Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Derecho y.

The American practitioner online

. (page 68 of 109)
Online LibraryUniversidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Derecho yThe American practitioner → online text (page 68 of 109)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

generally for female diseases. Women, being more credulous than
men, are the ready victims of these sheep in wolves' clothing. So far
as Christianity is concerned, this class of Christian scientists is void of
it. It is the all mighty dollar and no soul in the consideration.

Christian science was founded or put into practice by Mrs. Mary
Moss, Baker Glover, Patterson Eddy, in i866, who seems to have been
a much married woman, having had three husbands. The first and
third died, and the second one deserted her, and she says that she was
compelled to seek divorce. She had one child by the first husband,
from whom she separated when he was four years old and did not see
again for thirty years, which, according to our way of thinking,
would indicate that she was not the best of mothers. She was admitted

Digitized by


I lo The American Practitioner and News.

into the Coiif^regational Church at twelve years of age, and retained
membership in it until she founded her own church, which, she says,
was ** built on the basis of * Christian science,' Jesus Christ himself
being the chief corner-stone."

In the August number of the North American Review Mr. W. A.
Purrington thoroughly exposes this great fraud, and very properly
states that ** as a mere religious or philosophic theory Christian science
never would have had any vogue. Its fascination lies in its pretended

This is unquestionably true, and all that is asked is that the ignorant
votaries of ** Christian science" be not permitted to trifle with the
lives of innocent and unsuspecting people. A Mr. Norton, who is a
very earnest votare of Christian science, was asked how he would treat
emergency cases, as a ** fractured skull, a child strangling with a fish-
bone in its throat, a case of confluent smallpox, and the severing of
an artery by accident." He was also asked if in curing cancers he made
differential diagnosis between them, boils, carbuncles, etc. The fol-
lowing is his answer : ** I make no diagnosis except along the lines of
consistent mental therapeutics. An expert in mental therapeutics will
naturally know the character of this diagnosis. Discord is discord.
Pain is pain. Disease is disease. The principle that cures one, if
rightly applied, will cure all. This is the beginning and the end of
rational mental healing. In relation to mental treatment for a severed
artery, I said simply that I believed the proper application of mind
power would do the same work if not better than any other method."

The statements of Mr. Norton are quite sufficient to prove that the
whole fabric of Christian science is a mere sham, and were it not for the
promises of cure it would die of inanition.

The fatalities of late resulting from the application of ** Christian
science " methods of healing the sick have been so numerous and the
circumstances so distressing that the most disinterested must take
cognizance of this reckless destruction of human life. ' Whatever
may be said in extenuation of the weaklings who are really honest in
their religious beliefs in connection with Christian science as a means
of curing disease, it is a failure and must be classed along with the
barbaric methods of the uncivilized races and the voodoism of our
common ignorant and knavish negroes.

While we allow that religion maintains the high standard of morality
among civilized nations, we shall not deny that " Christian science "

Digitized by


The American Practitioner and News. 1 1 1

has a right to be ; but we insist that its votaries should be made to
confine themselves to the practice of religion, and not be permitted to
attempt to accomplish impossibilities in curing diseases by faith. No
sensible man or woman can believe that it is possible to lessen the
pain of labor, or the pain of acute rheumatism, or the pain of a severe
headache, or, in fact, any severe pain by faith. Nor will he believe
that a case of diphtheria, pneumonia, or any similar disease can be
cured by faith. It is an outrage upon the public to permit innocent
people to become the victims of a sect who deserve such treatment
as is applied to those who practice witchcraft and voodoism.

The recent act of the State of Illinois regulating the practice of
medicine has unfortunately left the Christian scientists free and
untrammeled to do as they please. It is to be hoped that this great
oversight will soon be corrected. Every State board of health should
take means to prevent this cruelty to human beings. There is a law
to prevent the mistreatment of the lower animals, and while people are
free to do as they please in this country, innocent children at least
should be kept out of the clutches of these misguided fanatics.


It is difficult to believe that such marked changes would follow any
form of medication as results from infusion or injection of the normal
saline solution. In cases where there has been great loss of blood from
any cause, its eflfects are most marked. If it is not possible to inject
beneath skin over the pectoral muscles or in the scapular region, fill
the rectum. When the rectum has been filled, place a suitable com-
press over the anus and elevate the hips, and, if necessary, have a
nurse to make positive pressure over the anus until the desire to
expel the contents of the rectum has subsided.

