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day, in this "land of the free and home of the brave," in this enlightened nineteenth century." We find that efforts have been made, and are now in progress, and further efforts will be made in the future in every State in the Union to pass laws regulating the practice of medicine; which laws being interpreted, construed and administered by the self-styled "Regulars," are intended to wipe out effectually all who do not belong to their number. Not only would they crush out all who differ with them as to treatment, but they are even going farther. I am sorry to know that even in the ranks of the Eclectics there are those who are ready and willing to lend their aid in the passing of statutes compelling the people to submit to treatment, for which some of them have a holy horror.
If there is any one thing above all others that a man has a right to claim, it is the right to refuse to have his blood or that of his offspring contaminated, at the instance of any physician or any statute, with scrofula, syphilis, or any other vile poison, under whatever guise or name it may present itself.
We believe in the motto: "Omnia probate; quod bonum tenete"-"prove all things; hold fast that which is good." We also believe that it is very necessary to be sure of the proof; to be sure we have demonstrated the truth beyond a reasonable doubt at least, and by remembering what President Abraham Lincoln once said: "That to demonstrate anything was one of the most difficult things he had ever undertaken to do," we may be reminded of the care necessary in all our investigations.
Have we as Eclectics always done so?
What investigation have we had on the question of vaccination?
How much protection against variola is afforded by vaccination?
What are the dangers arising from vaccination?
Are the evils produced greater than the assured benefits to be received?
How should we vaccinate-if at all? from arm to arm, or with bovine virus?
In answer to the first query allow me to say that I fear we, as Eclectics, are too prone to follow blindly. While we have in our ranks men of stamina, of undaunted courage, we still, as a mass, as a whole, lack that vim, that determination to know the reason why for everything.
In regard to the question of vaccination, what we heard while attending lectures at college in regard to it was mostly all one-sided. What we read from the text-books is about the same; and I think I am safe in saying that nine out of every ten graduates when leaving college to enter practice honestly suppose that vaccination is the true protection against smallpox. They have not investigated the matter because medical students are not permitted to do this. They have been assured that vaccination is the ne plus ultra of protection; and hence never doubt and never question it, till a case in practice, or some incident calls their attention to it. Even then, if they should express their doubt of its efficacy to some medical friend, most likely they will be pooh-poohed out of wasting their time to investigating something already settled.
How much protection does vaccination afford against variola ?
Dr. Edward Jenner, of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England, is credited with being the discoverer of vaccination, and the English Government paid him £30,000 for his discovery.
Speaking of the absorption of the cow-pox virus into the systems of the milk-maids, and describing the symptoms, he declared: "the person who has been thus affected is forever secure from the infection of small-pox; neither exposure to the variolous effluvia, nor the insertion of the matter into the skin, producing this distemper." Yet, later, this same Jenner appears to have been afraid of the truth. In writing to Dr. James Moore in 1810 he said: "When I found Dr. Woodville about to publish his pamphlet relative to the eruptive cases at the Small-pox Hospital, I entreated him in the strongest terms, both by letter and conversation, not to do anything that would so much disturb the progress of vaccination."—(Life of Jenner, ii., 374.)
Thus vaccination was considered at first a protection for life.
A little later we are informed that in order to assure protection it will be necessary to be vaccinated at the age of puberty; and that this would place the favored individual beyond. a doubt outside the pale of small-pox contagion.
But Oh! how easily even the "scientific doctor" may be deceived, may arrive at false conclusions. Hence, we find him. declaring that inasmuch as the entire system is changed every seven years, it will be necessary to revaccinate that often in order to be secure. Soon he finds again he has made another mistake, and decides that probably every three years would be better. Lastly, we have a class of German physicians who proclaim that to be absolutely secure it is necessary to have at least nineteen or twenty good marks on the person. absurd!
Now let us look at it under the light of statistics. If we find that those who have been vaccinated and revaccinated have passed through without being attacked, with only very rare exceptions, it will then be time to give vaccination due credit.
