Dr. Jeggels and Homoeopathic Therapeutics

I studied medicine at the Free University of Amsterdam [Vrije Universiteit (VU)] in the Netherlands, during the early 1980s. After qualifying from the VU Amsterdam, we departed for the United Kingdom, where I worked and studied to obtain higher qualifications in Internal Medicine, passing the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians [MRCP (UK)] examination during 1992. We return to South Africa in 1993, however, I was compelled by the then Medical and Dental Council of South Africa to work under supervision for one year in a state hospital, as a prerequisite to obtain full registration as a medical practitioner. On arrival at that hospital, I was appointed, ironically, as a consultant physician due to my qualifications and due to the failure to attract other registered specialist physicians.

Why do students study medicine? The reasons cited are not quite convincing: ‘Indispensability, Helping People, Respect, and Science’.[1] [2] In fact, an acquaintance, an electrical engineer, was surprised that this list does not include what he heard at university, namely that medicine is “a guaranteed profession” which provides “self-preservation from a financial point of view.”

However, what ironically exposes the above as unconvincing, in my humble opinion, is that every medical student silently fears the possibility of suffering from the diseases they learn about. I gradually came to the conclusion that my obsession with medicine was primarily due to self-preservation! Illnesses are not suffered only by a ‘patient’. Furthermore, having studied medicine does not make me immune from illnesses or injuries. I am human, needing sustenance, rest, sleep, and toilet facilities like everyone else.

Nevertheless, we were presented during our studies at the VU Amsterdam during our 4th year, homoeopathic therapeutics (HTS) as an additional therapeutic option. The same happens throughout Western Europe. However, the majority of my fellow students, as well as me, ignored HTS. This should not surprise anyone, as almost every student who is accepted to study medicine has a preconceived belief that there is only one medical system - namely, the official medical system. However, importantly, I rejected HTS baselessly, due to prejudice and arrogance, unsupported by qualifications, clinical experience, or worthy clinical results! However, my preconceived ideas were severely dented during postgraduate training in the United Kingdom. It exposed my shocking lack of ‘objectiveness’, and open-mindedness, especially since postgraduate training transpires at medicine’s pinnacle–nothing beyond. As such, some of its medical therapeutic shortcomings were disturbing. Rest assured that medicine has achieved a great deal for patients. I have, as is the case with so many doctors, saved many lives in emergency medicine, etc., etc. However, it was very disturbing when I realised that effective treatments were absent for many dire disorders of patients–and naturally, for me too. As such, this is what John Hurlbert has said on spinal cord injuries:[3]

The devastating consequences of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) continue to haunt the corridors of medical science now into the 21st century. Few conditions cause such degree of permanent disability in previously high functioning individuals who after injury remain fully cognitive and become faced with the Herculean challenges of reintegration into society. Whether it is by walking, riding, jumping, or flying, it is the individual engaged in enjoying life that most frequently becomes afflicted by this tragic condition in the span of a heartbeat or two.

And this is what A. Widlitz and R.J. Barst have said on pulmonary arterial hypertension:[4]

For physicians to admit that a group of patients remains for whom no cure is available in modern medicine is intellectually unsatisfying. Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a rare condition. Because the symptoms are nonspecific and the physical finding can be subtle, the disease is often diagnosed in its later stages. The natural history of pulmonary arterial hypertension is usually progressive and fatal.

And my conclusions are that pulmonary arterial hypertension is on the contrary very common–it’s rather missed by everyone due to our inadequate training in the face of all the correct medical information on this condition. This can be read here.

How long then are patients and I to wait on solutions? This is infinitely compounded by the realisation that official medicine has had a monopoly on man power, funding, resources, and legitimation since the 1930s! Billions in currencies have been thrown at every conceivable disorder. Regrettably, despite Einstein’s fame, and his name associated with superior intelligence, doctors disregard his wisdom.[5] Therefore, more of the same thinking is not going to solve the same problems which were incapable of being solved by the same thinking first time round. Can it then be deemed madness, or foolishness, when due to the above, one earnestly seeks for truly effective and worthy treatments anywhere, here and now, not in 50 or 200 years hence–otherwise many patients and I would have lived miserably, and died miserably. Or, will one’s bias to the dominant system, as well as one's faith in its research capabilities, prevent such an excursion? Two disquieting realities surfaced: the first; the majority do have blind faith that more of the same research will magically conjure up the hitherto alluded to therapies, while second; till this day in 2012, the dominant system has no medical therapies to reverse, e.g., a spinal cord injury, except to wait on a ‘miracle’, or on vis medicatrix naturae, to heal what it can–that which the dominant system can’t.

An avenue to the solution which I sought, that is, to explore worthy and effective therapies, came via a close friend and colleague, Dr Igsaan Khan BDS, who tactfully, even fearfully, broached the subject of HTS with me during 1992. This, as HTS can only be discussed with a medical doctor at your own peril – they tend to bite you mercilessly. Dr Khan was quite relieved at my willingness to afford him an audience, but I was fortunate too–his sophisticated presentation of HTS and its clinical successes was captivating–I decided to consider it dispassionately and earnestly.

