Imatges de pàgina

soon after he entered the Eye Infirmary until he left, and that improvement continued for two or three weeks after he left— no doubt being the result of the treatment he received at the Eye Infirmary—when they began to grow worse. He continued under the defendant's treatment until July (about three months), and the defendant performed an operation on his eyes, and put some kind of a powder into them.

When he first put himself under the defendant's treatment he could go there alone; he soon became so blind that he had to be led there by a little boy. The plaintiff returned to the Eye Infirmary in July, but his vision was gone, never to return. Dr. Agnew deposed that he has no doubt the plaintiff's eyes would have got well if he had remained in the Eye Infirmary, or been under good treatment outside. Dr. Agnew and Dr. Buck, both holding positions in the Eye Infirmary—the only physicians who testified in relation to the treatment—have no doubt that the plaintiff's eyes would have recovered under proper treatment.

They both gave a history of their practice in diseases of the eye, which is different from the defendant's practice, as testified to and shown by a card, which is admitted to be his. The defendant offered to prove by a score of persons that they had had bad eyes, and been treated for them by the defendant and got well, or improved, which was ruled out by the Court. The defendant's counsel raised several points, but the second one is sufficient to state—" That an error in judgment is not malpractice."

The Court held that to be good law, when applied to a man skilled in anatomy, surgery, or physics, but that it had no application in this case; that the defendant, knowing nothi ng of anatomy, surgery, or physics, could have no judgment in the matter. The law contemplated a judgment founded upon skill and knowledge in these sciences.

That man who would hold himself out to the world as a doctor and an oculist without a diploma, without any knowledge of these sciences, and under such false pretences obtain a patient, and commence tinkering with the most delicate of all the organs, the eye, must be reckless indeed. An error in judgment, of a man skilled in a particular calling, is not malpractice, unless it is a gross error. But error in judgment, in a science, of a man unskilled in that science (if such a thing can be) is malpractice. In other

! words, a person attempting to practice, in < physic or surgery, without first having ob! tained a knowledge of such science, is ltable for all the damage that is the result of hta practice. I have no doubt the plaintiff lost j his vision through the defendant's treat| ment, and that the treatment was the result j of ignorance on his part. Judgment for the plaintiff, $500; allowance, dec., $12.

Medical Education in St. Leuis.— [We commend the following remarks, extracted from an editorial article in the St. Louu Medical and Surgical Journal, to the attention of our readers, because they denote an elevated, manly, and philosophical spirit, which are better calculated to win favour for their school than the clap trap and senseless appeals to sectional spirit and popular prejudice so loudly urged by some of the schools in order to attract students, and which have always seemed to us to indicate a sense of weakness and a feeling that better claims were wanting:—]

"In urging the claims of St. Louis as a point for acquiring a medical education, and in directing the attention of western students to these claims, which we unhesitatingly do, we at the same time wish it distinctly understood that we are governed by no narrow or sectional feelings, but do so upon the broad grounds of equal facilities. We claim no superiority over other large cities, while at the same time we admit no inferiority. Thus influenced, we again repeat what we have heretofore said, that we can see Do good reason why western students should forsake their own home institutions, to crowd eastern schools to such an extent as to render it impossible—from the very numbers present—for them to derive any advantage whatever from hospital instruction. We would not if we could, by word or deed, fan the flame of sectional feeling, at present, unfortunately, so rife in the land, neither would we circumscribe within narrow boundaries the great 'republic of medicine.' We love our profession—we love our country, and our whole country; but, if what we have said be sectionalism, then are we seclionalists."

Yellow Fever near New York.—A nomber of cases of yellow fever have occurred at Quarantine, Staten Island, at Brooklyn, and at Fort Hamilton. There have been admitted to the Marine Hospital at Quarantine from Aug. 28th to Sept. 9th, 146 cases of yellow fever, and there have been 25 i among the employes.

New York Medical Times.—This wellconducted journal, which has ever supported the honour and respectability of the profession, and contributed its quota to the advancement of our science, terminated with the September number. We regret to part with so able a contemporary, and one which has always claimed our respect.

College of Physicians and Surgeons, New Tork.—Dr. Samuel St. John, of the Cleveland Medical College, has been appointed to the Chair of Chemistry vacated by the resignation of Dr. John Le Conte.

Physicians' Visiting List.—Messrs. Lindsay & Blakiston has published this highly useful little volume for the year 1857.


