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wishes of their fellow practitioners, and to
maintain their rights, nothing has been done MEDICAL GAZETTE.
practically by the profession as a whole to
compensate these men for their loss. To this SYDNEY, 2014 SEPTEMBER, 1902.
it may be replied that nothing can be done
in this direction. But if we are to continue a A PROPOSED
policy of ostracism of objectionable societies MEDICAL DEFENCE FUND.
and their medical officers, it must be seriously considered whether we can in future ask medical
men to resign from these organisations without Wiru the increasing number of gentlemen
offering them something in return. The apentering the medical profession from year to
parent injustice of such a demand was, we year, the conditions of medical practice have
believe, keenly felt by some medical men who, altered somewhat from what they were in by
at the request of the New South Wales Branch gone days. It has become necessary for the
of the British Medical Association, recently organised ranks of the profession represented
resigned their appointments as medical officers by the State Branches of the British Medical
to a medical institute in Sydney. Association and allied societies to take steps to
At a special meeting of this Branch, held prevent the degradation of the profession in
last month, a resolution was passed on the the eyes of the general public, and to defend
motion of Dr. FURNIVAL appointing a committee themselves against the encroachments of
to elaborate a scheme for the establishment of societies whose aim is to get as much out of the
a medical defence fund to be submitted to a medical man for as little rayment as possible.
subsequent meeting for further discussion. It In these days we have to contend with pro
is, of course, realised that it would be practically prietary lodges and organisations such as the
impossible to raise a fund sufficient to fully Australian Natives' Association, whose con
recoup a medical man who might resign from tempt for the simple rights of medical men is
a medical benefit society at the instigation of not concealed.
the Branch, but it is thought that if a fund of It is a matter of regret that, in the this kind were in existence some temporary prosecution of this policy of maintaining assistance might be given to him on resigning the best interests of the profession at large, any objectionable appointment. It has been it has been necessary to
suggested that a fund for this purpose might medical men, who, from a short-sighted policy be raised by annual subscription and donations of self interest, have decided to ignore the from medical men whether engaged in lodge wishes of the majority of their fellow practi- | practice or not.
practice or not. Multiplication of medical tioners. We should much prefer that such a societies with their necessary annual subscripcourse of ostracism had never become necessary, tions is not desirable, and we think that if the and that the profession had become a thoroughly establishment of a Lodge Practitioners' Defence united body. It is also to be regretted that Fund is not considered practicable, possibly some medical men who have loyally abided by some modification of the constitution of the the decision of the majority of the profession, New South Wales Medical Union might be even though they may have held opposite views, secured to meet this object. In the meantime have suffered financially as a result of their we hope medical men will carefully consider loyalty to the profession. It has been recog- the proposal, so that when the matter comes up nised that while these medical men have made for discussion we may have the results of considerable financial sacrifices to meet the matured thought upon it.
