CAYENNE PEPPER IN DELIRIUM TREMENS
390 take the consultations, to oblige the reverend gentleman's successor, Dr. Gatehouse." The patient received a powder to be rubbed into his head, and a lotion to wash off the powder, with some drops to be taken internally. After rubbing in the powder and sousing the head accordingly for some days, he became affected with suppurative phlebitis of the veins of the scalp, and died. The surgeon called in had recognised the nature of the disease during life, and after death the phlebitis of the
... phlebitis of the veins of the scalp and cranium was very evident. The result of the chemical examination of the powder by Mr. J. E. D. Rogers was, that it consisted of common oatmeal and a considerable per-centage of ordinary nitre in unusual-sized grit. His opinion was, that on rubbing the powder in its gritty condition on the surface of the head, the grit of the nitre broke the skin, and produced irritation. The lotion appeared to be a harmless solution of acetate of ammonia and tincture of lytta, a kind of hair-wash. The jury, after a protracted deliberation, returned the following special verdict :-" That the deceased died from the mortal effects of coma, brought on by disease in the frontal vein in his head, and after he had used certain external remedies to his head; and that by what means the said disease was occasioned there was not sufficient evidence to prove. The jurors, further, cannot but pass a most severe censure upon Mr. John Ogle Else, for lending his name and countenance to the use of quack medicines, as supplied to the deceased John Hays, from the establishment, 18, Bloomsbury-street, Bedford-square, and which is at the present time presided over by him, and which was known as that of the Rev. Wm. Willis Moseley, A.M., LL.D." We commend the conduct of Mr. Else to the unfavourable consideration of the Medical Council. RESPONSIBILITY OF MEDiCAL PRACTITIONERS. IN the charge of the Recorder of London to the Grand Jury at the Central Criminal Court, he laid down the doctrine of medical responsibility in very clear language, apropos of the lamentable case of alleged maltreatment by cutting away the intestines during labour. He said-" There was only one charge that in any way involved the destruction of human life, and that was a charge of manslaughter, and the circumstances under which it was made were rather peculiar. The person accused was a surgeon, and the offence imputed to him was that he had, by negligence and unskilfulness, caused the death of a woman. He had been called in to attend her during childbirth. It was not necessary for him to enter into the details of the case, but it was right he should inform them what the law required should be established to support such a prosecution. A medical man who undertook to perform a duty of this description was bound to bring to it a reasonable amount of skill and knowledge of his profession, and if this was done he would not be answerable for any fatal consequences that ensued ; and it was only in case the grand jury should be satisfied that a medical man was guilty of gross negligence, or that he had exhibited gross ignorance of his profession, and that the death of the patient was the consequence of that ignorance, that they would be justified in finding a bill for manslaughter. Every medical man was of course liable to make a mistake, and he would not be criminally responsible for the consequences if it should appear that he had exercised reasonable skill and caution; and it was only in the case where a medical man, as he had before stated, was guilty of gross negligence, or evinced a gross want of knowledge of his profession, that he could be held criminally responsible." COUNCIL OF THE COLLEGE OF SURGEONS. THE Councillors retiring by rotation at the College of Surgeons on the present occasion will be Mr. Cock and Mr. Tatum. Of course they will offer themselves for re-election. In accordance with the precedent set by the recent election of Mr. Fergusson, it is understood that the friends of Mr. Erichsen and Mr. Paget (of Leicester) will put forward those two gentlemen as candidates. In the usual course there would have been three vacancies by retirement, but the third in rotation is Mr. Caesar Hawkins, who is this year President. It is according to official custom that he should not withdraw. His retirement is therefore postponed until next year, when there will be four vacancies. SUBSCRIPTION FOR MR. PIERPOINT. ALTHOUGH the verdict in the late trial was in favour of the defendant, Mr. Pierpoint has still a cruel, because unjust, burden to bear, in the form of expenses. It is even probable that he may not recover costs from the plaintiff. Under these circumstances we have opened a subscription on behalf of Mr. Pierpoint, which we trust will meet with general support from the profession. Subscriptions will be received at THE LANCET Office, and duly published.