Effects of Ligature of (Esophagus.—It is well known that a number of our notions about many poisons, rest, at least in part, upon experiments made by Orfila, in which this eminent toxicologist had tied the oesophagus of dogs, to prevent vomiting, after having injected into the stomach the substances suspected to be poisons. The results of the experiments of Orfila would have but little value, if it were proved that the ligature of the oesophagus alone could produce many of the effects he attributed to poisons, or rather to substances considered as poisons. According to MM. Bouley and Reynal, Professors at the Veterinary School at Alfort, this supposition seems to be the truth. Some time ago, M. Reynal discovered that brine is a violent poison in certain doses. One of his colleagues at Alfort, Professor Goubaux, published recently a paper, in which he says, that common salt is also a poison, and that the tonic powers of brine are mostly due to the common salt it contains. M. Goubaux went so far as to say, that even a dose of 40 grammes (one ounce and a third) of common salt is sufficient to kill a dog. MM. Reynal and Bouley, on the contrary, have ascertained that even 100 grammes of salt may be given, at one meal, to a dog, without any delete

rious effect. In searching what could be the cause of the differences between their experiments and those of M. Goubaux, they found that it was in the mode of experimenting. M. Goubaux used to put a ligature round the oesophagus, after having given the salt to his dogs, and MM. Bouley and Reynal did not employ this means. In examining what would be the effects produced by the application of a ligature round the oesophagus in healthy dogs, they found that frequently this operation caused death. Already, Giacomini, Devergie, and Rognetta, criticising Orfila, bad said that the ligature of the oesophagus was a serious operation, and that the great toxicologist had often attributed to poisons, symptoms produced by this operation. Orfila had answered with his customary violence; and he was so positive in his affirmations that the ligature of the oesophagus is an innocent operation, that the public had admitted his assertion. The experiments of MM. Bouley and Reynal seem to leave no room to doubt; they show that various symptoms, some of them very serious, are frequently the result of the mere tying of the oesophagus. In their first paper they state that, out of eight dogs upon which they had performed this operation, five died in from two to seventytwo hours. Of the three dogs that survived the operation, one only recovered quickly after the removal of the ligature, which had been left two hours; of the two others, one was ill four days, and the other eight days. In another series of experiments, in which a small quantity of common salt or of emetics had been injected into the stomach, before the application of the ligature round the oesophagus, the efforts of vomiting were very great, and death ensued very soon after in six dogs out of seven.

In a second paper, MM. Bouley and Reynal have tried to show how much Orfila was misled by his mode of operating. According to this eminent toxicologist, 3 grammes (2 scruples) of subnitrate of bismuth are sufficient to kill a dog. This seems to be true if, after having given such a dose of this substance to a dog, the oesophagus is tied; but, if it is left free, this dose has no bad influence whatever, as might be expected by practitioners, who give daily much larger doses of this substance, and by those who know that Prof. Trousseau often gives at once 30 grammes (1 ounce) of this medicine, and that M. Monneret gives 30 grammes of it. According to Orfila the nitrate of potash is a poison in the dose of 4 grammes (3 scruples), and so it is with the sulphate of copper in the dose of 2 grammes (36 grains). True it is that these doses of these subatances kill dogs, when their oesophagus is tied, but they do not affect them much if this canal is not tied, or if the ligature is left only a short time.

According to MM. Bouley and Reynal the ligature of the oesophagus causes death by exciting prolonged and energetic efforts of vomiting. Sometimes, particularly when the stomach contains much food or water, the efforts of vomiting are constant, and then death occurs quicker.

The friends of Orfila in the Academic de Medecine have been greatly moved on hearing the communications of MM. Bouley and Reynal. Some of them had seen him experimenting, and had been his assistants; they said that the ligature of the oesophagus is not by far so dangerous an operation as MM. Bouley and Reynal represent it to be. They felt inclined to suppose that MM. Bouley and Reynal tied some nerves together with the oesophagus.

M. Renault said that he witnessed the experiments of MM. Bouley and Reynal, and he is satisfied that all they state is right. As regards an injury to the par vagum, this cannot be considered as the cause of the death of the animals experimented upon by MM. Bouley and Reynal, as the autopsy has showed there was no such thingMany experimenters read papers on this subject at the last meetings of the Academy. Prof. Jobert de Lamballe, gave the results of two series of experiments, which he thinks to be in opposition with the conclusions of MM. Bouleyand Reynal. But they seem, on the contrary, to bo in accordance with these conclusions, as about one-half of the animals experimented upon died in a few days, and almost all the animals made efforts at vomiting.

M. Orfila, a nephew of the great toxicologist, has related some experiments, which, according to him, are inopposition with the conclusions of MM. Bouley and Reynal; but here also we find that two dogs died in about eight days after the operation.

M. Colin has also read a paper, in which he tries to show that MM. Bouley and Reynal have been completely mistaken. Only one of the animals he experimented upon died some time after the operation.

