Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Doctor G. W. Haldeman, of Cumberland, favored the resolution. It was absolutely necessary to place the fraterpity in a just light before the community.

Doctor William Mayburry, of Philadelphia, said that the resolution of Doctor Atlee was too broad, embracing even homeopathic physicians. This Doctor Atlee denied, but Doctor Mayburry insisted. He said that this agitation had originated in 1858 in the County Medical Society of Philadelphia, when a resolution of inquiry in the subject was offered. Doctor Atlee, he asserted, was taking a position on this subject in defiance of the emphatically-expressed decision of that society. This is a fight between the fraternity and the Philadelphia Female College, and this resolution was intended to endorse that College. He did not believe that women were capable of, or designed for, the practice of medicine. This matter had been decided at Pittsburg, and should not be revived. If women were confined to certain departments of the practice of medicine, perhaps they should be of immense service; but to admit them to all departments would be detạimental to the true and honorable practice of medicine.

Doctor Anawalt, of Pittsburg, also opposed the resolution, and offered the following substitute:

Resolved, That the National Code of Ethics is sufficient for the government of professional intercourse at present, and therefore more specific rules are unnecessary.

Doctor Worthington, of Chester County, said that the resolution did not lay the members of the society under any particular obligation; but simply rescinded their former action and left the matter untrammelled. He had been satisfied with the Code of Ethics till the adoption of the explanatory resolution in 1860; and he was disposed to think that that resolution had been passed unconstitutionally. He was responsible to the society for his acts; but he regarded himself as under no obligations whatever not to consult with a lady physician. He was not bound to consult with a physician having a duly-certified diploma from the best college in the country, if he thought his qualifications were not suffi

cient. Under this resolution he would be under no further obligations to female practitioners.

The vote was then taken. Doctor Anawalt's amendment was rejected, 35 to 37. The ayes and noes were then called on Doctor Atlee's resolution, and it was also defeated; ayes, 37; noes, 45. So the question is stifled a little while longer; but not for aye.

Life Assurance.

BY JOHN JAMIESON, M.D.

(Continued from our last No.)

PERHAPS one of the most remarkable examples of the value of general laws is to be found in Life Assurance ; for what can be more precarious and uncertain than the duration of life in any individual? Yet in the aggregate mortality is so regular, that it has been said by an eminent mathematician, that there is no investment so certain as that of a prudentlyconducted Assurance Society. If we take five thousand persons in the prime of life, six hundred die in the first ten years, seven hundred and fifty in the second ten years, and eight hundred and fifty in the third. Out of one million male births there will die in the first year of life 180,492; at the age of 13 there will die of the same number 5,742; in the same proportion of the same number there will die at 23, 15,074 ; at 34, 11,707 ; at 48, 14,870; at 58, 29,185; at 68, 61,741; at 78, 114,255; and at 81, 178,130. The first year, it will be perceived, carries off nearly one fifth of the million of births. This illustration applies to the male sex only. Of both sexes it is said there are three distinctly marked periods of human life, namely one from birth to 8 years, when the mortality decreases 321 per cent. annually; the second period from 12 to 55, when the rate of mortality increases 3 per cent. per annum; and thirdly, from 55 upward, when the mortality increases 8 per cent. Physiologists assign four divisions of human life:—the embryonic, terminating at birth ; the immature, terminating at puberty (15), the repro

ductive at 45, after which few mothers have children ; and the sterile, terminating at 100 and upward. It is a curious fact that experience under different circumstances varies but little; but it has been lately ascertained that the duration of life, at all ages, has increased during the last century. Human life is improving; that is to say, more persons by far are enabled to live to old age now than did a century ago. The limits of human life may not be sensibly extended, but the heavy rate of mortality incident to infancy and childhood is astonishingly abridged, and a vastly greater proportion are brought up to a period where the capability of endurance defends and protects them. An increased power of resistance to destructive causes seems extended, also, to the decline of life, or old age. What a favorable commentary upon the progress of civilization, and the benevolent energies of the times in which our lot has been cast.

