time, appear revived, which would flatter out
hopes, that she would get well, only to make our disappointment more bitter as she
became worse. The physician’s last resort was calomel. For some time she seemed to be
between life and death. She was thrown into convulsions. As those most distressing
spasms ceased, we were aroused to the painful fact that her intellect was weakened. She
began slowly to improve, although still a great sufferer. Her limbs were crippled from the
effect of the powerful poisons which she had taken. She lingered a few years a helpless,
pitiful sufferer, and died in much agony.11
After this sad narrative the father looked imploringly to the physician, and entreated
him to save his only remaining child. The physician looked sad and anxious, but made no
prescription. He arose to leave, saying that he would call the next day.
The next day the physician was in the sick room, standing by the bedside of the
afflicted daughter. Again he left the room without giving medicine. The father, when in the
presence of the physician alone seemed deeply moved, and he inquired impatiently, “Do
you intend to do nothing? Will you leave my only daughter to die?” The physician said, “I
have listened to the sad history of the death of your much loved wife, and your two
children, and have learned from your own lips that all three have died while in the care of
physicians, while taking medicines prescribed and administered by their hands. Medicine
has not saved your loved ones, and as a physician I solemnly believe that none of them
need, or ought to have died. They could have recovered if they had not been so drugged
that nature was enfeebled by abuse, and finally crushed. He stated decidedly to the
agitated father. “I cannot give medicine to your daughter. I shall only seek to assist nature
in her efforts, by removing every obstruction, and then leave nature to recover the
exhausted energies of the system” He placed in the father’s hand a few directions which
he enjoined upon him to follow closely. “Keep the patient free from excitement, and every
influence calculated to depress. Her attendants should be cheerful and hopeful. She
should have a simple diet, and should be allowed plenty of pure soft water to drink. Bathe
frequently in pure soft water followed by gentle rubbing. Let the light and air, be freely
admitted into her room. She must have quiet, and undisturbed rest.”
The father slowly read the prescription, and wondered at the few simple directions it
contained, and seemed doubtful of any good resulting from such simple means. Said the
physician, “You have had sufficient confidence in my skill to place the life of your daughter
in my hands.” Withdraw not your confidence, I will visit your daughter daily, and direct you
in the management of her case. Follow my directions with confidence, and I trust in a few
weeks to present her to you in a much better condition of health, if not fully restored.”
The father looked sad and doubtful, but submitted to the decision of the physician.
He feared that his daughter must die if she had no medicine. At a later date the daughter
was sitting by the side of her father cheerful and happy, with the glow of health upon her
countenance. The father was looking upon her with happy satisfaction, his countenance
speaking the gratitude of his heart, that his only child was spared to him. Her physician
entered, and after conversing with the father and child for a short time arose to leave. He
addressed the father, thus, “I present to you your daughter restored to health. I gave her
no medicine that I might leave her with an unbroken constitution. Medicine never could
have accomplished this. Medicine deranges nature’s fine machinery, and breaks down the
constitution, and kills, but never cures. Nature alone possesses the restorative powers.
She alone can build up her exhausted energies, and repair the injuries she has received
by inattention to her fixed laws.”
He asked the father if he was satisfied with his manner of treatment. The happy
father expressed his heart felt gratitude, and perfect satisfaction, saying, “I have learned a
lesson I shall never forget. It was painful, yet it is of priceless value. I am now convinced
that my wife and children need not have died. Their lives were sacrificed while in the
hands of physicians by their poisonous drugs.”

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