The Physician’s Record Book; Boenninghausen

Translated from the Allg. hom. Zeit., Vol 67, pp. 113-165
The Physician’s Record is without doubt a subject which deserves for many reasons and in many respects to be seriously considered and discussed. That it is indispensable to every true Homoeopathic physician follows undeniably from the necessity of individualizing all the characteristic symptoms in every case of disease, since they in their totality cannot be preserved even in the most faithful memory as to all the essential traits, even if the practice is only a moderately extended one.
The advantage of an exact Record is at the same time of great importance, both for one’s own instruction and for quieting the conscience of the Physician, and also for a possible future defence, and finally to satisfy a legal requirement the demand for which may be expected, and to which in all probability all Homoeopathic physicians may be subjected, who would claim for themselves the right and privilege of dispensing their own medicines.
If I therefore take the liberty of submitting some observations on this subject this will hardly be regarded as presumptuous, since I, with an extensive and blessed practice for more than one third of a century and with a record which has already grown to the 115th quarto volume, have probably had more opportunity to gather experience than others of the older Homoeopaths, who are still living, few of whom would probably be able to say with me next year: “Sic multas hiemes atque octogesima vidi solstitia” (Juvenal).
If to this should be added that I have had the invaluable advantage of having had a continuous correspondence with the founder of our school, from the beginning of the thirties up to his death (in 1843), and also enjoyed the constant instruction of our late confreres (Stapf, Gross, Nuehlenbein, Rummel), I can scarcely be denied a certain right to utter advisory and warning words.
Furthermore, since the “Organon” of our Hahnemann is out of print, and in consequence many of our younger Homoeopaths, without their fault, are unable to read and take to heart the leading principles there laid down, and which have especially to be considered here, it will not be superfluous to quote from the paragraphs of this masterly work verbatim what is needed for this discussion. The notes which may be required I shall subjoin at the close of every paragraph, pointing to them by numbers in continuous series in the text. These paragraphs (83-104) according to the 5th. (last) edition are as follows:
§83. This individualizing examination of a case of disease, for which I here give a general direction, of which the examiner will only apply what is suitable in the case before him, requires nothing of the physician but an unprejudiced eye and sound senses, carefulness in observation, and faithfulness in noting down the image of the disease. (1)
Note 1. What is said in the very beginning of noting down, i. e., writing down the image of the disease, is repeated with the same definiteness in the paragraphs that follow, i. e., sections 84, 85, 86, 90, 91, 102, 104, and we nowhere find any statement which would permit an omission of this direction. Whoever therefore does not follow it, violates the distinct directions of the author of Homoeopathy and falls under the dictum of the note to §67 of the Organon as follows. “There are some who would save themselves the trouble of being Homoeopathic physicians and who would nevertheless like to appear such.
§84. The patient is to give an account of his troubles; his attendants relate his complaints, his behaviour and whatever they have noticed; the physician will see, hear and observe through his other senses whatever is changed and unusual in him. He will write down everything exactly (2), and with the same expressions used by the patient and his attendants. Keeping silent himself, he will allow them to have their say, if possible without interruption, unless they go off their subject.

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