Bad sanitation and antivaccination

In the British Medical Journal (subscription required) Dalrymple shares the anti-medicine opinions of Royal Geographical Society fellow John Pickering, from his 1892 book Which? Sanitation and Sanitary Remedies or Vaccination and the Drug Treatment?
Few causes in the 19th century were more popular than that of antivaccination. When vaccination, held by many to be medically wrong, was made compulsory, it called forth widespread opposition and even civil disobedience….
Pickering takes the standard antidoctor line (soon to be adopted with greater effect by George Bernard Shaw): “To pay the physician for curing disease is, to all intents and purposes to subsidize disease. If the Physician has to live out of disease and its treatment, rest assured that the supply will be equal to the demand.”…For Pickering, the prevention and cure of smallpox, as of all other diseases, is fresh air, exercise, vegetables, and refraining from bad habits. Plus ça change . . .

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