THE WELSH FASTING GIRL AND THE MEDICAL COMMITTEE

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360 to be modified, and its powers are to be enlarged. For brevity’s sake, the Council is called in the Act the " Gene- ral Council." The General Council shall, after this Act shall be brought into operation, consist of the following members :-One member chosen by each of the bodies named in clauses 4 and 5 of the Medical Act (1858), as in said Act provided; six persons nominated by Her Majesty, as in said Act provided ; and twelve medical practitioners, registered under this or the previous Acts, who are to be selected by the votes of the medical practitioners (registered) in the three divisions of the kingdom-six for England, three for Scotland, and three for Ireland. The voting is to be done by voting papers, which are to be procured on application to the Registrar for the small sum of one penny. The Council so elected shall hold its annual meeting, in i-otatioit, at London, D1,blin, and Edinburgh. There is a fine Irish touch in the order of places. The Council, so enlarged, is to be the legal suc- cessor of the present Council, and to inherit all its pro- perty. Re;rz2tnercction of Members of Council. The members of the Council are not to be paid out of the .funds of the Council. The members representing corpora- tions are to be paid by their respective corporations, if paid at all. That is to say, it shall be lawful for (Part II., - Clause 27), but not obligatory upon, the corporations-and the same applies to the general practitioners-to pay their representatives, or at least to pay them their expenses. The Privy Council shall pay the members nominated by her Majesty. A Board of Examiners. The Council constituted as above is to meet soon, and at its first meeting " the General Council will proceed to elect or appoint twelve persons to be examiners (each of whom .shall hold office for three years), and state the terms, and ,conditions of the appointment, and the qualifications. Six of the examiners shall be medical practicioners, registered as residing in England or Wales, three as residing in Ireland, and two in Scotland respectively. Of the twelve examiners eight at least shall respectively be the medical officer of a medical or surgical hospital, two shall be teachers or lecturers on Chemistry, and two shall be teachers or lecturers ow Materia Meclica or Therapeutics." The election of such examiners is to be by open voting, the voting papers to be recorded and reported to Parliament. In addition to the twelve members of the Examining Board to be chosen by the Council, there are to be six chosen by her Majesty’s Privy Council. Examinations to be Periodical and Peripatetic; and the Condi- tions of Examination. The Board of Examiners so appointed, or a committee of them, are to hold -Periodical examinations successively, in London, Dublin, and Edinburgh, and to examine all candi- dates who have paid the necessary fees, and who shall possess any of the qttalijications which would entitle him to be registered as a medical practitioner under the recited Acts, or any of them, had this Act not been passed, or under any order issued by the General Council, in accordance with the provisions of this Act. No person shall be placed on the Register of medical and surgical practitioners, who shall not have been examined by the Board of Examiners, or the committee of them. Special and long paragraphs are devoted to the statement of means to be taken by the .examiners to ascertain the skill and ability of students in practical and every-day matters. Rules for the guidance of the examiners are to be framed by the General Council. A series of medical and surgical cases are to be examined; a series of operations are to be perforrned on the dead subject; bandages and splints are to be applied; and the uses of ordinary instruments are to be explained and demonstrated. All Vacancies in the Poor-law and other Medical Civil Services to be filled up by Competitive Examinations. After the Board of Examiners shall have been appointed under this Act, all vacancies occurring in Poor-law and other civil naedical offices in the United Kingdom, the occupant of avhich is, in whole or part, paid by the State, or from the public rates of any locality or district in the United Kingdom, shall be open to competition by all registered practitioners; And at its first meeting the Council shall name a Committee for con- ducting such competitive examinations in each of the divi- sions of the United Kingdom herein defined. Rebellious Boards of Guardians, or other bodies in whom the right of appointment is now vested, are to be compelled by manda- mus or other equivalent orders to appoint the person who has best stood the competitive test. Foreign and Colonial Degrees, &c. It shall be lawful for the General Council by special order to dispense with such provisions of the Medical Acts as to them shall seem fit in favour of persons applying to be admitted as candidates for examination and registration, under this Act, in virtue of foreign or colonial diplomas or degrees, or other foreign or colonial authorisation to prac- tise in the country or colony in which the same may have been issued. The Privy Council is to have a similar power, subject to objection by the General Council. Penal Claitses. Clause 31 provides that the Attorney-General for Eng- land and Ireland, and the corresponding officer for Scotland, shall, on representation from the General Council, or the Branch Councils, and in concert with such Councils, direct a case to be drawn, on the part of the Crown, by the ordinary Crown prosecutor of the district, and if, thereafter, he think that this Act, or any of the recited Acts, has been violated, or that designations have been used falsely, he shall order proceedings to be taken at the expense of the Crown for the conviction of the alleged offender. The penalty not to ex- ceed £20. MODE OF ELECTION OF THE MEDICAL COUNCIL. THE following questions have been addressed to the various universities, colleges, and corporations, by the Medical Department of the Privy Council :- " 1. What board or body of persons acts, under the 4th section of the Medical Act, as the Royal College of Physicians, in choosing a person to act on behalf of the same in the General Medical Council ? "2. Of how many members does this electoral board or body consist ? ° 3. By what constituency (if any), are the members of the electoral board or body appointed? or what other qualification gives a vote ?" THE WELSH FASTING GIRL AND THE MEDICAL COMMITTEE. DURING the past few days, a new chapter has been opened in the story of Sarah Jacobs, the so-called " Fasting Girl." A magisterial investigation was commenced on Monday at Llandyssil, when the parents of the girl and the members of the medical committee, who undertook to visit the girl during the watching, were charged with no less serious an offence than that of " killing and slaying" Sarah Jacobs. The persons summoned were : Evan Jacob (father of the girl), Hannah Jacob (his wife), and the following gentlemen who constituted the medical com- mittee:-Mr. Henry Harris Davies (surgeon), Llandyssil; Charles Caesar Corsellis, M.D., a retired physician ; Thomas Lewis, M.D., a borough magistrate ; Mr. John Hughes (surgeon), a borough coroner and magistrate; Mr. James Rowlands (surgeon), one of the county coroners and a magistrate. Mr. Coleridge, of the South Wales Circuit (who appeared for the Crown), made a very lengthy speech in opening the case for the prosecution, in course of which he said that the Solicitors to the Treasury had an idea at one time of summoning the whole of the members of the committee who undertook the watching, but they had now come to the opinion that the exigencies of the case would be met if the medical gentlemen were summoned. In sketching the history of the girl, he referred to a letter which was written to THE LANCET in reference to the state in which the girl was lying, and which was copied into other papers. When visited subsequently by Dr. Hughes, of Llandovery, no sores were found on the girl’s back or about the body; but