Why do the majority of my colleagues fail to explore other therapeutic system? I am forced to conclude that that is highly likely the fruit of dogmatism and prejudice (I was just as prejudiced in the past) which result in the contemptuous rejection of ‘crazy’ systems which have worthy and effective therapeutics for me, as a potential patient, as well as for all other patients. Dogmatism and prejudice result also in idolising ‘science’ and ‘research’–they dumb the intellect; resigns them to accept their not so competent therapeutic system. Thus, dogmatism and prejudice are destructive; they uproot originality, intuitiveness, and creativeness–a disregard for the wondrous variety of life, thought, culture and craziness (see Paul Feyerabend,[6] and Niels Bohr vs. Ludwig Pauli.[7]) Unsurprisingly, Thomas Kuhn[8] concluded that ‘scientific training is not well designed to produce the man who will easily discover a fresh approach.’ Therefore, he who investigates crazy ideas will ‘endanger his reputation for soundness of mind [and will]…compromises his character as a thoroughly educated [scientist] and a man of well-balanced intellectual faculties’.[9] As such, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Ludwig Pauli, and Werner Heisenberg have all been guilty of not having ‘soundness of mind’ and a ‘well-balanced intellectual character.’ Unbelievable! I would cherish it to be deemed a worthy member of that wacky company! It’s apt therefore to quote the bitterness of Lord Francis Bacon,[10] the hallowed instructor of the ‘scientific method’, to the dogmatism he witnessed. His Preface starts as follows:

THEY who have presumed to dogmatize on nature, as on some well investigated subject, either from self-conceit or arrogance, and in the professorial style, have inflicted the greatest injury on philosophy and learning. For they have tended to stifle and interrupt inquiry exactly in proportion as they have prevailed in bringing others to their opinion: and their own activity has not counterbalanced the mischief they have occasioned by corrupting and destroying that of others.

Finally, I return to my career, starting again with Livingstone Hospital, Port Elizabeth. There I commenced employing HTS by adding them to the conventional treatment of the patients under my care. The results of doing this were stunning to the patients as well as my immediate medical staff. However, at the end of November 1994, I resigned from this post to set up my own private practice in Cape Town. I preferred a general practice format which allowed me to treat with HTS, patients of all ages and gender, suffering from diseases spanning the entire range of the profession of medicine, to verify and document all the results which can be obtained, and those results which indeed were obtained, by employing HTS.


1. IC McManus, G Livingston, Cornelius Katona. The attractions of medicine: the generic motivations of medical school applicants in relation to demography, personality and achievement. BMC Medical Education 2006, 6:11. Text Accessed 18/12/2010.

2. Student Doctor Network Staff Writers. Why Study Medicine? Pre-meds not in it for the money, survey says. Text Accessed 18/12/2010.

3. Hurlbert JR. Strategies of Medical Intervention in the Management of Acute Spinal Cord Injury Spine: 15 May 2006 - Volume 31 - Issue 11S - pp S16-S21. doi:10.1097/01.brs.0000218264.37914.2c Text

4. A. Widlitz and R.J. Barst. Pulmonary arterial hypertension in children. Eur. Respir. J., Jan 2003; 21: 155-176. Text

5. Calaprice A, Dyson F, Einstein A. The New Quotable Einstein. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005. See page 266-267. He said that ‘The world we have made, as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.’ Furthermore, ‘To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.’

6. Paul Feyerabend. Against Method. Verso, London and New York, 3rd Ed, 1993. See Prandtl on hydrodynamics.

7. Simonton D K. Greatness: Who Makes History and Why. Guilford Press, New York 1994. Niels Bohr made the following amazing remark to Wolfgang Pauli after Pauli presented a new theory of elementary particles before a professional audience. He said the following to Pauli: ‘We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.’

8. Kuhn T. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, London, 3rd Ed 1996.

9. Harris Coulter. Divided Legacy: The Conflict between Homoeopathy and the American Medical Association. North Atlantic Books, Homoeopathic Educational Services, Berkeley , California , 2nd Ed. 1982. On page 179: ‘The educated physician is justified in rejecting homoeopathy without testing it at the bedside...If the medical man who seriously sets about their verification does not endanger his reputation for soundness of mind, he at any rate compromises his character as a thoroughly educated physician and a man of well-balanced intellectual faculties.’ [ New York Journal of Medicine, IX (1847), 228]. Furthermore, on page 274: ‘The great guns of the profession–because a drug has been introduced by a homoeopath–ignorantly decline to recognise it…’ See also pages 262-276.

10. Lord Francis Bacon (1561–1626). The New Organon. 1857. Aphorisms Concerning the Interpretation of Nature and the Kingdom of Man. The First Book. Text Accessed 19/12/2010.

© Dr HJD Jeggels 2006, updated September 2012.