THE ADULTERATION OF MILK. in Boston. The examinations were made in
the Pharmacological Laboratory of the Harvard
Medical School, and the Chemical Laboratory With the approach of summer weather, and the accompanying large amount of gastric and
of the Massachusetts General Hospital. The intestinal disorders in children, it is a matter of
estimation of the percentage of fat was made great importance that the milk, which forms so by the Babcock method; the percentage of large a part of the dietary of infants and young sugar by polariscopy; and that of the total children, should be quite pure. From the
solids, proteid and mineral matter, by incineraannual report of the Medical Officer of Health
tion. These gave the following results :-Fat for the Sydney metropolitan combined districts,
varied from 8 to 15.20 per cent.; sugar and we learn with regret that there is an immense
proteids from 8:30 to 9.64 per cent. ; and the amount of adulteration practised on the milk
ash from 0:47 to 0.65 per cent. These figures supplied to Sydney, not only by the addition of serve to show only what might be expected, water often in large quantities, but by the that the nutritional quality of milk must vary addition of chemical preservatives, both in within considerably wide limits consistent with summer and winter. This statement is sup- purity. But there can be no excuse for the ported by the fact that out of 212 samples of addition of chemical preservatives which have milk taken and submitted to analysis, no less been proved to be detrimental to health, and than 134, or 63 per cent., were found to be the Departmental Committee of the English adulterated. Quite recently some milk pur- Local Government Board, appointed in 1899 to veyors in the Glebe district of Sydney were enquire into the use of preservatives and fined for having sold milk which was found to colouring matters in foods, have recommended, contain added water to the extent of over 3 per in their report, that the use of any preservative cent, and boracic acid to the extent in one case or colouring matter whatever in milk offered of 51 grains per gallon. In another case at for sale should be constituted an offence under the same court the report of the Government the Sale of Food and Drugs Act. As Dr. Analyst showed the presence of added water to ARMSTRONG remarks, “this decision is a most the extent of 3 per cent., the fat being only 2.9 valuable one, as it will strengthen the hands of per cent. and the other solids only 8.2 per cent. sanitary authorities throughout the EnglishThis analysis was disputed by another analyst, speaking world in suppressing the adulteration who stated that the milk in question was a pure of milk, which was certainly assuming, in this milk, but of poor quality, and contained 3.53 country at all events, alarming proportions." per cent. of fat. There is no standard for milk
The machinery of the New South Wales in New South Wales, but the Association of
Public Health Act, in respect to the prevention Public Analysts in England have adopted a of adulteration of food, works well, and every standard which is universally recognised, and
assistance in the way of analysis of all foods is it is not apparent how such a variation in the
undertaken by the Department of Public results of the two analysts, who professed to Health free of charge. We hope that the adopt the same standard, is to be explained.
efforts of this department to secure a pure milk In a paper on the “Importance of Milk supply will be vigorously supported by the Analysis in Infant Feeding," in a recent issue profession at large, and that in the next annual of the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Dr. report by Dr. ARMSTRONG we shall read of a WENTWORTH reports the analysis of several great advance having been made towards this samples of milk obtained from the milk vendors
very necessary object.
and usually unessential details which are so apt to creep into the ordinary medical contribution.”
Very lengthy communications only weary the Medical Men and the Lay Press.
audience, the salient points are often overlooked,
and really profitable discussions cannot take It will be seen from a report in another column
place upon them unless summaries of the of the special meeting of the New South Wales
papers be printed and placed in the hands of Branch of the British Medical Association held the audience. The executive committee of the last month that the motion proposed by Dr. next Australian Congress may seriously conFiaschi for the appointment of a special com
sider the arrangements for the conduct of the mittee to draw up some resolution on the business of the sections, and we would suggest relations between medical men and the lay that instead of there being a number of papers press was negatived. Two amendments to the
on diverse subjects some attempt should be motion were also negatived, so that the question
made to select definite subjects for each day's still remains undecided. It is a pity that some
sectional work, a time limit being placed on each finality on this question was not reached, but
reader of a paper or speaker at a discussion. it would appear that in the present state of feeling amongst the members of the Branch this is not to be attained just yet.
The Treatment of Neglected Children.
General of New South Wales has prepared a Meeting of the N.S.W. Branch of the British
bill for presentation to the State Parliament Medical Association at Newcastle.
