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October 2021

Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax. 1997 Oct; 86(41): 1598-602.

[Paracelsus and sectarian movements in medicine]

Meier P.

During his entire life Paracelsus used to criticize sectarianism in medicine. All trends, even the scientific ones, incur the danger to develop into sects, namely when they consider solely one cause for diseases and one treatment. Paracelsus often filled traditional prescriptions and used traditional methods, however, he worked as well in part with early homeopathy, magnetopathy and with magic and spiritual healing. Even wonders were not excluded. This all corresponds to an open, realistic medicine. Sectarian behaviour begins, however, when any of these trends is considered the only effective one. Most important in the medical philosophy of Paracelsus is the admission of the limitations of medicine and of all its trends. Through this scientific humility the physician knows that palliation in seemingly or really hopeless situations is one of his noblest tasks.

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