Billeder på siden

where and when it might have been likely to have escaped his notice, but was published in his immediate place and immediately after the testimony was given, whilst the interest and feeling excited by the trial was at its height. This evidence then was exerting its influence on public opinion, and what that influence might be in one holding Dr. B.'s position, we have intimated before. Not only this, but it occurred just at that time when the subject of criminal abortions was being discussed very generally in the medical journals, which fact suggested to us the reviewing of this testimony. And yet notwithstanding all these circumstances, which would render it so improbable that it should have escaped his observation, if the paper had done him injustice, the publication meets with no denial or correction from Dr. B.-is permitted to go on bearing its influence, and no charge is made of its being false or garbled until three months after it has appeared in the Peninsular Medical Journal and has been copied into others. Why is this? Is the correction only for medical readers? Is it unimportant that the public generally should have correct opinions and correct information on this important subject?

Thus much then in answer to his statement that "the anonymous character of the original attack, its being in a political newspaper, written by a non-professional man, or a member of the profession who concealed his name, ought, in my judgment, to have prevented respectable journalists from copying or giving it currency without taking pains to ascertain its truth."

But we have still a few words more of explanation-Dr. Brainard does not specify wherein the testimony is false and garbled. We wish he had been more explicit on this point. He says that it is essentially so, by which we understand that it is mainly so, throughout or else in important points. Now, we not only have the statement of the editors of the paper, that they supposed the report to be correct and what inducement could lead a reporter of testimony in a court to intentionally misrepresent a witness' evidence? But we have also the statement of two legal gentlemen of ability who were present and gave close attention throughout, that the evidence, in what we consider the important point, was correctly reported.

In regard to the statements, "a patient who had advanced as far as the third month of pregnancy, would be no more endangered* by the production of an abortion, than she would have been by allowing the full period to pass, and the child to come into the world in the

[blocks in formation]

natural way. He stated that not one case in two hundred where abortion was produced at the third month of pregnancy, would prove fatal, but to make it safe, he wonld say one case in one hundred." Both these gentlemen agree as to their correctness, one of them, however, further stating that it was qualified by the words "under proper care," and explaining it by saying that the danger in question was danger to life, and not danger of injury short of fatal results. Both agree as to the correctness of the statement, "that the risk is not over one in two hundred, or one in one hundred."

We have simply desired in this article to show our readers what foundation we had for our remarks, and are willing they should judge from these in regard to their libelous character. E. P. C.

HOG LATIN VS. PUMPKIN VINE LITERATURE.-Bombastes Furioso of The Scalpel is a most remarkable man—indeed, if we take him at his own estimate, no other such blazing star ever shone in medical or miscellaneous literature, or in surgical practice. Still he is in reality an exceedingly remarkable man for his ridiculous egotism, and if for anything else, for his universal malevolence. However, these latter manifestations, if we give him credit for honesty in his many pious professions, must be the bursting out of his inflated vanity.

Behold his remarks on "what is quinine," and his surprising case, over which he calls upon the profession generally, and especially his seniors, to chew the quid of reflection. Why man, has your medical experience been so meagre, or have you read to so little advantage as to suppose there is anything new or striking in that, and yet set up yourself as editor of a medical journal?

But here is something better yet-hog latin he calls it, and we suppose it is, for it is no one's but his own, and he quotes it only to show his familiarity with the classics, for there was no need of lugging in anything so foreign to the subject of his paper. But here it is, and the italics are ours: Cujus mistura capeat cochlearea magna quacunque duobus hora.

Mr. Editor, you would do well to attend the University of Michigan a while to improve your classics. They don't teach that style there, albeit we didn't get our medical diploma there, as the Editor intimates. We went where they were more easily obtained-down in York State.

There is a little book that might help you along under difficulties of this nature, viz: Pereira's Physician's Prescription Book. If that don't answer, you must avoid such long sentences. E. P. C.

62-VOL. V. NO. IX.

REFLEX SECRCTORY ACTION.-In the New York Journal of Medicine, under the head of Report on the recent advances of the Medical Sciences in France, prepared by E. BROWN-SEQUARD, M. D., &c., we find an article on "Opthalmia by Reflex Action," in which Dr. B.-S., who must be regarded as high authority, says that, "Much has been said lately of reflex disturbances of nutrition and secretion, but there is not a great deal of novelty in what has been said, as may be seen by those who will read a little old book, which contains a great many facts of this kind; written by H. J. Rega, a Dutch Physician, and published in 1721."

Cases are referred to by Dr. B.-S., as related by Dr. Busschaert, where inflammation of the eyes of a most persistent character was produced by irritation of the ear, caused by accumulation of thick cerumen, which, when removed, the opthalmia ceased at once.

Other cases of disease, such as cephalalgia, and even epilepsy, are referred to as having been caused by accumulations of ear-wax, and cured by its removal.