Transcript of THE WELSH FASTING GIRL AND THE MEDICAL COMMITTEE

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to be modified, and its powers are to be enlarged. For

brevity’s sake, the Council is called in the Act the " Gene-ral Council." The General Council shall, after this Actshall be brought into operation, consist of the followingmembers :-One member chosen by each of the bodiesnamed in clauses 4 and 5 of the Medical Act (1858), as insaid Act provided; six persons nominated by Her Majesty,as in said Act provided ; and twelve medical practitioners,registered under this or the previous Acts, who are to be selectedby the votes of the medical practitioners (registered) in the threedivisions of the kingdom-six for England, three for Scotland,and three for Ireland. The voting is to be done by votingpapers, which are to be procured on application to the Registrarfor the small sum of one penny. The Council so elected shallhold its annual meeting, in i-otatioit, at London, D1,blin, andEdinburgh. There is a fine Irish touch in the order of

places. The Council, so enlarged, is to be the legal suc-cessor of the present Council, and to inherit all its pro-perty.

Re;rz2tnercction of Members of Council.The members of the Council are not to be paid out of the

.funds of the Council. The members representing corpora-tions are to be paid by their respective corporations, if paidat all. That is to say, it shall be lawful for (Part II.,- Clause 27), but not obligatory upon, the corporations-andthe same applies to the general practitioners-to pay theirrepresentatives, or at least to pay them their expenses. ThePrivy Council shall pay the members nominated by herMajesty.

