FEEDING TO KEEP UP STRENGTH
The idea that dominates the physician, the nurses and the relatives of the sick person is that the vital power or strength "must be supported with food" while the "conflict with disease" rages. This supposed need for food to support life, great in proportion to the apparent gravity of the patient's condition, would seem to make the natural or instinctive aversion to food a serious mistake of nature. "The force of custom," wrote Dr. Densmore, "is one of the strongest powers, and doctors and nurses for generations have been in the habit of urging invalids to partake of food, not infrequently to their serious injury." Because we believe that recovery from illness depends on nourishment "our unreasoning sympathy and solicitude prompt us to urge our invalid friends to partake of food. Whatever the origin of the custom, it is one universally to be condemned; when one is seriously ill a fast is indicated."--How; Nature Cures, p. 21.
One thing is certain; either nature or the physician is mistaken. The furred tongue and loss of relish for food, the absence of "hunger contractions," the mental depression; in short, the entire absence of every physiological requirement for digestion, with, in many conditions, the presence of inflammation and even ulceration in the digestive tract, makes it impossible to sustain the patient's strength by feeding.
Enforced feeding of the sick is a war against nature, dangerous in proportion to the gravity of the patient's condition. The poisonous products of undigested or imperfectly digested food must handicap the patient who is fed during an acute illness. The stuff-to-kill doctor who feeds milk, eggs, meat broths, etc., were he not so blind, should be able to see that he is killing his patient.
Date: 2015-01-11; view: 311