An ordinary teaspoonful of clean common table salt to the pint of
clean warm water makes the solution. A few hypodermic syringes full
will often bring about a marked change, and if there is no other way
of administering it, this should be resorted to.

An ordinary fountain syringe or syphon tube with a suitable needle
(a hypodermic needle if nothing better can be obtained) attached
makes a most excellent contrivance for introducing the normal saline

Digitized by


112 The American Practitioner and News.

subcutaneously. Care should be taken to have every thing clean and
to have all of the air out of the tube and needle, and not have the
water-bag or supply more than three or four feet high, so that the
pressure will not be too great.


The daily newspapers have recently been making all kinds of
startling reports concerning the kissing-bug. In the beginning, it is
well to understand that there is no such an insect in existence. That
people have been bitten on the lip and about the mouth by insects of
one kind or another there can be no doubt, and it is equally true that
these happenings are not new. They have been chronicled and exag-
gerated until the public has really begun to believe that such an
insect exists.

The only kissing thing to be dreaded is the biped with a chancre
on its lip or a tubercular cavity in its lung. While select kissing is both
sanitary and proper, promiscuous osculation is certainly a dangerous

Hotes an5 £iueries-

A MAN in Philadelphia was awarded $1,500 damages on the grounds
that his water-supply was contaminated by an overflowing sewer.

Vaginal Hysterectomy. — A. Martin believes that a judicious com-
bination of clamp and ligature will ultimately become the usual method

Ovaries: Results of Complete Extirpation.— (i) The woman
becomes absolutely sterile. (2) Menstruation ceases in about ninety-five
per cent of the cases. (3) The uterus and to a less extent the vagina and
vulva undergo a process of atrophy. (4) The nervous symptoms of the
menopause appear abruptly and violently, viz., heats and flushes, perspira-
tions, palpitations, giddiness, depression of spirits, and a generally unstable
condition of the nervous system. (5) In a considerable majority of cases
there is a diminution or total abolition of the sexual instincts. (6) The
patient has a tendency to obesity. — Christopher Martin, in the Medical

The Removal of Adenoids in Infancy. — Fortunately post-nasal
adenoids when they are present in young infants do not commonly give rise
to troublesome symptoms. There are exceptions to this rule, however, and

Digitized by


The American Practitioner and News. 113

one such is quoted by the Journal de Clinique et de Therapeutique hifantiles
of February 23d. In this case the child was aged four months. He had
suffered at birth from purulent ophthalmia, a fact which may partially
explain the urgency of his adenoid disorder. During sleep his breathing
was so diflScult that Dr. Thomas, who has reported the case, found himself
obliged to resort to surgical treatment for its relief. The result was suc-
cessful. The mode of procedure adopted is interesting as bearing upon the
performance of an operation requiring some delicacy of manipulation. As
was to be expected, a small, specially constructed forceps was employed,
and a piece of vegetation was detached by a single effort, no more being
done on each occasion. The process was repeated at intervals of a week,
and after three sittings the naso-pharynx was clear. In order to avoid
injuring the vomer — the chief danger to be guarded against— particular
care was taken to direct the forceps upward and backward. In most cases
of adenoid overgrowth in infancy medical treatment happily suffices to
relieve symptoms and postpone the need of operation. Dr. Thomas'
experience is suggestive in connection with those rare cases which call for
active surgical measures as proving what may be accomplished by patience,
tact, and gentleness. — Lancet,

The Signs and Tests of Death. — (i) Cessation of respiration — (a)
Mirror test; (p) feather test; {c) water or mercury test; (d) stethoscopic
test; {e) rhythmic traction of the tongue. (2) Cessation of circulation—
{a) Stethoscopic test ; (jb) ligature test ; {c) scarification and cupping ; {d)
opening of an artery ; {e) needle test (Cloquet) ; (/) fluorescine test ; {g)
injection of ammonia (Monte Verde's test) ; {H) diaphanous test (Carriere's) ;
(/) Roentgen ray. (3) Changes in the eye — (a) Test by bright light ; {p) test
by mydriatics ; (^r) test by ophthalmoscope ; (</) test by ophthalmatonometer.
(4) Loss of animal heat — Temperature test. (5) Loss of sensation and of
motion — (a) Electric test; (p) heat test; {c) caustic test. (6) Musculai
flaccidity and contractility. (7) Cadaveric ecchymoses, lividity, or hypo-
stases. (8) Cadaveric rigidity, cadaveric spasm, rigor mortis. (9) Putrefac-
tion.— y. Her old, in the Medical Record,

