William Budd
1861 The Lancet  
17 young surgeon, some short time since came to a premature end by having poured out for h;mself a dose of tincture of aconite instead of tincture of orange-peel. It is, we believe, a singular coincidence that Mr. Dowson and -.LNIr. Collins were fellowstudents at the same school. This case is but one of fifty which we have noted, and attention can hardly be denied to the unhappy circumstances which have surrounded some of these numerous cases of accidental poisoning due to similarity of shape
more » ... milarity of shape and mode of emptying their contents in bottles containing harmless and poisonous fluids. If the anxiety of the public for self-preservation and the caution of dispensing chemists are not sufficiently aroused by them, it will necessarily become a question for legislative interference. ____ CYNO-PHOBIA. THE actual horrors of the incurable disease-hydrophobia, need not be heightened by any offspring of error. Nevertheless, it is true that on no other subject do public errors, in opinion and practice, more fatally prevail. Those who are inoculated with the malady by the bite of a really mad dog, do, indeed, but rarely recover, for the present resources of science must be pronounced to be nearly powerless for the cure of the disease; but, on the other hand, they are potent for its prevention. Moreover, many deaths following the bite of a dog occur where the animal was not mad, and as the result of pure fright. Such a one was recorded in The Time8 of Tuesday last. -A gentleman, named Shepherd, was bitten by a mastiff dog, and fell into great alarm, believing that it must be mad. There was not a particle of evidence to show that the dog was so; but he insisted on its being killed. The poor man became very violent soon after being bitten, and snapped at strangers, barking like a dog, and crowing like a cock. Now all these are not symptoms of hydrophobia, although they are those which a popular, but unfounded, superstition ascribes to the disease. People who suffer from hydrophobia do not bite, neither do they bark, nor crow like a cock. This poor fellow fell a victim to his fears, and died in high fever, accompanied with delirium. The scientific evidence was perfectly conclusive on these points. Many such cases are very authentically recorded; and probably many others are registered as hydrophobia. There are one or two points of considerable interest in connexion with this matter. In the first place, it should be known that the excessive feat of being bitten by a dog in hot weather is groundless. An immense accumulation of facts prove that dogs are not more liable to madness in hot weather than in cold ; in fact, a greater number of cases occur in the early months of the year than at any other time; and while the disease occurs frequently in very cold climates, it is un7"itown in Turkey, and in tropical climates where dogs are allowed to roam about freely. This excess of dread is, therefore, baseless. A dog which has bitten anyone should not be destroyed, but confined and watched. It will then often be found that the animal is by no means rabid, and that there is no cause for alarm. Such a precaution might have ' , saved this and many another life. Finally, a suspected bite should at once be sucked with the mouth, or treated by a powerful caustic, or a cupping-glass applied over the wound, and as soon as possible either cauterized by actual heat or excised. These precautions are of infinite avail; but above all, the dog should not be destroyed, in order that the absence of rabidity may, if possibe, be demonstrated. PARSEE ARMY SURGEONS. THE Parsee gentlemen who were excluded from medical service in the Army by the recent decision of the War-office, owe much to the earnest advocacy of their cause last week by Lord Monteagle in the House of Lords. It can hardly be doubted that the able recapitulation by that noble Lord of the arguments which have been urged on all sides in favour of their admission by some means to the medical care of troops in India will have the effect of procuring that privilege for the applicants. The principle of India for the Indians was fully recognised by Lord Herbert on the part of the Government; and although the Secretary for War pointed out that the authoritative opinions of Sir John Liddell, Dr. Gibson, and Sir R. Martin did not permit him to expose the Parsees to northern climates, yet he i intimated that there was a probability of arrangements being made for absorbing these gentlemen into positions on the local staff in India, where their services might be valuable. , It must have afforded pleasure to those who labour in this case under a sense of oppression to observe that throughout the debate there was a unanimous desire to express a high sense of the merit and intelligence of the native medical officers already appointed. We cannot doubt but that the executive are influenced by perfectly friendly feeling towards these gentlemen, and that the case will be specially met. There remains, however, the necessity to reconcile the principle of India for the Indians, with the exclusion of Indians from the general medical services, which now include their native country. It is sufficiently obvious, notwithstanding all special pleading, that exclusion is in contradiction to the important principle which the Government so freely admit. It is clear, too, that the difficulty may be overcome and justice done by providing that for a certain number of medical appointments in India Parsee candidates shall be eligible, although the portal be the rough Downing-street gate, and not the door in Leadenhallstreet. This may be reconciled with the exclusion of Orientals from northern or other general service. It is only by such an exceptional provision that the pledges given by this country to India can be honourably fulfilled. THE CONTEST AT THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS. THE result of the election of Councillors of the Royal College e of Surgeons on Thursday last was to place Messrs. Solly, Fergusson, and Mackmurdo at the head of the list. These gentlemen were, therefore, declared to be duly elected to the vacant seats. The following are the numbers of votes polled by the respective candidates :—Mr. Solly, 151; Mr. Fergusson, 121 ; Mr. Mackmurdo, 107; Mr. Bishop, 100; Mr. Paget, (of Leicester,) 99, and Mr. Adams, 71. By this election the old rule of promotion is broken through, and for the first time personal merit is recognised as a motive influence in the elections to the Council.
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)64223-0 fatcat:tzit55ebgjdf7intjv2bhcif4a