We need not go to this old book of Rega, or the recent cases of Dr. Busschaert, to find facts of this kind. Every Dentist knows that a bad tooth will cause various symptoms in distant parts, which suddenly ceases by the extraction of the tooth, and every Farrier knows that what is sometimes called a wolf-tooth in a horse produces inflammation in the eyes of the animal, and that the extraction of the tooth will cure the inflammation of the eyes. Certainly facts of this nature are universally known and recognized.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"Concerning the theory of reflex secretions," Dr. Brown-Séquard says, "there has been, for some time, a somewhat strange discussion of priority between Dr. Campbell of Ga., and the late Dr. M. Hall. Not either of them had any right of priority in this respect, but still more, the questions concerning the reflex secretions, and the reflex changes in nutrition, had been carried much further than the point that these two able physicians thought they had been first to establish."

He refers those who would like to study this question, to the various works of Henle, published in 1840 and 1841, to the treatises of physiology by Ludwig, by Donders, and by O. Funke, in the Pathologische Physiologie of Spiess, and to his own little work on Epilepsy recently published in Boston.

Dr. Brown-Séquard says the main question now to be examined is, "whether in these reflex phenomena of nutrition and secretion, the

centrifugal nerves act by producing a constriction of blood-vessels, or by a special electric or nervous influence."

So far as Dr. Campbell's theory of an impression being made upon a sensitive nerve and reflected back upon an organic nerve, modifying secretion and nutrition is concerned, the thing to be examined is, whether the impressions are carried through the sensitive and organic nerves, or only through the organic; whether the action is reflex, being conveyed through both sets of nerves, or direct, being carried along the organic nerves alone. The authors Dr. B.-S. refers to may throw some light upon this point; (we have not had an opportunity to consult them;) but Dr. Campbell does not, by any sufficiently specific observations, or conclusive reasoning, or by any experiments at all.

After the array of authorities presented by our colleague, Dr. Christian, and after the statement of the precise point of Dr. Campbell's pretended "discovery," contained in a recent number of this Journal, and now after this decided, and what may be regarded as in a high degree authorative statement of Dr. Brown-Séquard, that neither of those contending for priority respecting this theory have any right to it; that even others, long ago, have gone much further in their speculations and conclusions than any of these contestants, we shall expect a total collapse of all these unfounded pretentions, especially to a discovery in this matter; if, indeed, such a collapse has not already fully come. We repeat what we said on a former occasion, that Dr. Campbell is entitled to much credit for bringing this subject, of sympathetic nervous action modifying circulation, secretion and nutrition, prominently forward in these days of chemical physiology, pathology and therapeutics, though he cannot justly claim the laurals of a discoverer. A. B. P.

PROFESSIONAL VERACITY.-"The charge that we have threatened to break down the Clinical School-come from whatever source it may—is simply false. We have regretted the inadequateness of the clinical course, and have earnestly urged its extension and amplification; but we have never, either publicly or privately, said anything that could be construed into such a threat. If we had, a charge of

infidelity would not have been based upon a non-residence. As to having published an apocryphal history of the acts of the Clinical Instructor, we have never published any history whatever of his acts. We appeal to the record."-Med. Independent.

If the reader will turn to the 163d page, vol. 3, of the Medical Independent, he will find an article entitled "Clinical Instruction in

the University of Michigan." We will leave it to him to determine from its perusal, whether the statement of the Surgical Professor quoted above is true or false. His hostility to the Clinical School is so much a matter of notoriety hereabouts, that I shall take no pains to prove the assertion heretofore made on that subject, which I could do by placing on the stand persons officially related to himself, whose testimony would not be impeached. All this is known to be true in the private circles in which we both move and where both are pretty well known, and I trust correctly appreciated.

There is more excuse to be made for the juvenile Professor of Surgery in using with so much freedom an epithet that implies a want of veracity in others, than can be made available to but few of the masculine gender. Time which works such marvellous changes in the face of nature, will doubtless perform its acts of kindness to him by causing even his hair, not

[blocks in formation]

nor as now from red to black, but by bringing him such a measure of wisdom as comes with gray hairs, and exhibits itself in good manners and the use of a more appropriate and refined language in speaking of age or admitted seniority.

It must be hard for a youth who has sailed long under false colors, or has tortured his ringlets with crisping-pins, to resist the influence of external associations, so as not to be ready on all occasions to charge others with falsehood when he has simply been reading himself in the glass. Z. P.

Since our last report, the health of our city continues remarkably good. The small pox excitement has died away, and measles and whooping cough are fast following. Notwithstanding the many and sudden changes of temperature, the typhoid diathesis still holds its sway; and although disease may be sthenic in its commencement, the former very generally terminates it. Tonsillitis has been somewhat prevalent, but readily amenable to treatment.

We clip the following from the New York Tribune:

"Dr. George M. Bates, of Lahaina, S. I., intends to sail for Hakodadi, in Japan, where he expects to establish himself as a physician and surgeon. Dr. Bates is a pupil of Dr. Z. Pitcher, of Detroit, and graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the New York State University."

« ForrigeFortsæt »