As MM. Bouley and Reynal are very able experimenters, and in every respect to be relied upon, we think that the conclusions they have arrived at must be received as grounded upon fact. However, we shall be soon more enlightened on this subject, as MM. Begin, Jobert, Trousseau, Renault, and Bouley, have been appointed a committee to investigate the matter, and report upon it.—Med. Timet and Gaz., Aug. 30, 1856.

Gutta Percha.—Lieutenant de Brutx Kors, Dutch Royal Navy, says that this is an exudation from the taban and percha trees. To procure it, the full grown tree is cut down, when the getah flows out. From large trees, fifteen to twenty catties may he procured. If morecarefully collected,especially by tapping, as with the caoutchoac and other trees, it might form a permanent branch of trade. The improvident Malay, however, chooses rather to have as much as possible at once, than to enjoy a smaller but mote permanent gain. It is for this reason that, at the more accessible places on the larger islands, all these trees have been already cut down, and are now only to he met with in the interior, on the east coast of Sumatra, Borneo, and the larger islands. The trade in the product from this Archipelago has already greatly diminished, very little being obtainable. Notwithstanding this falling off, no pains have been taken to plant fresh trees. It is true that stumps of the trees already felled again sprout, bat these can only be cut at a distance of thirty years. The getah is run into small square pieces, called tampang. These ore generally twenty to thirty catties in weight; the getah is then very dirty, mixed with sand, chips of wood, and other foreign subatances, and must therefore be boiled and purified. The colour is light brown, mixed with dark and light streaks. All getah within the jurisdiction of the Sultan of Lingga must be delivered to him.—Assoc. Med. Journal, August 2, 1856, from Pharmaceutical Journal.

Mortality in the French Army in the East during the Late War.—It has been our lot, on many occasions, to show that the chances of war are far less fatal to the soldier than the diseases he encounters when on foreign service. The sanitary history of the French Army of the East during the late campaign

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in the Crimea, is full of facts which confirm the truth of this proposition in a manner so frightful and astounding that we have long doubted the accuracy of the accounts which have reached us from week to week; and il is only by the accumulated testimony of eye-witnesses, and the reports of medical officers high in the French service, that we have been able to admit the possibility of a rate of mortality among our allies so unprecedented as almost to exceed belief. For the truth of the following statements, however, we have the authority of medical officers both in our own and the French service, and have permission to name them if need be. They are not only interesting in themselves, but additionally so, as the facts have been studiously concealed by the French Government, and are now made known for the first time in this country :—

1. There were fourteen French hospitals in the Bosphorus up to the end of March. 8ince then three others have been added. The following is a copy of an official return of the patients treated in all the hospitals in January, February, and March, 1856:—

January .... 13,520
February .... 21,30?
March . . . .28,167

2. During the ten days ending on the 20th of March, 1,009 patients died;, and during the following ten days, 948 patients died, in these hospitals. The numbly of sick under treatment for all diseases on the 20th of March, was 11,366, and on the 30rh, 9,763.

3. TfaaJ^regate loss by death from sickness (u^s^Wtlts being from typhus) in the

|l French hospitals on the Bosphorus exceeded P 10,0OOJ uring the first quarter of the present year. Whe SVily mortality in twelve of these hospitals in January and February, ranged up to 240.

4. From the 1st of January to the 17th of March, when the transport of typhus cases from the Crimea was discontinued authoritatively, more than 5,000 deaths occurred ot> board French transports and men-of-war, between the Crimea and the Bosphorus.

5. In the Crimea there were fourteen Field Hospitals, or Amhulances, during the same period, each containing from 800 to 1,100 sick. The deaths in each varied from 15 to 20 daily. Thus the aggregate loss by death frdm disease in these hospitals during this period exceeded 19,000, and is believed to have J;een very little under 25,000.

6. It is knotcn that more than thirty-four thousand French soldiers of the Army of the East died from disease during the months of January, February, and tVarch, 1856. It is believed by those able to judge, that those deaths exceeded forty thousand.

7. Sixty.four French Surgeons have died in the Crimea and on the Bosphorus since last November. Of 362 Surgeons of all ranks who have served with the French Army since its landing in Gallipoli in the autumn of 1854 to April, 1856, 72 have fallen victims to typhus alone.

8. On the 15th of March, 1856, there were, in the Officers' Hospital at Constantinople, 31 Surgeons in different stages of typhus, and only one combatant officer.

9. Of 840 hospital orderlies and attendants, employed in the sixty days of January and February, 603 were attacked by typhus when on service.—Med. Times and Gaz., June 17, 1856.

