THE COMMUNICABILITY OF GLANDERS.

THE COMMUNICABILITY OF GLANDERS.

493 commend them to the study of medical practitioners who cannot be too well informed as to the methods adopted by the quack in order that they may b...

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493 commend them to the study of medical practitioners who cannot be too well informed as to the methods adopted by the quack in order that they may be prepared to counteract his influence. Probably not every medical practitioner, for example, is aware of the "dodge" of sending to the applicant who answers an advertisement medicine calculated to produce precisely those symptoms most likely to alarm him, while a second instalment of less injurious character follows, with the result that the symptoms caused by the first doses abate and the quack claims (and the patient believes) that the treatment has been beneficial. In the second pamphlet we note a useful discussion of the manner in which dangerous advertisements may, to some extent, be put a stop to. These, when they appear in the public press, cannot be dealt with under the Indecent Advertisement Act which refers to notices affixed in public places or in urinals, and does not profess to purify newspapers. It is suggested, however, that in the case of a newspaper a letter to the proprietor may satisfy him that an advertisement, even though outwardly harmless, is giving offence to a section of his readers. We believe that some good may be done in this way, particularly if the persons remonstrating are of known position and influence ; but, on the other hand, we cannot forget that advertisements which were patently and obviously offers of drugs to be used for the purpose of procuring miscarriage were accepted by hundreds of newspapers in all parts of the country. Until recent prosecutions of the advertisers and plainly spoken warnings uttered from the judicial bench caused the proprietors of certain newspapers to realise that their conduct was not only scandalous but actually dangerous to themselves the abuse was not abated. __

"A FINE FOR DYING." AT the present day, when so many people spend a portion of the year abroad, and particularly when invalids of various kinds seek the hotels of foreign resorts in consequence of medical advice, the circumstances related in our last issue (p. 444) under the above heading have a wide interest. Briefly stated, the matter is this: a gentleman, advised by his medical man, goes to Caux and stays in a hotel He dies and his relatives are charged there. The relatives on their .E40 compensation by the hotel. return inform the medical man, who sends us their letter for publication as a warning to other practitioners. In sympathising with people who besides the loss of a relative are promptly mulcted of a considerable sum we must not entirely overlook the other side of the question. To a hotel a death may be a matter involving serious loss of reputation and of business. In the particular instance which concerns us we have no details of the nature of the patient’s illness and the manner of his death. Presumably there was nothing unusual in either nor anything particularly likely to be damaging to the hotel should it become matter of common knowledge. Such being the case we think the charge made was certainly excessive. Moreover, it seems to us a most unreasonable procedure to make a fixed charge of .E40 in every case where death occurs at the hotel. It is easy to imagine cases in which this charge would be much under the cost incurred by the hotel, just as in the present instance it was probably very much above it. In cases of infection, for instance, the necessary cleansing, possibly the closing of part or all the hotel, might well lead, to loss of business far exceeding 40. On the other hand, in a case of what we may call ordinary death the loss to a well-managed hotel should be little beyond a few incidental expenses and should certainly be covered by far less a sum than that which was here charged. A moral, at any rate, may be drawn from this case. When a patient is going abroad obviously it may save his friends

annoyance if their medical adviser should mention this matter to them and be able to give them some idea of what is likely to arise in the untoward event of death overtaking, their sick relative. ____

THE COMMUNICABILITY OF GLANDERS. THE President of the Board of Agriculture has appointed’ committee to conduct experimental investigations into the communicability of glanders. The influence of mallein when repeatedly administered in arresting or curing the disease is also to be made the subject of inquiry. The committee will consist of Mr. A. C. Cope, M.R.C.V.S. chief veterinary officer of the Board of Agriculture (chairman); Professor J. McFadyean, M.B., C.M., B.Sc. Edin., M.R.O.V.S., principal of the Royal Veterinary College, Camden Town, London, N.W. ; Mr. William Hunting, F.R.C.V.S., one of’ the veterinary inspectors of the London County Council ; and Mr. J. McIntosh McCall, M.B., C.M. Glasg., M.R.O.V.S.,.. assistant veterinary officer of the Board of Agriculture. Mr.. A. H. Berry, M.R.C.V.S., of the Board of Agriculture, will act as the secretary to the committee.

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MR.

BURDETT-COUTTS AND THE REPORT THE SOUTH AFRICAN HOSPITALS COMMISSION.

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As our readers cannot fail to have observed, Mr.. Burdett-Coutts has lost no time in publishing long and elaborate communications in which he analyses the report of the Royal Commission on the hospitals in South Africa and subjects it from beginning to end to a very severe and trenchant criticism commenting at the same bime very adversely on the conduct of the inquiry. We may safely leave Lord Justice Romer and his colleagues to take care of themselves and their report at the proper time and place. The whole question must engage the attention of Parliament and we make no doubt that some reply will be forthcoming to Mr. Burdett-Coutts’s strictures. We hope to. see the matter fully and fairly discussed, for it is one, if ever there was one, which demands to be very earnestly and dispassionately considered. We were not among those who denied in toto the existence of the state of things described by Mr. Burdett-Coutts. But we wanted to know, like everybody else, how far this state was unavoidable under the circumstances, or whether it was attributable fault of anyone. to the negligence, incapacity, or Lord Romer fact of Justice The mere having been the Commission gave us inquiry would be thoroughly and conducted. The report, which, be it dispassionately remarked, was signed by all the Commissioners, struck us as an able and eminently fair public document. Mr. Burdett-Coutts thinks otherwise. He will have none of it, and enters a strong protest against it. We must be content to await further developments. We may, however, say this in the meantime in regard to the war in South Africa, because it must be patent to everybody now. Every day brings the fact to light more forcibly that neither this country nor the Government, nor, indeed, anybody, had formed any correct estimate of the very formidable nature of the undertaking. The war preparations were designed on altogether too small a scale. Medical provision was made for an army of rome 50,000, whereas it should have been, as it turned out, for nearer 250,000. The transport in the country at the time of Lord Roberts’s arrival was better adapted for peace manoeuvres than for a large war, whose operations had to be conducted over an enormous But for these facts it seems to us extent of territory. that Mr. Burdett-Coutts would have found no ground for I his bitter criticism. In order to obtain a,:correct view of

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