Miscellany

1880 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
broken pipe had accumulated in a hole in the cellar bottom, and that from this matter poisonous emanations arose and spread through the house. It was further alleged that the landlord refused to make the necessary repairs when his attention was called to the condition of the sewerage, whereupon the tenant abandoned the premises two months before the expiration of his lease. The landlord sued for rent for these two months, but the jury, after considering the testimony, not only disallowed the
more » ... y disallowed the landlord's claim, but found damages against him to the extent of fifty dollars, besides costs. Miscellanp. The twenty-eighth annual meeting of the Maine Medical Association was held in this city on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of June, and was very numerously attended. Dr. S. C. Gordon, the president, occupied the chair during all the sessions, and discharged the duties of the office with great skill and to the satisfaction of all concerned. In his inaugural address, he called the attention of the association to various matters which have engaged its attention in previous years, such as the proposed laws for a state board of health, for the protection of the profession from malicious suits for malpractice, and the like, but advised that, at the next meeting of the legislature, the other bills which the society has endeavored to have enacted should be temporarily ignored, and that all efforts should be concentrated upon the passage of an effective anatomical bill. At the present time it is impossible to procure a subject for dissection by any lawful means. The physicians of Maine must either break a statute themselves or hire some other persons to do so for them, if they would have material for the study of practical anatomy. As the law stands, a medical man may have in bis possession for scientific purposes a body which he has obtained by any lawful means ; that is to say, he may dissect the corpse of a person who has bequeathed his remains to him, or the body of any one dying in a prison or jail, provided the criminal has not requested to have his carcass interred, and provided also that no friend claims it within twenty-four hours after death. It is very rare that a man wills his body into the dissecting-room, even those who have suffered most for want of material shrinking from doing the one thing which, more than any other, would tend to encourage a healthier public sentiment in this important particular ; and the portion of the law which relates to defunct convicts has been of absolutely no service to the profession. This, however, is not because there is no mortality in our penal institutions, but because, when one of their inmates seems near his end, some pseudo-philanthropist conveys to him the pleasing information that if he does not request to be buried the doctors will cut him up. It is needless to say that this announcement invariably develops so strenuous a petition for quarters iu the cemetery that the medical schools are cheated out of their rightful material. Even iu the case of one of the vilest wretches who ever paid on the scaffold the penalty of bis hideous crimes, a fiend who combined burglary, rape, and murder in one offense, a sickly sentimentality, which would have shrunk from contact with him living and at liberty, stepped in to save him dead in a dungeon, and to defraud earnest searchers after knowledge of the human frame. But in spite of all these obstacles cadavera are had ; and once in a while a quiet country community is shocked and startled by the discovery of the resurrecting exploits of some medical student, who has been careless with his tongue or clumsy with his shovel, and whose anatomical enthusiasm must, for the future, find vent in fresh tombs and graveyards new. The association felt the force of its president's suggestion, and appointed a committee which will cooperate with one from each of the medical schools, and try to persuade the next legislature so to alter the statute that the abundant material for anatomical purposes may be utilized, and the cemeteries protected from the ghoulish desecration to which they have formerly been subjected. A goodly number of essays and reports of cases were presented, as follows : Small Things to be observed in the Lying-in Chamber, by
doi:10.1056/nejm188007291030508 fatcat:j4jvh3tcjjfsjaa5wt2fju6qae