In 1847 the death rate among pregnant women in the obstetric clinics of Vienna was very high. Puerperal fever, an infection of the female reproductive organs that can occur following childbirth, was a common cause of death and seen by doctors as almost impossible to prevent. After studying the problem, Viennese physician Ignaz Semmelweis realized that doctors and medical students were moving straight from dissecting corpses to examining women who had just given birth. He concluded that they were carrying “cadaverous particles” and ordered them to wash their hands with chlorinated lime solution before every examination. Almost immediately, the mortality rate fell from 18 percent to 1 percent.
You might imagine that after this medical breakthrough Semmelweis would be celebrated and treated as a hero. But you’d be wrong. His findings were largely either ignored, rejected, or ridiculed. Only after his death was his discovery eventually implemented into standard medical practice.
This story reminds us that life-saving medical breakthroughs have long been ignored, rejected and ridiculed by the medical orthodoxy. This pattern continues today with its attacks on Dr. Matthias Rath’s Cellular Medicine approach.
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