The William F. Jenks Memorial Prize. — The Fifth Triennial
Prize of Five Hundred Dollars, under the deed of trust of Mrs. William F.
Jenks, will be awarded to the author of the best essay on ** The Various
Manifestations of Lithemia in Infancy and Childhood, with the Etiology
and Treatment."

The conditions annexed by the founder of this prize are, that the
** prize or award must always be for some subject connected with Obstet-
rics, or the Diseases of Women, or the Diseases of Children; " and that
*• the trustees, under this deed for the time being, can, in their discretion,
publish the successful essay, or any paper written upon any subject for
which they may oflFer a reward, provided the income in their hands may, in
their judgment, be sufficient for that purpose, and the essay or pwiper be


Digitized by


114 ^^ American Practitioner and News.

considered by them worthy of publication. If published, the distribution
of said essay shall be entirely under the control of said trustees. In case
they do not publish the said essay or paper, it shall be the property of the
College of Physicians of Philadelphia."

The prize is open for competition to the whole world, but the essay must
be the production of a single person.

The essay, which must be written in the English language, or if in a
foreign language, accompanied by an English translation, must be sent to
the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U. S. A., before
January i, 1901, addressed to Richard C. Norris, M. D., Chairman of the
William F. Jenks Prize Committee.

Each essay must be typewritten, distinguished by a motto, and accom-
panied by a sealed envelope bearing the same motto and containing the
name and address of the writer. No envelope will be opened except that
which accompanies the successful essay.

The committee will return the unsuccessful essays if reclaimed by their
respective writers, or their agents, within one year.

The committee reserves the right not to make an award if no essay

submitted is considered worthy of the prize.

JAMBS V. INGHAM, M. D., Secretary of the Trustees.
June 15, 1899.

A Candy Investigation. — An analysis was recently made by the
board of health of nearly two thousand samples of candy of all kinds, pur-
chased at different stores in the city, but chiefly from street stands and
little shops in the vicinity of the public schools. According to the report,
none of the samples submitted contained any insoluble or harmful mate-
rials. The chief ingredients of the cheaper grades of candy were found to
be starch, sweet gum, and glucose. — Medical Record,

QuiNiN Consumed by Americans. — The report comes from Washing-
ton that 125,000,000 grains of quinin have been consumed during the past
year by American soldiers in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.
It is stated also that Americans generally are a race of quinin-eaters, con-
suming as they do one third of the quinin of the world. The drug is used
in the preparation of many patent medicines, tonics, bitters, cold cures, etc.,
and is dissolved in rum or spirits for external use as a hair-tonic. — Medical

Anesthetics and Urinary Secretion. — Prof. W. H. Thompson
made a preliminary communication on this subject before the Royal
Academy of Medicine of Ireland, of which the following is a brief summary :
(I) A mixture of ether and chloroform (2 to i) did not cause an increased
diuresis. This was the anesthetic used in his sodium-chloride research.
Six experiments were performed on dogs. (2) A.C.E. mixture, on the con-
trary, did in most cases markedly increase the amount of urine. In one

Digitized by


The American Practitioner and News. 115

case suppression was caused. , This dog proved to have albuminuria. (3)
Bther also produced an increase of urine, as did chloroform likewise, but
with this latter anesthetic only one experiment has so far been carried out.
(4) Little or no effect was produced by the various anesthetics on the total
output of nitrogen and of urea, even in cases in which marked diuresis was
caused. (5) The after-effect on the output of chlorides showed a marked
dimunition. What the immediate effect was has not so far been definitely
decided. (6) In eight experiments (with different anesthetics) the urine
was examined for carbohydrates with chloride of phenyl hydrazin and
sodium acetate. All but one gave crystals. Some of these were undoubtedly
glucosazone, others glycuronic acid, while in one case it is probable the
crystals were those of galactosazone. In all cases the dogs were injected
with a solution of morphine. — The Medical Press.