dealing with the treatment of neglected chil. It has been remarked that medical men dren. It is proposed to establish day industrial residing in the country profit but little by schools to which children found wandering membership of the Branch of the British about the streets might be sent by a magisMedical Association, beyond getting the British trate. The child would be taught there in the Medical Journal and the Australasian Medical ordinary course, and would be fed at a nominal Gazette. It has, accordingly, been suggested cost to the parents. If the child could not be that country members might be brought more managed by its parents it could be left at the directly into touch with the Association if some school entirely. There is no intention to interineetings were held in the country towns. From fere with existing arrangements for dealing the report of the meeting of the Council of the with neglected children such as the N.S.S. Branch, published in our last issue, it will be “ Sobraon” and the Reformatory, but they seen that it has been decided to hold a meeting would probably be graded as industrial schools. of the Branch in Newcastle during the month Captain Neitenstein, the Comptroller-General of October next, the exact date to be announced of Prisons, has for several years past advocated later. We hope that as many members as a measure of this kind in his annual reports, possible, living within easy access of Newcastle, and he states that the way in which children will attend this meeting; and we would remind are allowed to wander about the streets can our friends that medical men who may not be only be regarded as a great evil, since it has members of the Branch may be introduced to been proved beyond all doubt that truancy is the meeting by any member.
the most prolific cause of juvenile crime, and if the growth of the criminal population is to be
checked the children must be kept out of the The Conduct of Medical Meetings.
streets. At the recent very successful meeting of the American Surgical Association it was decided
Fees to Medical Witnesses. that only eight minutes should be allowed for In reply to a question by Mr. J. C. L. the reading of each paper, and as a result 30 Fitzpatrick as to fees and travelling expenses papers were presented, and considerably more to medical men, Sir John See said that fees than 100 discussions were possible. Eight paid to medical witnesses compelled to attend minutes would seem a very short time to allow the coroner's courts are prescribed by Act of to an author to present even the barest results Parliament, but by Executive regulation of any medical research. But, as the Boston
power is given to the chief medical officer of Medical and Surgical Journal points out, “it is the Government to pay in addition to a special unquestionably possible to condense into this mileage rate, on recommendation of the coroner, time the salient features either of a clinical or when the distance travelled to the scene of a scientific report, leaving out all the extraneous inquest has exceeded 20 miles. The inequality
of this regulation, as compared with the mileage rate allowed to Government medical officers whose services are requisitioned by the police, has been recognised, and a fresh regulation, under which the special allowance may be paid when the distance travelled has exceeded three miles, has been made the subject of a recommendation by the chief medical officer of the Government.
Australian Child Study Association. At a meeting of this association, held in Sydney on August 26th, a lecture was delivered by Dr. W. F. Quaife on “The Mind of the Child.” He compared the plans of teaching adopted in the State schools here and in America, and said that an intellectual want of interest was visible in young Australians, and was due to the faulty methods adopted in their schools. The true school was not a workshop for the teachers, but an expression of the child's own life, and it was by studying the .child that the master learnt how to teach him. On the following day, upon the invitation of Lady See, a meeting was held at Randwick for the purpose of hearing addresses from Drs. Flashman and Brennand, and representatives of the Child Study Association, with the view to the formation of a branch at Randwick. Miss McClelland (general hon. secretary) explained that the Child Study Association had been formed about four years ago, and was endeavouring to awaken a wider interest in the study of the young. To discover the peculiarities of children it was necessary to establish a laboratory, in which all could be scientifically investigated and physically and psychologically .tested, so that they might be classed and graded according to their physical and mental capabilities, and trained into habits which would produce a lasting benefit to themselves, and a future good to their country.
Drs. Flashman and Brennand delivered two addresses upon
the subject, both from a scientific and practical point of view. The subject of child study could be approached from many different directions, according to the view of the student, whether he be a parent, teacher or anthropologist, a psychologist, a physician, or simply a lover of young humanity in the abstract. In England and in most of the Continental countries and America there were strong associations established for the sole purpose of studying child life in all its aspects. Such was, to a very great extent, due to the impetus given to such inquiries by the works of “Froebel” and others on the Continent, and the development of the kindergarten system in consequence. Child study was producing an enormous literature of its own.
