Billeder på siden

opinion, or on opinions inferred from fact, I have, therefore, treated opinions with less importance than facts; and have paid little deference to one part of an author's book, and placed great stress on another." Were this merely a question whether my assertion or Dr. Sutton's was to be credited, the discussion would be of little consequence to the professions, but, as it involves a medical fact, it may not be altogether unworthy of attention. Dr. S. has stated the case in your last Number, and has given a reply, as if I had brought this forward as a general charge, whereas ny, accusation, in this instance, relates merely to Dr. Irvine's book op tbe Diseases of Sicily. He likewise omits to observer that this is a deduction from proofs which I had formerly given, and which the reader may find in your Journal for Nov. 1815, p. 371, 2. If Dr. Sutton were to answer the arguments there brought forward in proof of my assertion, it would, perhaps, produce a stronger effect than simply denying the charge. A refutation, however, he has not attempted. On this occasion, Dr. Sutton appears to have for

gotten that Dr. Irvine gives no positive numbers or propor. - tionsy but uses the word frequent, and otbers of a similar naFiture. 9 Now the expressions frequent and unfrequent, com. mon and uncommon, are relative terms, and are only to be

judged of by the context and by other circumstances; so oghat, in a case of this kind, it is impossible, from detached

unconnected passages, to draw a fair conclusion; but the Ti

cousulted. It is by overlooking this observation that Dr. Sutton has I drawn unfair conclusions.

oldal Liv The commencement and the end of the above quotation

from Dr. Sutton appear to me inconsistent with each other. - The first denies, and the latter acknowledges, the truth of

my charge. I had said, in reference to Dr. Irvine's book, that Dr. S., by separating particular passages," &c. Dr. Sutton at first denies this, but afterwards allows, that he has

paid little deference to one part of an author's book, and placed great stress on another;". Now the charge which I u have made, though conveyed in other words, is precisely 37 this, that Dr. Sutton has paid little deference to one

part" of Dr. Irvine's book, and has placed great stress on ano

ther;" and thus has opposed the general tenour of that work. 2092 In the above quotation, Dr. Sutton appears to maintain, that no attention should be paid to inferences or opinions. Unsupported inferences are certainly unworthy of attention, Few persons will reject the opinions of others respecting facts, unless those opinions are different from their own, provided the reporter is a man whose veracity has not been


[ocr errors]

impeached, provided his opportunities of observation are sufficient, and provided he has no particular theory to support. For the last reason, neither Dr Sutton's opinions nor mine are to be received implicitly. Ji Yet, though Dr. Sutton has this dislike to inference, he can, on some occasions, have recourse to inference, and that with very insufficient premises. Of this I gave an example in my last communication, where I shewed that, on the supposed testimony of one writer respecting Sicily, Dr. Sutton drew an inference as to Malta, which inference was in direct opposition to the testimony of a writer respecting Malta itself, as And I shall immediately have occasion to point out another inference, drawn by Dr. Sutton from insufficient premises. 950532ni aintai NON 62119

In your Journal for last February, p. 96, Dr. Sutton in. ferred the general frequency of consumption in Malta, because the returns of one year shewed, that one death in five among our troops in that island was occasioned by this disease. To this I replied, p. 963, that the army consisted of persons between the ages of ten and forty: that this, consequently, by excluding all infantile and senile diseases, could not be taken as a fair general standard ; and that, by registers of deaths in civil life, kept according to the ages, it was shewn, that double the proportion died of consumption be. tween ten and forty, of those who died of this disease when all ages were included. To this Dr. Sutton has rejoined,

« None of infirm health, or consumptive, are admitted to be soldiers; and it is to be observed, that a more than equal share of those who die of consumption are of the class of those who cannot be admitted into the army. Next it may be observed, that women are, upon the whole, more Jiable to consumption than men. These two causes appear to effect an equality between the whole of the deaths in civil

life, compared with those by consumption, and such as hap101

pen among the military in this country, in the total, compared with the same." In other words, if I understand the meaning of this passage, that the proportion of deaths by consumption among the military is only half what it is among males of the same age in civil life, or equal to the general I proportion in civil life when all ages are included. This is

the inference. Let us examine if the premises are equal to the support of such an inferences That more women are affected with consumption than men, rests on Dr. Sutton's assertion without proof; and therefore must be considered as an unsupported assumption. But, allowing it to be correct, the qualifying terms which Dr. Sutton employs, 66 on the whole," appear to imply that the difference is merely trifling even in his estimation. Musiqa su 1999r live eroa sig 19

