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humoral pathology was that diseases are a unit, depending upon some morbific poison in the blood; and that disease is an effort of nature to throw off the poison.

In view of these facts, what harm can possibly result from a suppurating wound or giving an abscess time to mature? Pus is not formed by a dissolution of the solids, but is a product of the blood-vessels. In the largest abscesses there is no loss of substance. Any inflamed surface will secrete pus. Large quantities of pus have been formed in the pleural sacs, in the peritoneum, in the liver, lungs, spleen, psoas muscle, and the female breast. Psoas abscesses have often existed for four or five months before descending to a point where they could be opened. An abscess has sometimes formed deep down in the female breast, and carried for months without injury to the breast or general health. I once opened a large abscess of the renal capsule, which was three months forming, and notwithstanding the pus was so foul as to be almost insupportable, the patient recovered. I have operated a number of times for empyema of several weeks' standing, followed by restoration to perfect health. Suppuration is a salutary process in dangerous inflammation where resolution is impossible. It is doing what medicine and surgery have failed to do. I have known scrofulous abscesses to be absorbed, and the matter eliminated from the blood without sensibly aggravating the disease. Suppuration serves to lubricate the surface of wounds and keep the granulations moist. It enables the vessels to elongate and form additional granulations until the cavity of the wound is filled up with them. Without suppuration the surface of wounds would never heal by granulation; for the want of it the new granulations would be destroyed.

That the blood may be fatally poisoned no physician or surgeon of any experience will deny; but not by pus, or medicine introduced into it hypodermically or otherwise, if prudently used. The most potent blood poison is blood itself, absorbed from gunshot wounds, in a putrid state. In comminuted fracture of the femur, tibia, humerus, or the large joints, when amputation or resection is not resorted to in time, the extravasated blood very soon undergoes decomposition, and by its absorption produces the disease known as pyemia or septicemia. Putrescent blood absorbed

from the uterus of parturient women, may also fatally poison the blood. Hence it is necessary that after-pains should be allowed to go on until the uterus relieves itself of the debris of the labor. This process of nature is a better protection against puerperal septicemia than all the appliances of modern gynecology. Vaginal douches and antiseptic injections can be safely dispensed with, if the womb spontaneously contracts occasionally, for three days, attended with a fair discharge of the lochia. Very few women will suffer from the absorption of septic material after parturition, if let alone and not frightened by an ostentatious display of gynecological instruments.

Of all the blood poisons known to pathology, whisky or alcoholic stimulants generally are the most destructive. They are not as rapid in their operation as poisoning by putrid blood, but eventually as fatal if persevered in. Thousands of men in the prime of life are annually destroyed by the use of alcohol; and yet boards of health never recommend the abatement of the nuisance, or an institution for inebriates, where, by proper discipline and treatment, thousands of young men may be saved from an untimely grave. The attention of boards of health is occupied with malaria, and some other very doubtful causes of disease, while scores of drunkards are dying around them with tuberculosis, hepatitis and gastritis, the result of the persistent use of alcohol. They are after the women about "slop holes" and a little garbage thrown in the streets, but they never hunt the places where liquid death is dealt out to the rising generation.

There is a considerable demand for blood purifiers, upon the hypothesis that there is at all times more or less morbific material in blood. An immense amount of money is expended in the purchase of very cheap drugs, mean whisky and very common syrup. These quack nostrums are advertised by heartless knaves, in the newspapers and posters, inscriptions on fences and in almanacs, assuring fools-of which the world abounds-that they will never be sick while they use their blood purifiers, but on the contrary, they will be as fat as seals and as florid as roses.

Man needs no blood purifier. The inferior animals don't need them and never take drugs. Pure air, pure water, wholesome food and moderate exercise are all the blood purifiers he needs. Let him use these and he will be blessed with health and longevity.



Much as has been said and written on this subject, there is so much of interest to the scientist and moralist involved in the question that its description, in its various phases, is well worthy the consideration of this medical association, yet it is not expected in the space alloted to individual papers, to do more than call attention to some of the main points of importance, asking those interested to pursue the subject further at their leisure, and to investigate it from the physician's standpoint.