It would be interesting and profitable to trace the causes of this improvement of life. If, says one writer, we were called upon for the solution of the key to health and long life, our answer would be “sobriety of living :” which consists in moderate eating, drinking, and enjoyment of all the pleasures of life. In keeping the mind moderately and constantly employed; in cultivating the affections within reasonable limits; in avoiding extremes of heat and cold, and in shuuning excessive excitement of either body or mind—a life of order, of rule, and of temperance. Not to eat so as to unfit the mind for moderate action-or so much as to make the body inactive. To have no extremes of living. To eat only plain and wholesome food, and never to allow the appetite to regulate the quantity of food—the appetite being in most cases the enemy of mankind. Temperance in eating is of as much if not more importance than temperance in drinking. Gluttony kills thousands daily—as Johnson truly remarked, “Many, too many, dig their graves with their teeth.” Shakspeare makes Adam, the servant of Olivia, say:

Though I look old yet I am strong and lusty,
For in my youth I never did app!y

Hot and rebellious liquors to my blood;
Nor did I with unbashful forehead woo
The means of weakness and debility;
Therefore my age is as the lusty winter,
Frostly but kindly.”

Moderation in every thing is of the utmost efficacy in prolonging life. By all extremes-good or bad-prolongation of life is impeded.

The best characteristics and photograph of a man destined to long life is given by the celebrated Hufeland :

He has a proper and well-proportioned stature, without, however, being too tall. He is rather of the middle size, and somewhat thick-set. His complexion is not too florid; at any rate too much ruddiness in youth is seldom a sign of longevity. His hair approaches rather to the fair than the black; his skin is strong, but not rough. His head is not too big; he has large veins at the extremities, and his shoulders are rather round than flat. His neck is not too long; his abdomen does not project; and his hands are large, but not too deeply cleft. IIis foot is rather thick than long; and his legs are firm and round. He has a broad arched chest; a strong voice, and the faculty of retaining his breath a long time without difficulty. In general, there is complete harmony in all his parts. His senses are good, but not too delicate; his pulse is slow and regular. His stomach is excel. lent, his appetite good, and his digestion easy. The joys of the table are to him of importance; they tune his mind to serenity, and his soul partakes in the pleasures which they communicate. He does not eat merely for the sake of eat. ing; but each meal is an hour of daily festivity ; a kind of delight, attended with this advantage, with regard to others, that it does not make him poorer, but richer. He eats slowly, and has not too much thirst. Too great thirst is always a sign of rapid self-consumption. In general, he is serene, loquacious, active, susceptible of joy, love, and hope; but insensible to the impressions of hatred, anger, and avarice. His passions never become too violent or destructive. If he ever gives way to anger, he experiences rather a useful glow of warmth, an artificial and gentle fever, without an overflowing of the bile. Ile is fond also of employment, particularly calm meditation and agreeable speculation; is an optimist, a friend to nature and domestic felicity; has no thirst

after honor or riches; and banishes all thought of to-mor

row.

Buffon basing his conclusions on physiological data, affirms that the total duration of life may be estimated, by that of the duration of an animal's growth. Man increases in height up to his sixteenth or eighteenth year, and yet, the full development in size of all the parts of his body is not completed till the thirtieth year. The dog attains his full length in one year, and only in the second year completes its growth in bulk or size. Man, who takes thirty years to grow, lives ninety or a hundred years. The dog, which grows only two or three years, lives only ten or twelve; and it is the same with most other animals. The duration of life in the horse, as in all other species of animals, is proportionate to the length of time during which it grows. Man who takes fourteen years to grow, may live six or seven times as long; that is to say ninety or one hundred years. That is Buffon's theory; but Flourens, a Frenchman, and to whom science is much indebted for his researches, goes further than Buffon, his theory of the completion of animal growth being based on the union of the bones to the epiphyses. “As long as this union does not take place the animal grows. As soon as the bones are united to the epiphyses the animal ceases to grow.” And he adds :

Years.

Years.
Man grows for 20 and lives 90 or 100.
The Camel " 8

40.
The Horse 5

25. The Ox

4

15 to 20. The Lion 4

20. The Dog

2

10 or 12. The Cat 13

66

9 or 10.
The Hare 1

8.
The Guinea pig 7 months 6 or 7.

(

According to his theory, man being twenty years growing lives five times twenty, that is to say one hundred years. The camel is eight years growing and lives five times eight, or forty years. The horse is five years growing, and he lives

« ForrigeFortsæt »