THE ROYAL MEDICAL BENEVOLENT COLLEGE, EPSOM
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of my late husband, I think it only right to state that thereal complainant was another medical man, as can easily beproved. Beyond trying to get an honest living in that man’sneighbourhood my poor husband never did him any harm,but the action which resulted from his complaint causedmy husband’s death at the early age of 31 years, leaving mecompletely unprovided for.Mr. Bredin was a true and loyal friend to us both.
I am, Sirs, yours faithfully,CAROLINE KINGSLEY HUNTER.
Warwick-street, S.W., March 7th, 1899.
"SYMPTOMS OF POISONING FROM A SMALLDOSE OF TINCTURE OF CANNABIS
INDICA."To the Editors of THE LANCET.
SIRS,-I have been interested by reading in THE LANCETof Dec. 24th, 1898, the valuable observation on cannabisIndica by Mr. Antony Roche. I had a similar experience notlong ago which might interest your readers. The patient, ayoung woman, aged 19 years, strong and robust in health,consulted me for dysmenorrhoea. I ordered her three-
quarters of a grain of extract of cannabis Indica and addedsome camphor to it to be made into a pill. The next day herfriends were alarmed by her condition and sent for me. Ifound that after taking one pill she was noticed to bedifferent from her usual manner and the pleasurable intoxi-cation of Indian hemp was present in a feeling of happinessand excitement. Soon, however, she complained of dizzinessand went to sleep. On awaking the next morning she washerself. The druggist assured me that no mistake had beenmade and that a similar preparation was sent to anotherperson who took it without the least symptom of intoxica-tion. I quite agree with Mr. Roche that some people aremore susceptible to the action of the drug than others, inspite of the variation in strength of the official extract ortincture, and it would be better to begin with very smalldoses to test the patient’s tolerance of it.
I am, Sirs, yours faithfully,ANTONIUS J. MANASSEH.
Brumana, Beyrout, Jan. 10th, 1899.
"REGINA v. REICHARDT."To the Editors of THE LANCET.
SIRS,-Referring to Dr. Goodhart’s remark, " I will nottake up your space by discussing with Mr. Sers what con-stitutes insanity,’ " I can assure this gentleman that I ambetter engaged on this occasion and have nothing whateverto do with the subject beyond what is involved in the legalaspects of the case. As I gather from Dr. Goodhart’s letterhe claims for certain privileged persons a kind of moral rightto break the law-at least, he appears to see no reason whycases of temporary insanity should not be treated in un-
certified houses ; but if so, what is the use of legislation onthe subject ? The point I intended to bring before you isone of extreme simplicity. Dr. Reichardt, as I under-stand, received a patient suffering from some indefiniteform of nervous disease which resulted in suicide. Isubmit therefore a primâ-facie case presented itselfthat the law was being tampered with. I say a
primâ-facíe case was created to this effect and howcould the case be decided on its merits without resorting toa court of law ? The fact that the case had been seen byDr. Savage, Dr. Goodhart, and Mr. E. C. Kingsford who pro-nounced it unripe for an asylum I further submit was notsufficient reason for deterring the Commissioners from takinglegal proceedings, otherwise the administration of the lawwith regard to the control of insane persons would practicallybe at the caprice and mercy of private individuals; andalthough, of course, the bona fides of these gentlemen is un-questionable-and I say this with perfect sincerity-the factof the case having been seen by the aforesaid gentlemen andconsidered unfit for an asylum is not sufficient reason forkeeping the law in a state of inertia, otherwise there is noguarantee that on any future occasion men of equal integritymight be concerned and as an ultimate consequence ofestablishing such a precedent a refined system of covering orevading the law might be thereby created.
I am, Sirs, yours faithfully, ,,---
CLEMENT H. SERS.Queen’s-road, Peckham, S.E., Feb. 18th, 1899.
THE ROYAL MEDICAL BENEVOLENTCOLLEGE, EPSOM.
To the Editors of THE LANCET.
SIRS,-The appeal to the general public made by the-treasurer of the Royal Medical Benevolent College at theend of last year appears to me to be well founded.How many practitioners sacrifice their lives in the ser-
vice of the public before they have had time to saveo-
Dr. Holman asks for no help for the school, but urgentlyasks for aid in getting together the .E6000 he has to findeach year for the Council to spend on the aged pensionersand young foundation scholars. The appeal althoughaddressed to the public in no way does away with theclaims of this institution to the support of the profession.A perusal of the annual report tells a miserable tale of thescant support the College receives from medical men. Who.can tell how soon misfortune may overtake a practitioner ? ? Would it not be well even as a small insurance tosubscribe to the College and thus to constitute a claim ifnecessity should arise to reap some of the benefits nowoffered but which might be so largely extended if moneywas forthcoming ? I am, Sirs, yours faithfully,"’’’’’’’’’’’’’’J’ f
"DIFFICULTIES UNDER THE NEWVACCINATION ACT."
To the Editors of THE LANCET.
SIRS,-In THE LANCET of March 4th two gentlemen writeon the above subject. One says: "Private practitioners havethe game in their own hands. They have simply to takecare that all their cases are vaccinated or accounted for tothe vaccination officers before they are four months old."’The second says: "Because your correspondent’s patientsand themselves [the italics are mine] do not complywith the law they try to make the public vaccinatorsanswerable." May I ask what these gentlemen mean ?It is, I think, the usual practice with private practi-tioners to vaccinate or sign postponement certificates onlywhen the children are submitted to them. Both these
gentlemen seem to imply that it is part of private practi-tioners’ duty to either call upon the parents of such childrenas they have brought into the world without being sent foror to send them a reminder before the child is four monthsold as to the law on the matter. To take either of these
steps would be offensive to most medical men, I think, andmight lay them open to the charge of touting. Besides, itis no part of their duty and however the public vaccinatormay be bound by the law the omission of these steps inno way justifies your second correspondent in saying thatthe medical attendant" has not complied with the law" ; 9the parent may not have complied, but the new Act imposesno obligation whatever upon the medical attendant.
General practitioners have considerable justification forfeeling sore on the point. Etiquette towards a professionalbrother is violated by visiting and offering to vaccinate"his patient. It may be the law, but I should not care tocarry it out and visit another man’s patient in defiance ofthe ethics of the profession.
I am, Sirs. yours faithfully,March 4th, 1899. GENERAL PRACTITIONER.
To the Editors of THE LANCET.
SIRS,-Mr. T. F. I. Blaker must pardon me when I suggestthat he has not quite grasped my argument and that that iswhy he finds my letter " silly." He simply begs the questionwhen he justifies the public vaccinator as one "doing hisduty." I say that to call on strangers and offer professionalservices is work that no professional man ought to under-take. It is only his "duty" inasmuch as he has volun-tarily undertaken it. The medical officer of a canvassingmedical aid society might as well plead that it was his I I duty "’
to countenance canvassing and he might even say that thesociety was recognised by Act of Parliament. Parliament isno supporter of, but rather opposed to, our ethical laws. Hemust also pardon me for objecting to his suggestion that wemust play the game by paying unasked visits ourselves andso defeat the public vaccinator. It is this very calling onpeople who have not requested our services that I think soundignified and unprofessional. Such visits would be very