That there is a necessity for candid inquiry into the merits of this question is so plain that "He that runs may read." The student of nature will find food for thought at almost every step, on our streets, in our public assemblies; wherever persons congregate evidences may be seen of the hereditary transmission of physical or mental health.

The careful physician in private practice seats himself for a thorough examination of his patient when serious disease of the lungs is feared, and in addition to a critical, physical examination, he asks: "Are your parents living? Have any of your family, your father or mother, your uncles or aunts, suffered with disease of the lungs? Have they had consumption?" And according as the answer may be in connection with the present condition, the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease is often determined.

As evidence of hereditary transmission of disease of a peculiar form, in a paper recently read before the Medico Legal Society, of Philadelphia, Dr. T. S. Butcher states the following interesting history: "I have, among my own patients, a family, every member

of which who have attained their majority have died of appoplexy, on back through generations over two hundred years; and since I commenced practicing in the family, five members have died of this disease."

Another eminent physician says: "That phthisis, cancer, cardiac trouble, scrofula, and the like are hereditary, and only need favorable circumstances for their development does not admit of a doubt." These facts can be attested by the experience of everyday practice among observing physicians.

Accepting the theory that is taught by the best and most successful practicing physicians, as well as the most eminent scientists, that physical deformity as well as mental degeneracy, are transferable qualities, where these are known to exist efforts should be made by those interested to modify, as far as possible, their influence on their victims, and this can be measurably successful, and sometimes controlled by preternatal determination of the mother, aided and sustained in this direction by the influence and co-operation of the father into the deep research of the causes which make them, and by removing the causes that foster them, and this way to a certain extent the parents of the present generation hold in their grasp the destines of the next.

We read in the words of prophecy that the "sins of the father shall be visited on the children to the third generation," and whether we believe it or not, the facts of the present day, as admitted by the student of nature, testify to its truth, and it should be an incentive for careful and conscientious research into the causes that bring about this state of things and apply the remedy as far as possible. It is not the intention to burden this paper with many instances of hereditary development, as these in a variety of ways come under the observation of every physician of reasonable experience and observation, and induces them to look about and see what can be done by advantageous surroundings of these unfortunate victims of diseased transmission, to educate them above and without these attending conditions that they may be in a large measure absolved from hereditary consequences in themselves, and in turn transmit better qualities to their offspring.

This is the question, that as almoners of the public health, the physician of to-day is called upon to take into consideration, and

it occurs to the writer that the system of reports, as established by the Board of Health, offer some opportunity by which this could be accomplished by comparison of disease, its location and causes,


The influence of surroundings and habits of the mother on the unborn child was recognized at a very early period in the world's history, as we find this in the teachings of Moses, when he instructed the prospective mother of Samson, "to drink no wine or the fruit of the vine, and to eat no unclean thing," as animal food was thought unclean at that time, in order that the man who was to deliver the children of Israel out of the power of the Philistines, should be as perfect a man as the laws of maternity could produce, and the historian says the father and mother both acted on the advice given, and a child every way worthy of his high destiny was the result.

Would that some thought and acknowledgment of the responsibility every father and mother bears to themselves and children were recognized at the present day.

The social customs of society which recognizes wine drinking at convivial parties and at the domestic fireside, also the indiscriminate use of alcoholic liquors as a beverage, and its twin sisters, opium and tobacco in all their forms, are making their impress on the present generation; and it will not stop here, but the children that are born of some of the victims of these habits will, according to the inflexible and unerring laws of hereditary transmission reflect them on the coming man and woman, who, all unconscious of the reason why, will find themselves the slaves of habit from which they would gladly escape.

The most alarming feature of this custom is the great number of young boys and girls that are being led into this habit by cigarettes, whisky drops in the form of candy, and many of the enticing nostrums that attract the attention and foster the appetite in children for these artificial stimulants which often conceal the serpent's sting beneath a beautiful exterior.

The deleterious effects of alcohol and tobacco on the tender and undeveloped nervous tissues of the young, is beginning to be recognized by the military authorities, where the actual present and prospective condition of the cadets of the naval school render its

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