The Semmelweis Reflex
As an illustration of the enormous harm that is done to humanity by conceited men and women who think they own the Truth, I present to you the case of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis.
In 1847, Dr. Semmelweis worked in the Vienna Hospital for women about to give birth. The Hospital’s death rate for women in childbirth, caused by puerperal fever, was horrendous – so terrible that many women opted for giving birth at home, with a midwife, rather than facing the prospect of death at the Clinic where Dr. Semmelweis practiced.
I’ll shorten the story for you – you can read more at wikepedia.org.
The death rate for women in childbirth, at the Vienna Hospital, in April, 1847, was: 18.3%!
But something happened that changed Dr. Semmelweis’s career: During an autopsy being performed upon the corpse of a recently deceased woman, the student doing the examination happened to turn to an accompanying doctor, and inadvertently poked him with his scalpel. A few days later, that doctor was dead, and all the symptoms pointed to puerperal fever, which was killing so many women.
Dr. Semmelweis surmised that some “cadaveric substance” had been transmitted to the deceased doctor, by the scalpel that broke his skin, and forthwith, he instituted the practice of washing the hands with a solution of chlorinated lime. (At this time, there was no knowledge at all, of the transmission of disease by germs.)
The result was, that the next month, in May 1847, the death rate never rose above 5%, and in following months was as low as 1%. Again, in 1848, the death rate never rose above 5%, and there were two months when there were no deaths at all.
Dr. Semmelweis organized a conference, to which he invited all the prestigious doctors of Vienna; his message to them was “Wash your hands!” His recommendation was taken as an insult, by the prestigious doctors!
Dr. Semmelweis’s success saved the lives of countless women over the years, yet his recommendation of scrupulous cleanliness was studiously ignored by all doctors and in fact, all Academia; the record of his success in saving the lives of so many women, was disregarded. The priggish self-importance of those with accredited credentials caused their refusal to consider facts.
It is not hard to imagine the hatred that Dr. Semmelweis faced, for daring to suggest that cleanliness was of the highest importance, when dealing with women in labor. Because today, those on the side of the “status quo” in other fields, regularly refuse to deal with facts that disturb their preconceived ideas.
So great was the hatred, that he left Vienna and returned to his place of birth, Budapest, Hungary in 1850, to work in the same field, obstetrics. During the period 1851-1855, only eight women under his care died from childbed fever, out of 933 births (0.85%).
Eventually, as a result of the hatred he faced, and of the willful disregard of his successful experience in dealing with women giving birth, Semmelweis suffered a nervous breakdown, and his behavior became anti-social. On July 30, 1865, at the age of 47, he was lured to a visit to a Vienna insane asylum. Once there, he was detained. On the 15th of August – fifteen days later – he died of an infection from a wound on his hand. It is suspected that the wound was caused by a struggle on his part, to free himself from captivity in the insane asylum.
Wikepedia.org says: “The rejection of Semmelweis’s empirical observations is often traced to belief perseverance, the psychological tendency of clinging to discredited beliefs. Also, some historians of science argue that resistance to path-breaking contributions of obscure scientists is common, and “constitutes the single most formidable block to scientific advances.”
And further: “The so-called Semmelweis reflex – a metaphor for a certain type of human behavior characterized by reflex-like rejection of new knowledge because it contradicts entrenched norms, beliefs, or paradigms – is named after Semmelweis, whose ideas were ridiculed and rejected by his contemporaries”.
Our world is very sick. If a cure is not applied, it will most likely fall into a state of chaos, during which an appeal to world war will be made, in order to channel political discontent into destructive activity; the cause of the breakdown of peace, and knowledge of the alternative that might have restored some order in the world, will be forgotten. A new Dark Age will have arrived.
The cause of puerperal fever in Vienna, in 1847, was sepsis, i.e. infection due to unclean hands of the doctors.
The cause of the imminent breakdown of the economies of the world in 2019, is fiat money – false, fake money, accepted by virtually all accredited economists.
The Presidents of this world, and their Central Bankers, Ministers and Secretaries of This, That and the Other, all with Cum Laude Degrees in Economics, will not, under any circumstances, by any means, listen to the plea: “Give us real money to work with – gold, or silver, or both – but give us real money, not your garbage fake money!”. They will not listen, any more than the big, fat PhD Viennese medical doctors were willing to wash their hands, and stop killing their patients, in 1847.