This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
As stated before, nature has put her eternal ban on the hereditary transmission of degeneracy.
Let us reiterate that there is no disease per se. What we call disease is an unideal state of health. What we recognize as health is a greater or less degree of approximation to an ideal state of comfort of mind and body. Few have perfect health; few realize their ideal standard; many are disappointed, and go through life singing, "Beyond this vale of tears." Those who think that man can escape all discomfort fail to understand the necessary educational influences of pain and discomfort.
Of course, the state known as health is a slight deviation from perfect health, functionally. But when functioning has been diverted from approximate health long enough to cause organized change of the character we call disease, this is degeneration, and is not transmissible.
Children are born with organs approximately perfect; or, as a result of accidents or injuries, they are monstrosities--deviations from normal physical development--and are frequently disposed of at the instant of birth because of their unfitness for independent existence; for example, headless children, or children born minus other vital organs.
The state of health which we call disease is not transmissible. Sterility stands between the unfit and propagation, No doubt children are born into environments unfit for proper development, but the vileness is all on this side of conception.
Diseases and deformities, up to monstrosities, are the results of traumatic influences. Disease-producing influences, such as toxin poisoning, may destroy life after it is started; but, at the time of conception, nature's health standard must have been satisfied, or it could never get by the censors who pass on proper conceptions. All sorts of detrimental influences may reach and influence fetal development; but life is started right--for certainly no organic disease in parents can be transmitted.
Drug-prescribing physicians have harmed unborn infants by medicating their mothers. Any influence that harms the mother must harm the fetus more or less. An overfed and incumbered mother will have an incumbered child.
It is said that mercury accumulates in the placenta. Why should it not find the fetus through the blood? The placenta is a filler which stands between the child and the ordinary blood derangements of the mother; but drugs, and especially mercury, arsenic, and iodide of potash, have a way of insinuating their toxic presence beyond the placental guard, there to deface the holiest of holies, and send it into the world a blot upon creation--a false witness against the purity of conception.
That the fetus and mother are united in bonds which allow a reciprocal exchange of physical and chemical influences, there is no question. For illustration: If a mother's uterus be opened, exposing a fetus, and a fatal dose of strychnin be injected into the fetus, fatal convulsions will be produced in the mother, while the child escapes; and, if sufficiently developed, the child may be extracted from the mother and saved--showing that it can stand a larger dose than the mother.
This statement is quoted from Sabory. It is not reasonable to suppose that a fetus can stand a larger dose of drugs than the mother; but the fact that the mother may be killed through the child, while the child is saved, is proof that every protection possible is thrown about the fetus. In this case the drug is taken up and sent to the placenta, and from the placenta to the mother's lungs and heart, before it can be returned through the general circulation to be distributed throughout the fetal body. The heart, and the circulation of blood through it, are far different in fetal life from what they are after the child takes an independent life. The blood, with its toxins, is slow to reach the vital organs of the fetus. Indeed, the unborn child is safeguarded on every hand.
For the privilege of taking oxygen directly into our lungs we pay with a greater susceptibility to the poison influences of toxins.
When a fetus dies from poisoning through the mother by strychnine, it may be killed by the severe muscular contractions peculiar to convulsions caused by the drug; yet this is not very probable, so long as it is protected from contractions by a fluid cushion--the amniotic fluid.
It is said that numerous observations establish that the bacillus of Eberth may pass through the placenta, but does not produce any lesion in the fetus, any alteration of Peyer's patches, nor any splenic hypertrophy, but causes a true septicemia. This is splendid proof of my contention that typhoid fever is the product of malpractice, and that all specific poisons--diseases with a specific poisoning--rest on one and the same basis--namely, septicemia--the septic base being chemically changed to suit the environment. A puerperal, typhoid, or traumatic septicemia, as well as a luetic infection, are all forms of sepsis, but featured by the environments under which they develop. Chaos reigns when specific individuality is given to all the different manifestations of putrefaction--septic poisoning. Our present system of treatment is made inefficient by a fallacious conception of causation.
Infection and contagion received a hard blow when it was discovered that, in the case of twins, one may be born with smallpox and the other not; and that the child is often behind the mother in point of time in the development of diseases.