Death of Professor Virchow. A CABLEGRAM has been received announcing the death of the veteran pathologist, Professor Rudolph Virchow, in his 82nd year. In our London correspondent's letter, published in April last, there is an account of the accident which befell the distinguished scientist. As he was alighting from an electric car he fell on the asphalt roadway and fractured his femur. He was the recipient of an immense amount of sympathy from all classes in Germany, as well as from scientitic workers all over the world. The Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift at that time announced that the fracture was beginning to mend, and that his general health was good, except for some want of refreshing sleep at night. In our last issue our London correspondent, referring to the accident, stated that the Professor's recovery was all that could be desired, and that he had left Berlin for the country for some months. His assistants were to carry on his work at the University during the summer term. He had resigned the presidency of the Berlin Medical Society. This is the latest news we have, and we must await the arrival of the English mail for full details of the cause of death.
Rudolph Virchow was born in Pomerania in 1821. At the age of 22 years he graduated doctor of medicine at Berlin, and four years later he became a member of the teaching staff. A year later he was appointed a member of the Government Commission to inquire into an outbreak of typhus fever among the weavers in Silesia. He was subsequently appointed professor of pathological anatomy at Wurzburg, and while there he published his work on “Cellular Pathology.” He was then recalled to Berlin University, from which he had been expelled for political reasons.
Entering the Chamber of Deputies in 1860, he rapidly rose to the leadership of the Liberal Opposition, and as such made a firm stand against the encroachments of the reactionaries under the guise of the royal prerogative. In 1878 Virchow retired from political life. During the last illness of the Emperor Frederick he was constantly consulted. At the International Congress on Tuberculosis he attended in his capacity as director of the Pathological Institute of Berlin, a position he had held for 45 years, and was prominent in antagonism to the theory of Professor Koch that consumption is not transmissible by tuberculosis germs from cattle in food to human beings. In October last, when Professor Virchow celebrated his 80th birthday, the Emperor William of Germany presented him with the gold medal awarded periodically for eminent research in science.
The following extract is from an editorial article from the pen of Professor Wilson in our issue of July, 1901, on the celebration of Virchow's 80th birthday :
It is probably not toð much to say that the period of Virchow's active scientific career has been the most fruitful epoch in the history of the medical sciences. Of the illustrious band of European observers and investigators who made the middle period of the nineteenth century what it was, Rudolph Virchow is now one of the very few, and also one of the most distinguished, surviving representatives. In a very real sense, every one who follows up the science and practice of rational medicine may be said to be the pupil of one who, if not the sole founder, was the most celebrated exponent of that cellular pathology’upon which is based practically all our interpretations of morbid structure and process.
BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
PROCEEDINGS OF AUSTRALASIAN
New South Wales.
A SPECIAL general meeting of the Branch was held at the Royal Society's Rooms on Thursday, August 14th, 1902, Dr. G. E. Rennie (president) in the chair. There were 43 members present.
The Hon. SECRETARY read the circular convening the meeting.
The PRESIDENT announced the election of the following members :-Dr. G. P. M. Woodward, Sydney ; Dr. H. S. Capper, Potts Point.
Dr. Furnival moved the following resolution—"That the establishment of a defence fund is desirable for the protection of members who may suffer financially through resigning medical contract appointments at the instigation of the Branch, and that a committee be appointed to draw up a scheme for consideration at a future meeting,” and said he had felt for some time past that the action of the British Medical Association with regard to the Australian Natives' Association and proprietary lodges had been to a certain extent hampered by not having such a fund as this, which could be utilised in assisting medical men who were compelled to give up
of their lodge appointments. If there was a fund which could assist a
to keep going, at any rate for a time, it would be invaluable. It should be remembered that some men with families depending upon them would think twice before sacrificing themselves. As far as his position was concerned in the lodges he had given up, he was not very materially concerned, but there were others who would be seriously embarrassed if called upon to give up some of their appointments. It would not cost much to start a fund to provide at least a portion of the income forfeited. All the medical societies should be represented upon the committee. There were about 700 medical men practising in New South Wales, and half of them were engaged in lodge practice. He thought the subscription should be £22s for members having lodge practice, and £1 ls per annum for those not in lodge work. No man could come upon the fund unless he had been called out by the Branch. He thought this matter should be dealt with seriously and earnestly, as it meant either success or failure in the matter of fighting for the rights of the profession, and would give the medical men such a weapon as would be of the very greatest benefit. He hoped that the scheme foreshadowed would be elaborated by the committee he desired to have appointed.
