The singular reason for case taking is to ascertain the deviation from a persons normal state of health, and from what is considered THE normal state of health.
I state it this way simple because many people have a normal state of health which may include a dis-eased state from a background source, for which their economy tolerates or they accept as normal for them. How many times have we seen patients who have inherited conditions or susceptibility, or the results of trauma or infections that are considered as part of their life? We only have to consider our own health and look at the changes that have occurred. examples: A tendency to catch a cold easily after a sailing trip. A state of anxiety comes on easily after any bad news since the shock of being told of the death of a loved one several years previously. Joint pains since a rheumatic fever in childhood. A tendency to grow moles after a certain vaccination. The list goes on and on.
When a patient is seated before you in the clinic, it is essential to know what you are going to treat. The Organon gives specific and general instructions of how to take the case. In this monograph, we are going to examine and breakdown several of Hahnemanns statements for consideration. This is in no particular order and is entirely for your consideration in your own time and in your own way.
All direct quotes from the Organon of Medicine by Samuel Hahnemann.
” This individualizing examination of a case of disease, for which I shall only give in this place general directions, of which the practitioner will bear in mind only what is applicable for each individual case, demands of the physician nothing but freedom from prejudice and sound senses, attention in observing and fidelity in tracing the picture of the disease”
breakdown in modern English:
“from this aphorism on, is an outline of things to generally consider when taking a case. But out of all the things I have told you, Please only use the essential parts that pertain to the individual sick patient in your clinic right now. Do not let previous cases or symptom pictures or knowledge of named diseases or personal bias toward a medicine or a philosphical or religious idea have any influence on this case. Pay total and singular attention to finding out how this patient is affected in their own unique circumstances and detail it precisely.”
Hahnemann then goes on to cover all the main areas of enquiry that could be used “if necessary” in case taking.
“..When the totality of the symptoms that specially mark and distinguish the case of disease or, in other words, when the picture of the disease, whatever be its kind, is once accurately sketched, the most difficult part of the task is accomplished. The physician has then the picture of the disease, especially if it be a chronic one, always before him to guide him in his treatment; he can investigate it in all its parts and can pick out the characteristic symptoms, in order to oppose to these, that is to say, to the whole malady itself, a very similar artificial morbific force, in the shape of a homoeopathically chosen medicinal substance, selected from the lists of symptoms of all the medicines whose pure effects have been ascertained. And when, during the treatment, he wishes to ascertain what has been the effect of the medicine, and what change has taken place in the patient’s state, at this fresh examination of the patient he only needs to strike out of the list of the symptoms noted down at the first visit those that have become ameliorated, to mark what still remain, and add any new symptoms that may have supervened.”
breakdown in modern English:
” so now you have the symptoms that this individual expresses of their suffering, and see it for what it is and have written down the exact area of affection, ie the location, the sensations, the modifying influences and accessory symptoms that are present. Congratulations, the hardest part has been done. Great. BUT out of this collection of symptoms, you now need to find the ones that are important for prescribing for………..these particular and characteristic symptoms will be peculiar to both the disease and a medicine, and cover the essentials of the case. These are what you prescribe on. You now will have a set of symptoms that you can refer to after prescribing a remedy (that can cause the same symptoms), and can judge the action of the medicine by the simple process of observing what symptoms have been removed, what have not and if any new ones appeared.
The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.
breakdown in modern English:
Guys, dont waste your time guessing what is wrong based on your own theories or someone elses, You aint that smart. Just observe what is present, what has changed, what can be seen, what others say about the changes, how the patient complains about certain things. Compare it to how the PATIENT was before. Collect the data as above. These are the true symptoms of the dis-ease as experienced by the patient right now.