A Board of Examiners.The Council constituted as above is to meet soon, and at its

first meeting " the General Council will proceed to elector appoint twelve persons to be examiners (each of whom.shall hold office for three years), and state the terms, and,conditions of the appointment, and the qualifications. Sixof the examiners shall be medical practicioners, registeredas residing in England or Wales, three as residing in

Ireland, and two in Scotland respectively. Of the twelveexaminers eight at least shall respectively be the medicalofficer of a medical or surgical hospital, two shall be teachersor lecturers on Chemistry, and two shall be teachers or lecturersow Materia Meclica or Therapeutics." The election of suchexaminers is to be by open voting, the voting papers to berecorded and reported to Parliament. In addition to thetwelve members of the Examining Board to be chosen by the

Council, there are to be six chosen by her Majesty’s PrivyCouncil.

Examinations to be Periodical and Peripatetic; and the Condi-tions of Examination.

The Board of Examiners so appointed, or a committee ofthem, are to hold -Periodical examinations successively, in

London, Dublin, and Edinburgh, and to examine all candi-dates who have paid the necessary fees, and who shall

possess any of the qttalijications which would entitle him to beregistered as a medical practitioner under the recited Acts, orany of them, had this Act not been passed, or under any orderissued by the General Council, in accordance with theprovisions of this Act. No person shall be placed on theRegister of medical and surgical practitioners, who shall not have been examined by the Board of Examiners, or thecommittee of them. Special and long paragraphs aredevoted to the statement of means to be taken by the.examiners to ascertain the skill and ability of students inpractical and every-day matters. Rules for the guidanceof the examiners are to be framed by the General Council.A series of medical and surgical cases are to be examined; aseries of operations are to be perforrned on the dead subject;bandages and splints are to be applied; and the uses of ordinaryinstruments are to be explained and demonstrated.All Vacancies in the Poor-law and other Medical Civil Services

to be filled up by Competitive Examinations.After the Board of Examiners shall have been appointed

under this Act, all vacancies occurring in Poor-law and othercivil naedical offices in the United Kingdom, the occupant ofavhich is, in whole or part, paid by the State, or from the publicrates of any locality or district in the United Kingdom, shall beopen to competition by all registered practitioners; And at itsfirst meeting the Council shall name a Committee for con-ducting such competitive examinations in each of the divi-sions of the United Kingdom herein defined. Rebellious

Boards of Guardians, or other bodies in whom the right ofappointment is now vested, are to be compelled by manda-mus or other equivalent orders to appoint the person whohas best stood the competitive test.

Foreign and Colonial Degrees, &c.It shall be lawful for the General Council by special

order to dispense with such provisions of the Medical Actsas to them shall seem fit in favour of persons applying tobe admitted as candidates for examination and registration,under this Act, in virtue of foreign or colonial diplomas ordegrees, or other foreign or colonial authorisation to prac-tise in the country or colony in which the same may havebeen issued. The Privy Council is to have a similar power,subject to objection by the General Council.

Penal Claitses.Clause 31 provides that the Attorney-General for Eng-

land and Ireland, and the corresponding officer for Scotland,shall, on representation from the General Council, or theBranch Councils, and in concert with such Councils, direct acase to be drawn, on the part of the Crown, by the ordinaryCrown prosecutor of the district, and if, thereafter, he thinkthat this Act, or any of the recited Acts, has been violated,or that designations have been used falsely, he shall orderproceedings to be taken at the expense of the Crown for theconviction of the alleged offender. The penalty not to ex-ceed £20.

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MODE OF ELECTION OF THE MEDICALCOUNCIL.

THE following questions have been addressed to thevarious universities, colleges, and corporations, by theMedical Department of the Privy Council :-

" 1. What board or body of persons acts, under the4th section of the Medical Act, as the Royal College ofPhysicians, in choosing a person to act on behalf of thesame in the General Medical Council ?

"2. Of how many members does this electoral board or

body consist ?° 3. By what constituency (if any), are the members of

the electoral board or body appointed? or what other

qualification gives a vote ?"