Vulvitis in Children. — Dr. Drummond Robinson, before the Obstet-
rical Society of London, which met January 4th, reported the results of his
investigation of fifty cases of vulvitis in children, in seventy-six per cent
of which were found cocci similar to the gonococcus of Neisser. Dr. Hand-
field Jones found it difficult to believe that over seventy per cent of all vulvar
discharges in children depended on gonorrheal infection. The following
points seemed to him to render the gonorrheal theory doubtful: (i) The
disease had not spread to neighboring tissues ; (2) it was readily cured ; (3)
the inguinal glands were rarely enlarged ; (4) the disease was common in
delicate, rare in robust children ; (5) in undoubted infection during rape the
disease was much more severe than in ordinary cases of vulvitis. — Medical

Addison's Disease During Childhood. — Dezirot {Journal de Mede-
cine, August 28, 1898) has collected records of forty-eight cases of Addison's
disease occurring during childhood, thus indicating that the infection is
hardly so uncommon in that period of life as has been supposed. The
youngest child was aged seven days, the eldest fourteen and a half years.
The infection, which is almost invariably due to tuberculosis, is usually
first manifested by very vague symptoms, such as weakness, anemia, loss
of weight, gastro-intestinal symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Pain
and pigmentation are quite uncommon in children. Convulsions are usual,
intermissions frequently occur, and the disease pursues a more rapid course
than in adults. Extract of suprarenal gland yields fair results in the treat-
ment. — The University Medical Magazine,

British Medical Fortunes.— The Lancet corrects an impression
which seems to have existed in England to the effect that Sir William
Jenner's fortune of ;^375,ooo was earned by him in the practice of his pro-
fession. As a matter of fact, a certain portion of this fortune was derived
from trade and bequeathed to him by a brother. The Lancet names the
fortunes left by eleven eminent English physicians, and considers that a

Digitized by


1 16 The American Practitioner and News.

first-class brewer's fortune would be expected to amount to more than the
aggregate total of these eleven medical fortunes, or the brewer would be
accounted a comparative failure. — Medical News,

Report Concerning " Embalmed" Beef. — The report of the Army
Beef Court of Inquiry, appointed to investigate General Miles* charges
regarding the food-supply of the army in the late war, was made public on
May 7th. It finds that General Miles' statements concerning refrigerated
beef are not sustained, and that the canned beef was good and fresh when
delivered. The canned beef is considered, however, unsuitable for use as
a field ration. General Miles is criticized for not promptly reporting to the
Secretary of War his knowledge or belief that the food was unfit and
caused sickness. General Eagan was sharply criticized for purchasing
such large quantities of canned beef as he did. It is recommended that no
further proceedings be held. — Ibid.

Removal of Foreign Bodies from the Female Bladder. — Picque
(Bulletins et Memoir es de la Socieie de Chirurgie, No. 28, 1899) in a report of
a case in which Rochard successfully removed a hairpin from the bladder of
a girl, aged fourteen, by the suprapubic method, states that in dealing with
foreign bodies in the bladder it is admissible not to attempt extraction by
the urethra if the body be a large one or can not be crushed, and also if it
be irregular in shape and pointed. Such attempts are usually unsuccessful
and sometimes dangerous. If a cutting operation be indicated, the bladder,
in a very large majority of cases, should be approached from the vagina.
Suprapubic cystotomy may, however, be required, especially in young girls
with a narrow vagina and intact hymen, and also in cases in which the
foreign body is known to be large, but concerning the nature and form of
which no trustworthy information can be obtained. The operation is recom-
mended as much almost for exploratory as for therapeutical purposes. The
cystoscope is very useful in many cases of foreign body in the bladder, but
fails when illumination is prevented by the large size of the body or by
contraction of the vesical cavity. — British Medical JoumaL