Dr. ANGEL MONEY seconded the resolution, and said he and he hoped that such a fund would be started.
Dr. MACPHERSON said he desired to support the resolution. He understood that Dr. Furnival resigned the lodge because the other medical officer was connected with the Australian Natives' Association. He thought Dr. Furnival was to be commended for his action; there were, however, other members who were not prepared to do the same.
Dr. McDonagh said that before taking action they should be sure of their ground. Temporary help could only be given in certain cases. In his opinion lodges ought to be a thing of the past. A fund might be started on insurance lines. He was heartily in accord
with the spirit of the resolution, but was of opinion that it was impossible to give adequate compensation.
Dr. BRADY said he thought such a fund should be started, and was sure that donations would be given by those interested. He was prepared to donate a sun as well as give an annual subscription.
Dr. Bowman said this resolution was of importance, especially to the younger men of the profession. He felt sure that the older men would give donations as well as annual subscriptions. Dr. Furnival's action was a noble one. He had given up several lodges on the principle that the profession should not have anything to do with the A.N.A. or its medical officers. The starting of this fund would be a distinct advantage to the branch in the fight. He felt sure that all lodge doctors would become subscribers to the fund.
Dr. McKay said if the Association was to be a power it must have money. He thought this matter was one of insurance. The scheme deserved every consideration, and could be made very successful.
Dr. BINNEY said he would like to ask Dr. Gill if the functions of the Medical Union embraced this question.
Dr. Gill said the funds of the Medical Union could not be made available for the purpose mentioned in the resolution. The income of the Medical Union was about £300 per annum, and the expenses so far only about £50 or £60. The accumulated funds amounted to something over £2000. The scope of the Medical Union was so different to the present proposal that it was not possible to include the two in one society.
The resolution was agreed to unanimously.
Dr. FURNIVAL proposed that the following constitute a committ, e to discuss the matter :--The President and Hon. Secretary of the New South Wales Branch British Medical Association, President of the Medical Union, President of the Sydney and Suburban Provident Association, Presidents of the Metropolitan, Eastern Suburbs, Western Suburbs, Northern Suburbs and Newcastle Medical Societies, and the mover, with power to add to their number.
After discussion this was agreed to.
Dr. Collins moved the following resolution :-" That it is desirable that a scale of fees for medical examinations for life assurance be determined on, and that the Council be requested to formulate a scheme for consideration at a future meeting," and said his reason for bringing this matter forward was that he found a great division of opinion as to the fees paid for examinations in life insurance. He had recently been asked to act as medical referee to a company, but had declined the honour, as he did not consider the fees adequate. The scale was for policies up to £100, 10s 6d each report; from £100 to £1000, 21s; and for over £1000, £2 2s each. The report in each case was a lengthy one, numbering about 60 questions. He thought if the fees were cut down the report should also be reduced. He (Dr. Collins) thought in the case of the smaller amounts a certificate should be considered sufficient. He hoped the Council would formulate some uniform scale of fees.
Dr. MACPHERSON seconded the resolution, and said when he was in practice at Glen Innes he had an experience of proposed cutting down of fees. The Independent Order of Foresters made overtures to him to take business at 10s 6d fees, but he refused, and the other medical man doing the same the company got no business either in Glen Innes or Inverell; however, when he came to Sydney he found that the 10s 6d fee was the fee offered by several societies.
Dr. McDonagh said, being chief medical officer of a society, he knew the difficulties in the way of laying down a uniform scale of fees. In many cases a proponent was examined, but did not complete the business in the prescribed fortnight; that necessitated another examination.