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and future of a man of equal reputation with himself were involved in his testimony, and selected such an opportunity for idle badinage and personal puff; reckless in its assertion, because at variance with the experience and writings of men of the highest reputation. It was devoid of good feeling, inasmuch as the accusation was one that every rightminded man must have supported with pain rather than battled for with zeal; deficient in scientific truth, if Dr. Robert Lee's own publications ten years ago are to be trusted, which he however declares (and in this we agree) are as destitute of authority as others now consider his present testimony to be. It was degrading to science and disgraceful to his profession, as involving the declaration that those who have spent their lives in medical practice and study, profit so little by their labors that they needlessly violate the sanctity of the female person in the gross abuse of an instrument admittedly necessary for the treatment of disease."

Dr. Ramsbotham supported Dr. Lee's theory, but in a much more subdued strain. Still, he spoke like one committed to a cause which he felt bound to sustain. The same is true of the testimony of Dr. Taylor. In spite of these eminent men on the part of the prosecution, the verdict of the jury acquitted the defendant. Thus ended a most malicious attempt to destroy the reputation of a medical man by means of scientific experts, who readily, we fear voluntarily, allowed themselves to become participes criminis. The origin of nearly every trial for alleged medical malpractice may be traced to the reckless criticisms which rival practitioners pass upon the works of one another. Unguarded

expressions in the presence of patients of doubt as to the propriety of methods of treatment, or open censure of the results attained, pass for positive opinions with the ignorant, and soon produce their legitimate effects in the prosecution of the attending physician. At the trial which follows, an accusing medical witness will always be found arrayed on the part of the prosecution, who is, in fact, as much a part of the prosecution as the attorney. His evidence is entirely ex parte, and he exhibits in the statement of his opinions all the adroitness of the legal counsel in making them bear against the case of the defendant. That this is the secret history of most prosecutions for malpractice every one must acknowledge who has witnessed many of these trials. The scene which is enacted in court is always most discreditable to those members of the profession who instigate the proceedings or who appear on the part of the prosecution. Their position is generally false both in fact and ethics, and sooner or later they reap the just rewards of their unprofessional conduct. It is not always the common practitioner who takes this stand against his neighbor. We have had notable instances of men eminent in special departments of practice, who have allowed the weight of their evidence to appear against a medical brother when their opinions were unsupported by facts. We have seen the fair fame of young physicians suddenly blasted, and a good

name tarnished by the alliance of some opinionated "Professor" with the prosecution. Nay, more, there are not a few instances in which accomplished physicians have retired from the profession in disgust at such malicious treatment by their seniors. But the injury thus inflicted is not limited to the defendant; the profession at large suffers severely in general estimation. When those who are regarded as the exponents of medical morals array themselves in courts of justice against their brethren, and with denunciatory language and violent gesticulation not only denounce established methods of treatment, but attack private character, the public confidence in our art and in our integrity is sadly diminished. We agree with the British Medical Journal:

"It is high time that some serious steps were taken by the profession to put down this most unseemly persecution of medical men by medical men. How often have we not of late had occasion to refer to such scenes as these, where medical men too eagerly appear in court to assist in the blasting a brother practitioner's fair fame! The very fact of men in the position of Dr. Lee and Ramsbotham appearing in the case, gives an immense impulse to the accusation. Nay, we may even venture to believe that, but for their countenance, such an action as this could never have been brought at all. Is it not, indeed, reasonable to believe that their influence could have even arrested the action? Surely no men should know better than they how scrupulously cautious a medical man should be in accepting the one-sided statements of a clever hysterical female; and especially so when, as was evident, the blasting of Dr. Ws' fame would be the saving of her own reputation!"

LVIII.

THE ART OF TEACHING
MEDICINE.*

TE

HE art of teaching medicine, like many other arts, reached its highest development during the earliest period. Necessity compelled the first instructors to combine theory with practice, science with art, didactic with clinical instruction. Hospitals and schools were united, the one being the complement of the other. The carefully compiled records of observation and experience formed the text-books of the student t; and the immediate application of the principles and precepts learned at the bed-side of the sick, and under the direction of the master, completed the curriculum of daily study. This is the rational system of teaching at once the most thorough and efficient and should never have been departed from. We can not better improve the present hour than by tracing its origin, progress, and complete development. We may thus learn what are the defects, as well as advantages of the past and present methods of instruction,

*Remarks made at the opening of the course at Bellevue Hospital.

and apply the practical lessons which this review will inculcate.

Among people of high antiquity, the first effort to systematize the treatment of the sick consisted in exposing them in public places, in order that any passers-by, who had been similarly afflicted and cured, might give their advice for the benefit of the sufferers. At a later period, those who had been cured of diseases were required to go and deposit in the temples a votive tablet, which was a detailed account of the symptoms of their diseases, and the remedial agents which had been beneficial to them. It very soon became popular to visit by preference some temples of great and wide-spread fame, and these, therefore, were in time made the principal depositories of the registers of the sick. These records were kept with the same care as the archives of the nation. At first they were open for inspection and consultation by the public. Every one had the right and privilege of consulting them personally, and of choosing for his sickness, or that of his friend, the remedies which long experience had here recorded. Every man thus became his own doctor-a system which has in our day been revived, which places in the hands of the patient a record of symptoms, each offset by its appropriate remedy. But it was found to be inconvenient as well as dangerous to allow the common people to prescribe for their own diseases. Symptoms were misinterpreted, and remedies

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