Red Light as a Therapeutic Agent. — In our conscious superiority
to our forefathers we have been used to look with contempt on their practice
of treating cases of smallpox by means of red light in the form of red
blinds, curtains, and coverlets, but with our present knowledge of the
chemical and physical action of the diflFerent rays of the spectrum and the
influence of light and darkness on life in its highest and lowest manifes-
tations we may have felt a suspicion that, whatever the theory of the
medieval physicians, their practice may have had a scientific basis. In the
last number of the Zeitschrift fur Krankenpflege we find that it has been
tried, and apparently with remarkable results, in the treatment of measles.
A child, eight years of age, having sickened with an attack of measles of
more than usual severity, was on the second day brought under the influence

Digitized by


The American Practitioner and News. 117

of the rays of least refrangibility, the windows being fitted with red blinds,
and a photographer's lamp with an orange-yellow globe being used for
artificial light. In three hours the rash had disappeared, the fever had sub-
sided, and the child was playing cheerfully, complaining only of want of
light. The blinds were consequently removed, when three hours later the
medical man was summoned to find that the eruption and fever had returned,
and the child was weak and prostrate. The red light having been resumed,
the rash disappeared in a little over two hours, as did the fever, this time per-
manently. In two more days the cough had ceased, and the child was well
in every respect. The brother and sister and a fourth patient infected from
the first case were treated in the same way and with like success. In the
great epidemic of smallpox in 1871-72 some cases were reported as having
been kept in dark rooms with great benefit, especially as regards the pus-
tulation and pitting. Clearly what virtue there may be in this method lies
in the exclusion of actinic rays, and the substitution of red or orange light
for total darkness has obvious advantages as, in the case of photographic
manipulations. — Laruet,

Atrophic Gastric Catarrh.— Reichmann (Bert, klin. W^^^^, Novem-
ber 14, 1898) refers to cases in which there is discomfort in the abdomen,
nausea, and regurgitation of a watery fluid. These symptoms come on in
attacks rarely immediately after food, often in the night, and they recur
every day, or more frequently every other day, or very seldom at long inter-
vals. The nausea is never very pronounced, and it outlasts the other symp-
toms. The discomfort is felt in the upper part of the abdomen, and most
often in the neighborhood of the umbilicus. The regurgitation takes place
once or more frequently, some 50 to 60 c.cm. being brought up. The
fluid looks like turbid water, but is quite translucent on infiltration. It is
generally frothy. It has a raw, salty taste, but no smell. The fluid is
alkaline, and contains no ptyalin or pepsin, so that it will not digest starchy
or nitrogenous matters. The chemical examination .would make it appear
to consist of a watery secretion of the mucous membrane. These patients
are obviously suffering from a complete suppression of the gastric juice
(achylia gastrica), so that gastric digestion is in abeyance. This absence of
gastric secretion occurs in carcinoma of the stomach, atrophy of the
mucous membrane, and secretory gastric neuroses. In the ten cases
referred to by the author the permanent absence of the gastric juice and the
long duration of the affection (one to nine years) excluded secretory
neuroses or malignant disease. Thus the author looks upon this group of
symptoms as undoubtedly in favor of gastritis atrophicans, but the absence
of them does not exclude this affection. — British Medical Journal,

Nkphro-Typhoid. — ^J. C. Wilson records the case (Amer. Journ. Med.
Sciences, December, 1898) of a lad, aged nineteen, of previously good
health, and without history of typhoid, but who developed headache and
pyrexia, the temperature fluctuating between 102° and 104°. The urine

Digitized by


1 18 The American Practttianer and News.

varied in specific gravity from loio to 1030, and contained a large quantity
of albumen with epithelial and granular casts. There were delirium,
vomiting, and slight puffiness under the eyes. There was also some pas-
sage of blood per rectum. There were no rose spots nor enlargement of
the spleen, but Widal's reaction was markedly present. In about six
weeks the urine was free from albumen, though still containing a few
cells, and the temperature had come down to 99.3°. There was then a
return of p3rrexia with delirium, reappearance of albuminuria with epithe-
lial and granular casts and blood corpuscles, and a rather copious eruption
of typical enteric spots appeared. There was enlargement of the spleen,
and the patient suffered from diarrhea. He subsequently made a good
recovery. The writer looks upon this case as distinctly one of enteric
fever, though obscure in its diagnosis at first ; in this particular instance
the kidneys bore the chief brunt of the disease. The case even showed a

Online LibraryUniversidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Derecho yThe American practitioner → online text (page 68 of 109)