518 0 2totqo sodt perlas a With end 100

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

With respect to the military, the same remark may be made, that there is assertion without proof being offered by Dr. S. That no person whose health is actually much deranged, or who is positively in a consumption at the time of presenting himself, is admitted into the army, I can easily credit. But, if an inspector of recruits were ever so desirous of excluding from the army all who had a tendency to consumption, so difficult would be the task, that, in many instances, he must be deceived. Also, during war, I have myself known, and have been informed on good authority, that men are passed, on account of the difficulty of procuring recruits, who, during peace, would be rejected. That in time of war men are admitted into the army of a decidedly consumptive disposition, I know by experience; and have been assured, that such is the fact, by gentlemen whose opportunities of gaining this kind of knowledge are much greater than I possess. I have also been informed by an inspector of recruits, that, during war, he was not required to be, nor was he actually, particular in this point; and that, in fact, he passed all, with scarcely any exception, who were free from disease at the time of examination. As this is diametrically opposite to Dr. Sutton's unproved assumption, his inference must fall to the ground; and, unless Dr. S. can give stronger proof than that contained in the above quotation, we must not allow that the deaths by consumption in the army are only half those which occur among males of the same age in civil life.

But to strengthen this supposition, Dr. Sutton says, p. 461, that Sir James M Grigor asserts that deaths by consumption among the troops in Great Britain amount to one in five of the deaths by other diseases.” And a little lower, in the

he refers to this as one of the « decided matter-of-fact statements of Sir James M'Grigor." But, unfortunately, this is not the matter-of-fact statement of Sir James M‘Grigor, but the statement of Dr. Sutton. In the Transactions of the Medico-Chirurgical Society, vol.uvi. p. 440, Sir James M'Grigor says, “ In England this disease (consumption) is as frequent and fatal in the army as it is in civil life: in Spainand Portugal we found it of much more rare occurrence;" and, speaking " of the army in England, under ordinary circumstances, and when no epidemic or contagious. disease prevailed, I found the deaths from consumption to aniount to one-fifth, one-fourth, and, in some regiments, even as high as one half, of the whole mortality. I have given these quotations, that each may speak for itself. Dr. Sutton asserts, that the deaths by consumption among the military in England are one in five. Sir James M'Grigor evidently,

60 IF

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



topeng 2.


man, that English soldiers are too exclusive a body of men, avu too peculiarly circumstanced, to enable us from thein alone to speak with any degree of accuracy respecting the diseases and deaths occurring among the inhabitants juegea neral of a foreign country, in which these men happen to be stationed.

I'believe I have now noticed all the points of Dr. Sutton's last letter which bear on the controversy between us. The remainder, not relating immediately to this subject, I have not thought it necessary to answer. Never Broad-street;

Biel June 21, 1817.

ارز في

[ocr errors]

We feel greatly indebted to our learned and ingenious corres spondents. An enquiry, conducted by men of such experience, can not but elicit important information; but the number of candidates for notice obliges us to request that the controversy may pow.cease, and triat all future communications on this subject may be confined to statistical facts.-EDIT.

ونزو لاری

[ocr errors][subsumed]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

job For the London Medical and Physical Journal. ...

On Blistering and Topical Cold ; By Dr. KiNGLAKE. TH THE result of much and close attention to the influence of

temperature in the diseased actions of the animalecos nomy, has convinced me that some of the popular notions of appropriate remedies should be dispassionately examined and re-judged. No one can rely with more gratifying confidence than myself on the unequivocally established effil cacy of accredited means of cure. It is a most consoling reJief under an earnest solicitude to benefit morbid suffering, to be able, promptly to resort to an adequate remedy.. No speculations implying doubt should be obtruded on such medicinal influence as is unquestionably salutary. In such instances, the direct practical advantages amply counterbalance and set at nought all hypothetical refinements that might be indulged ; but, when less certainty exists, when obscurity veils the reputed beneficial power of medicinal agents, it is allowable, nay, laudable, to endeavour to remove alt ambiguity, by ascertaining what may be true in the circumstances stated.

1:" 21184961 *** Having premised these observations, it may be presumed, that it will not be deemed ton adventurous to offer a fewire. marks on the prevailing practice of blistering the regions of Visceral cavities, for the purpose of mitigating or transferring

« ForrigeFortsæt »