THE WELSH FASTING GIRL AND THEMEDICAL COMMITTEE.

DURING the past few days, a new chapter has beenopened in the story of Sarah Jacobs, the so-called " FastingGirl." A magisterial investigation was commenced onMonday at Llandyssil, when the parents of the girl andthe members of the medical committee, who undertook tovisit the girl during the watching, were charged with noless serious an offence than that of " killing and slaying"Sarah Jacobs. The persons summoned were : Evan Jacob

(father of the girl), Hannah Jacob (his wife), and thefollowing gentlemen who constituted the medical com-

mittee:-Mr. Henry Harris Davies (surgeon), Llandyssil;Charles Caesar Corsellis, M.D., a retired physician ;Thomas Lewis, M.D., a borough magistrate ; Mr. John

Hughes (surgeon), a borough coroner and magistrate; Mr.James Rowlands (surgeon), one of the county coroners anda magistrate.Mr. Coleridge, of the South Wales Circuit (who appeared

for the Crown), made a very lengthy speech in opening thecase for the prosecution, in course of which he said thatthe Solicitors to the Treasury had an idea at one time ofsummoning the whole of the members of the committeewho undertook the watching, but they had now come to theopinion that the exigencies of the case would be met if themedical gentlemen were summoned. In sketching thehistory of the girl, he referred to a letter which was writtento THE LANCET in reference to the state in which the girlwas lying, and which was copied into other papers. Whenvisited subsequently by Dr. Hughes, of Llandovery, nosores were found on the girl’s back or about the body; but

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on Dr. Hughes applying his ear to her stomach, he heard agurgling sound, which was a certain sign that there musthave been some fluid food passing through it. Alluding tothe large cavity under the girl’s arm, Mr. Coleridge sug-gested the theory that a bottle containing some strung nu-triment was concealed in it. It was suspicious that the parents said the girl’s left side was paralysed. Passing on to the recent watching, Mr. Coleridge characterised therules drawn up by Dr. Phillips as being very sensible; thedirections were that the child was to be watched to see ifshe partook of food, not that she should be prevented fromtaking food. The committee went beyond this, for theycarried on the watching in such a way as to prevent thechild receiving food. As to the medical men, he (Mr. Cole-ridge) was instructed that there were one or two doctors onthe committee who really believed in the possibility of thechild living without food ; the others did not believe it pos-sible. He thought those were most culpable who dis-believed it, because they should have taken greater pre-cautions against anything serious supervening. He broughtthe responsibility home to the doctors thus :-The doctorswere appointed by the committee, and accepted the watch-ing. They had failed in their duty in not giving instruc-tions to the nurses to give food to the child when they sawshe was sinking. On the Tuesday, two days before thedeath, the vicar of the parish (who had been a strongbeliever in the story until a day or two before) saw

that the child was flushed and distressed, and observeda striking difference in the appearance of her counte-nance. Dr. Corsellis also saw her, and agreed with thevicar, and that she was weak, but added the remarkthat there °° was a chance for her." He (Mr. Cole-

ridge) was sorry Dr. Corsellis was not present to explainwhat he meant by that remark. [Dr. Corsellis, the onlydefendant not present, had written to the bench, statingthat it was impossible for him to be present on that day.]The watching should have been put an end to when thesesymptoms were observed, and the child treated accordingly.Mr. Davies, surgeon, seemed to accede to the remarkabout the girl’s state, but offered no food. Mr. Hughessaid the child was in danger. He should have gone further,and have seen that food was given-by force, if necessary.The case against the medical men was this: persons com-bining together for an illegal purpose, by which conspiracydeath happened, were guilty of manslaughter. The watchingcommittee was an illegally constituted body; the medicalmen entered into an illegal contract with that body; hencethe doctors were responsible for the result, namely, the girl’s death. He concluded by saying that the girl had beensacrificed, and in reality had been experimentalised uponby the medical men, and that fatally.In a conversation which ensued, Mr. Coleridge said that

the longest time of fasting without water was eight days;with water, twenty-one days.On the application of Mr. Hughes, (surgeon), who com-

plained that the summons was only served upon him forty-eight hours previous, the case was adjourned to Thursday.