Banquet by thf Mescal Profession in

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Fiance to their Brethtfh in the Military and Noval Se,ryice.—4£oe banquet given, on the 20th August, by* the medical profession in France to the^ bajAnp jn the military oW naval service, pa^HUaff witlt great enthusiasm and unanintity^Hwetltatt four hundred practitioners as.sWnbled from all parrs of France te-3o honour to this great national festival, whfcjh was also attended by representatives frorrtdbe medical department of the British, Sargniaii, and Turkish Armies. Thc'dinner, toot place in the large covered court oT"the Hotel du Louvre, and notwithstanding the Jlcat patent of the banqueting hall, it was necessary to prepare supplementary tables in the reception gallery. The chair was taken by Qftron Dubois, and he*was supported by MM. Raver, Bouillaud, Nelaton, Ricord, oxpong the civil practitioners; and by M. Begin, President of the Military Council of Health, MM. Michel Levy, Baudens, Larrey, Scrive, among,.the military guests; the medical departments cdihe British Army «nd Navy, were represented respectively by Sir John Hall and Mr. David Deas. The speeches were characterized by the eloquence and the animatic\ fur which ,«ru"r Gallic neighbours are distinguished; and lire address of Sir John HahVthcjugh delivered in English, was rec*ajved with loud applause. The idea of this great banquet, which has terminated so successfully* origi

nated in the mind of a young Parisian Phyaician, M. Maheux; and the whole of the arrangements gave entire satisfaction to the numerous guests, and to their hospitable entertainers. The fact of so large a dinner having passed off, not only without contretems, but with undoubted eclat, is highly honourable to the medical profession in France, which has thus set an example, worthy of imitation, to our brethren in our own country. It would, indeed, be a gratifying sight to behold four hundred British medical practitioners assembled together for the purpose of evincing their cordiality and fraternization with their fellows.—Med. Times and Gaz., August 30, 1856.

Humboldt on Mesmerism ondfite Transcendental in Anatomy.—A letter recently appeared from the venerable author of the Kosmos, dated Berlin, April, 1856, in which, speaking of cerebral electricity, re says: "I am not able to give any opinion upon the existence of various kinds of mineral, vegetable, animal, direct or indirect cerebral electricity. I have a direful horror of table turning and all kinds of pine-wood spiritualism and wojjflen psychographic mysticisma. We know that Geoffroy St. Hilaire pretends to have transpired the oxide of thought ia Egypt. My incredulity ia the simple consequence-cf my inability to follow him."— Assoc. M&1. Journ., July 26, 1856.

Cholera in Portugal and Madeira.—Lis-1 The Late M. Amussat.—M. Amussat, sebon letters speak of ^holera as still continu- nior, fatbir of the late celebrated Parisian ing its ravages in Lisbon and through the ! surgeon, has lately addressed a letter to the provinces. Peniche-ia^noav declared in-J Acaderny of Medicine of Paris, in which he fected. The French screw liner, Prince i states that his son had long entertained the Jerome, has lost several men from this dis-. design df leaving to the Academy a testityphus Qier. The intelligence j monial nf his gratitude and affection. The

ease and

from Madeira ;s vt broke out at sea a troops that left Lis and when theyUtet

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disastrous. -Cholera
ng same Portuguese
on thi* 20th ttf June,
t Funchal a fait was

rapidity with which he was carried off by disease prevented him from carrying out his intentions; but, knowing these, his .famil^desired the Academy to accept the yearly sum of 500 francs, fir the purpose of founding a biennial prize in experimental surgery. In accordance with the intentions hafWTeen 5,000 cas"cVof i Of rtjadeceased, the essays must be founded ins £mong the popula- j bnJ^searches on the dead and the living sutnect. M. Amussat has also, in the name orfis son, and in fulfilment of his wish, presented to the Piovident Medical Association of the department of the Sein^HBhtn I'QpO francs, or £160.— A.ssoc.Js^^fva August 2, 1856.

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Appointments.—Mr. FERGrssotiT Professor of Surgery in King's College,


literally da*; their own, £*> they d/jpt almost t been appointed Examiner in Surgery, at the immediately, and were bMied ioyffic graves i-Condon University, in the place of Mr. they had made for others. Omly onelilodgson, who has accepted the post of ExEnglishma^An hotel keener, hac/died of itTfaminer at the Royal College of Surgeons. Seventy English csjgjped .l»ttm Madeira in F Mr. T. H. Huxley, of the Government were all thjj packet [School of Mines, has been^ppointed ExTher e were about twd"faminer in Comparative Anatomy and Pbysiology in the London University, in place of Dr. Carpenter, who has accepted the place of Registrar in the University.

Mr. George Bush has been appointed Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in the Royal College of SurgeomVvof England, ia the place of ProYessor Owen, who has commenced the active duties of his rrew office in the British Museum. \


the Avon, and these were all thjs packet
could accommodate
or three hundred left; but, fortunately, this
isnot the seasoii for English people Jo be
atTkladeira.-ldfra. Times and Gaz , Aug.

16, 1856.

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