According to Dr. Jebb's letter in the London Times, November, 1879, there were admitted to the London Hospitals, from 1878 to October, 1879, 15,171 cases of small-pox; of whom 11,412 were vaccinated, or 75 per cent.; and 3,750 were unvaccinated, and for each case treated in the hospitals, says Dr. Jebb, "another was treated privately," making a total of 30,342 cases of small-pox in the city of London in one year or less; 97 per cent. of whose population, according to Dr. Seaton, had been vaccinated.
As to the quality of the vaccination, Dr. Stevens, in December, 1879, said that all his experience led him to the opinion that the arm-to-arm system, practiced in England, was as nearly perfect as a system could be made, and as efficacious as could be desired.
Again Dr. Marson, Resident-Surgeon of the Small-pox Hospital, Highgate, said (Report for 1871), in answer to the question: "Do you consider that small-pox itself is as great a protection as vaccination?" "Yes! much greater; there are few cases of persons who have had small-pox after small
pox; and in the first table which I gave the number was less than one per cent. of small-pox after small-pox; whereas, it was fifty-three per cent. of small-pox after vaccination."
In answer to another question, he said: "When I first went to the hospital thirty years since, from 1835 to 1845, the admission of patients was forty-four per cent. of small-pox after vaccination; from 1845 to 1855, sixty-four per cent.; and from 1855 to 1865, seventy-eight per cent.; and during 1863 and 1864, eighty-three and eighty-four per cent."
These figures alone, it seems to us, should be sufficient to convince almost any one of the absurdity of the proposition that "vaccination is as protective against small-pox as smallpox itself;" or in fact that it is protective at all; since we find that during thirty years the percentage of small-pox cases after vaccination had increased from forty-four per cent. to eighty-four per cent., after ten years of compulsory vaccination, according to Dr. Marson.
While according to Dr. Jebb, seventy-five per cent. of the small-pox cases admitted to the London hospitals from 1878 to October, 1879, after twenty-six years of compulsory vaccination, with ninety-seven per cent. of the population vaccinated, shows clearly that vaccination had not only failed to protect completely, but that it had done absolutely nothing to bring the vaccinated people nearer to the one per cent. of small-pox cases after small-pox.
As to the opinions of medical men, Dr. Cameron, M. P., says: "The recurrence in the latest period of a mortality almost as high as that experienced prior to the vaccination act, shows that the protective virtues of vaccination are mythical, or that there is something radically wrong in our national system of vaccination."-(December, 1879).
Dr. Ransome, Professor of Public Medicine and Hygiene at Owen's College, says: "The epidemic of 1871 and 1872, gave distinct evidence of the inefficiency of vaccination as it had been practiced in England of late. Not only had it killed 40,000 persons, as many in fact as in an epidemic before the introduction of vaccination, but it also assumed all the characteristics of an epidemic unmodified by vaccination."-(December, 1879).
Mr. William Young has also furnished a table of the smallpox mortality in London, as recorded by the Register-General, as follows:
Decade of years.
1841 to 1850.
1861 to 1870.
Here we observe that while the population has increased about one-half, the number of deaths from small-pox are almost double what they were forty years ago. It is to be remembered that this increase in mortality occurs after twenty years of compulsory vaccination, with an unvaccinated residunm of three per cent.
Is there still a doubt? Let us see what a pro-vaccinator has to say. Privy Councillor Müller, in his Report on the Small-pox epidemics in Berlin in 1871, gives the following table:
Deaths of ditto.
Cases of Small-pox in vaccinated children.
3, 108, 193
Total under 5 years, 1,191
Here we have 1,191 cases of small-pox, occurring in children. under five years of age, all of whom had been vaccinated, with 484 deaths, giving a death-rate of over forty and one-half per cent. May we not ask in all seriousness and candor: Where is the protection? But probably it will be said, as it has often been: "Had it not been for vaccination, the mortality would have been much greater."
But statistics again relieve us, for if that were true, then the number of deaths from small-pox should decrease; whereas we find the contrary to be the case.
In England for instance, vaccination was made compulsory in 1853, and in the first ten years after the enforcement, namely, from 1854 to 1863, the deaths from small-pox amounted to 33,515; while in the next ten years, from 1864 to 1873, 70,458