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A simple pavilion can be quickly constructed with full ventilation, which would insure a greater percentage of cures, and complete immunity of attendants from this fatal disease. Such a fever pest-house is as much required as a separate building for the isolation of small-pox. We know how vague and uncertain the practical knowledge of these considerations is among laymen; and because we are forced to witness most cruel and needless sacrifices of precious lives, in consequence of such inattention to momentous facts, we speak thus urgently. And we pray our medical brethren to lend their aid to the work of rooting out the fever nests of our crowded districts. Let them insist upon the removal and proper surveillance of all communicable sources of contagious fever, and soon we shall see each hospital establishing a separate and well-isolated pavilion for the treatment of such fever. It is demonstrable that not until such isolation is adequately provided, will fevers cease to burst forth in our large hospitals; and while the fever demon of the crowded wards holds carnival, noble young martyrs will swell the immortal group of faithful physicians whose heroism in duty ennobles the history of the medical art, and to whose names the profession affectionately points, while it proudly inscribes upon the tablet sacred to their memory:

HÆC MEA ORNAMENTA SUNT.

XXXIII.

DISEASES OF CONSCRIPTS.

THE

HE medical examination of conscripts during war presents a novel duty to the profession. While the volunteer desires to enter the service, and consequently conceals or makes light of his disabilities, the conscript wishes to escape se vice, and to do so, feigns disease or occasionally maims himself. The latter examination is much more difficult than the former, involving often the nicest discrimination of appearances, and the most careful study of symptoms made conspicuous but without an adequate cause. All the most recent methods of investigation must be applied, and oftentimes with much more skill than in ordinary examinations. The feigning of disease by conscripts has long been practiced, and most governments have passed stringent laws relating to it. Charondas, among the Greeks, punished those who employed stratagem to avoid going to war, by exposure in the dress of women on a scaffold for three days. In the Roman State conscripts often maimed themselves. Some cut off their thumbs (pollice trunci, poltroons), as was witnessed in the war of the rebellion. But they were still compelled to serve. Theodosius or

dained that two maimed conscripts furnished by a district should count only as one efficient recruit in the prescribed levy. Constantine ordered that persons self-mutilated should be branded and still retained in service. Other emperors punished persons who maimed themselves to avoid serving in the campaigns of the Republic still more severely, and Augustus even put some to death. In modern times, persons endeavoring to escape service by feigning disease or disabling themselves, have been sentenced to imprisonment, to receive corporeal punishment, or have been compelled to serve in the army for life. To determine the nature of the complaint of the conscript, whether true or feigned, it early became necessary to call in the services of physicians. And it is not very creditable to our profession to find in subsequent legislation evidences of the connivance of the examining surgeon with the recruit to effect the exemption of the latter. In the Code de la Conscription is a regulation to this effect: "Officers of health and others, convicted of having given a false certificate of infirmities or disabilities, or of having received presents or gratifications, were to be punished by not less than one or more than two years' imprisonment, or by a fine of not less than 300 or more than 1,000 francs." In 1818 it was ordered by the French Government that medical officers who were proved to be accomplices of persons endeavoring to escape service when called upon,

should be imprisoned from two months to two years, besides being fined 200 to 2,000 francs. Still later, the surgeon who gave false certificates for liberation or exemption from the public service, should be punished with from two to five years' imprisonment, and if he accepted bribes and promises the penalty was banishment. Other governments have found it necessary-and we acknowledge the fact with shame-to introduce a clause punishing more or less severely the delinquent medical examiner of conscripts. The severe European wars of the early part of this century, and the frequent conscriptions that were made, added so many to the exempts from disability that the fact arrested public attention. More thorough investigation was made into the character of the diseases of those claiming exemption, when it was found that vast numbers were simulated or self-inflicted. This led to a more systematic study of feigned diseases, and the subject became one of great public importance, for upon it often depended the integrity of the army. During the last quarter of a century great advances have been made in establishing upon correct principles the proper interpretation of feigned diseases. This is seen in the comparison of the French conscription with recent investigations. From 1800 to 1810 every available man was pressed into the service of the French army, and yet, in every one thousand rejections, there were found, idiots, 8; deaf, 17; short

sighted, 58; stammerers, 9; epileptics, 21; diseased eyes, 121; pulmonary affections, 169. Recent examinations show for one thousand rejections: idiots, 5; deaf, 2; stammerers, 3; epilepsy, 1; diseased eyes, 63; pulmonary affections, 7. It is proper to infer that the balance in conscription were feigned diseases or defects which the examiner could not detect. The diseases which conscripts feign are found to embrace the whole category of human ailments. Ludicrous as was the scene at the bar of Jupiter when all the sick and maimed of the earth came forward to exchange diseases, it is surpassed by the concourse of disabled which throng the examiner's office. Hundreds who have always been regarded by their intimate friends as sound in "wind and limb" are now found to be hope. less asthmatics or confirmed cripples. Many a gay and festive young bachelor has suddenly passed to the shady side of forty-five. Many heads have become gray from the neglect of the coloring hair tonic, and many artificial eyes have fallen from their sockets, leaving sad evidences of the insidious workings of age and disease, and revealing the mysterious arts of fashion and the skillful manner by which it conceals age and infirmities. Every physician must have noticed during a draft to fill the ranks of the army, an increase among his male patients of hernia, varicocele, varices, distressing coughs, and evidences of hereditary insanity, epilepsy, apoplexy,

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