AMENDMENT OF THE MEDICAL ACTS.

THE following communication has been submitted tothe Home Secretary, by the President of the MedicalReform Union.

[ COPY.]7, Waterloo-street, Birmingham.

SIR,-I have the honour to request that you will bepleased to name a day when I may wait upon you with adeputation, to present a memorial from 9724 legally quali-fied practitioners in England, Scotland, and Ireland, pray-ing for an amendment of the Medical Acts.Your memorialists hope that you may think fit to make

arrangements for the Medical Officer of the Privy Councilto be present when you receive the deputation.

I have the honour to be, Sir,Your obedient humble servant,

BELL FLETCHER,President of the Medical Reform Union.

The Rt. Hon. H. A. Bruce,Her Jlajesy’s Secretary of State for the Home Department.

DR. EDWARD DAVIES has been appointed J.P. forthe Borough of Wrexham.

Correspondence.

ON THE AMALGAMATION OF THE BRITISHAND INDIAN MEDICAL SERVICES.

"Audi alteram partem."

To the Editor of THE LANCET.

SIR,-When the question of amalgamating the medicaldepartments of the British and Indian armies was underdiscussion, I urged the propriety of the measure throughevery channel open to me. When it was decided that thetwo services were to remain apart, I became, as was fitting,silent-silent, but not convinced. I gather from the Indianjournals that a reconsideration of this question has beencalled for, presumably because experience has proved thesystem of a double service and administration to be costlyand inefficient.

This being the case, I venture to ask for space once moreto show cause in favour of amalgamation.

It is notorious that when this matter was under discussionsome years ago, the Governor-General in Council, and thethen Secretary for India and his Council of experiencedIndian administrators, were strongly on the side of a singleservice. So far as I have been able to ascertain it, this toowas the side taken by the officers in both services whoseopinions on such a point were entitled to most weight. It

was with a view to facilitate amalgamation that the Secre-tary for India suppressed the Medical Funds in the threepresidencies-noble institutions, which had long conferredinvaluable benefits on the medical officers of the army in

India, and also promoted the best interests of the State byattracting to its service a body of capable men who servedit well. This great sacrifice has hitherto been made invain.What were the objections to amalgamation which pre-

vailed against such a weight of authority on the other side?Let us state and examine them.

1. It was urged, "that British soldiers should betreated when sick by British medical officers, acquaintedwith their habits, constitutions, and diseases." Now, notto dwell on the fact, somehow left out of sight here, thatthe medical officers of the Indian army are "British" them-selves, taught in the same schools, by the same teachers, astheir brethren, this objection was urged in apparentignorance of another fact-viz., that in past days muchof the medical duties of the British army in Indiawas done by medical officers of the sister service. Everyassistant-surgeon, on arrival in India, was sent to do

duty with one of her Majesty’s regiments, and wheneverany pressure of duty fell, a call was made for assistancefrom the Indian service, which was invariably compliedwith. The writer spent five consecutive years in duty ofthis kind, and, when he had been less than two years in theservice, was placed in sole medical charge of a wing of oneof her Majesty’s regiments on a march of 400 miles.If there be any meaning in the objection under notice, itamounts to this, that the Nicholsons, Twinings, Martins,Moreheads, Cheverses, Grants, Goodeves, Fayrers, Shaws,Pauls, Cornishes, Macphersons, cum multis aliis of the threePresidencies, cannot be trusted to treat tropical diseases inthe persons of their own countrymen, because they havewidened their field of experience by studying the samediseases as they occur in other races ! When this or some-thing equivalent to it has been stated in my presence, Ihave sometimes been tempted to ask, Does an ague in anAsiatic begin with the sweating, and end with the coldstage ? or do we find the femoral artery in the same racecoursing along the surface of the sartorius muscle?

2. The next argument against amalgamation was basedon the fact that medical officers in the service of India aremuch employed in civil duties. From this it was inferred11 that they become, ipso facto, disqualified for military dutyand impatient of military discipline." The easy answer is,that in our wars in India it is well known that medical