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UNITED STATES ARMY. Week ending September 30, 1895. Major Washington Matthews, Surgeon, having been found incapacitated for active service by an Army retiring board, on count of disability incident to the service, is by direction of the President retired from active service, this date, September 26, 1895.
Leave of absence for four months, to take effect about November 5, 1895, is granted Captain Thomas U. Raymond, Assistant Surgeon.
Leave of absence for one month, to take effect when his services can be spared, with permission to apply for an extension of one month, is granted Captain Eugene L. Swift, Assistant Surgeon, Fort Yates, N. D.
A board of inedical officers to consist of Colonel Charles H. Alden, Assistant Surgeon General, Lieutenant Colonel William H. Forwood, Deputy Surgeon General, Lieutenant Colonel David L. Huntington, Deputy Surgeon General, Major Charles Smart, Surgeon, Major Walter Reed, Surgeon, is constituted to meet at the Army Medical Museum Building in this city, on Tuesday, October 1, 1895, at 10 o'clock A. M., for the examination of candidates for admission to the Medical Corps of the Army.
Major Henry Lippincott, Surgeon, is relieved from duty at Fort Adams, R. I., and ordered to Fort Sheridan, ill., for duty, relieving Major Alfred C. Girard, Surgeon. Major Girard, on being thus relieved, is ordered to Fort Douglas, Utah, for duty, relieving Major Charles L. Heizmann, Surgeon. Major Heizmann, on being thus relieved, is ordered to Fort Adams, R. I., for duty.
Captain Richard W. Johnson, Assistant Surgeon, will be relieved from duty at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., upon the arri here of Captain William J. Wakeman, Assistant Surgeon, and ordered to Fort Logan, Colo., for duty.
Leave of absence for one month, to take effect about the 5th proximo, is granted Major Joseph B. Girard, Surgeon, Presidio of San Francisco, Cal.
Major James C. Worthington, Surgeon, is granted leave of absence for three months, on surgeon's certificate of disability.
UNITED STATES NAVY. For Two Weeks ending September 28, 1895.
Surgeon D. Dickinson detached from the "Minneapolis" and ordered to examination for promotion.
Surgeon D. N. Bertolette detached from the
Assistant Surgeon M. S. Guest detached from the “Minnesota ” and ordered to the " Vermont."
Surgeon R. C. Persons detached from the “Minnesota,” ordered home and placed on waiting orders.
The SCIENCE AND ART OF OBSTETRICS. By
Theophilus Parvin, A. M., M. D., LL.D. Third Edition. Philadelphia: Lea Bros. & Co., 1895.
The Third Edition of this excellent work by one of the leading obstetrical teachers of America comes to us much improved and revised up to date. The changes consist of alterations in the order in which the subjects are discussed, which is made to conform to the author's oral instruction. Nearly onethird of the book has been rewritten, additional illustrations have been introduced and the endeavor has been “ to make it a faithful reflex of obsteric science and art at the present hour." It is dedicated to the author's class of 1894-5 at Jefferson Medical College, of which he says: “I testify the strength and happiness your industry, fidelity and loyalty have given me.”
Parvin's Obstetrics is one of the concise and therefore cheapest works on this subject. The author's excellent judgment is shown throughout; so his conservatism, as for instance in speaking of the use of the forceps (p. 604), which he estimates to be called for in not more 5 or 6 per cent. of cases ; many times, he asserts, the perineum is torn or other injury inflicted on the puerpera by its unnecessary use.
Where conciseness is so imperative but little opportunity is given for the graces of composition of which the author is master, but he has furnished a work remarkable for clearness and simplicity and his notes embody a large amount of useful and curious information. There is no safer book for the student than this.
REPRINTS, ETC., RECEIVED.
Report of the Abdominal Sections in the Gynecological Department of Mercy Hospital from July 1 to October 1, 1894. Reprinted from Pittsburgh Medical Review, December, 1894.
Strabismus as a Symptom ; Its Causes and its Practical Management. By Leartus Connor, M. D., Detroit, Michigan. Reprinted from the Journal of the American Medical Association, June 29, 1895.
CURRENT EDITORIAL COMMENT. PUBLISHERS' DEPRRIMENT.
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or referring to the publication, subscription, or adNEW REMEDIES.
vertising department of this Journal, should be adCollege and Clinical Record.
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postal money order, drawn to the order of the elapse, in many instances, between first au Maryland Medical Journal; or by Registered letter.
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fully solicited. Advertisements also received from component part of a national pharmacopeia. all the leading advertising agents. Copy, to ensure
insertion the same week, should be received at this PRESENCE OF MIND.
office not later than Monday. British Medical Journal.
Physicians when communicating with advertisers
concerning their articles will confer a favor by If we were asked what single quality more mentioning this Journal. than any other conduces to success in medical Address:
MARYLAND MEDICAL JOURNAL, practice, we should be disposed to say pres
209 Park Avenue, Baltimore, Md. ence of mind. The doctor must be master of himself, not only “though china fall," but
NOTES. though he discovers that he has been studying the pathological changes in a glass eye, or feeling his own pulse like the intoxicated For moist herpes, a powder of tannin 1, physician of the legend. Swift, in his “ Diary subnitrate of bismuth i and starch 100 is recto Stella,” speaks of the frequency with ommended. which people “reason wrongly at first thinking.” Medical men are no more exempt
WARMAN warmly recommends asafetida in from this infirmity than the rest of mankind;
abortion, in pills or injection per rectum, as a but the carefully-cultivated presence of mind,
substitute for morphia. which is the first law of professional self-preservation, generally makes them more suc
PROFESSOR GEORGE J. PRESTON found that cessful in concealing it. The young practi
the percentage of hemoglobin in the blood is tioner often gives himself away by offering largely increased by the inhalation of pure the first muddy stirrings of his thoughts as
oxygen. an opinion instead of waiting for it to settle. Dr. Tweedy of Dublin reports a case of “AN OVERCROWDED PROFESSION.”
locomotor ataxia under observation for over Canada Lancet.
23 years in which nitrate of silver acted very THERE can be no doubt that the profession beneficially. of medicine has become terribly overcrowded,
Dissolve 3j of fresh tannin in Zvj water notwithstanding the raising of the standard
with gentle heat and apply to soft corps beof matriculation. Each successive effort made
tween the toes once or twice daily after washto discourage candidates for the degree suc
ing. It is said to give immediate relief. ceeds only in filling the halls of the medical colleges with an increased number of school
FRENDENBERG from an experience of 56 teachers and farmers' sons, who imagine that
cases recommends cantharidin (Merck's) in the profession must have a good thing"
cystitis. His formula was cantharidin one that they are trying to keep others away
milligramme, alcohol i c.c., aq. dest. ad. 100 from. Viewed from every standpoint the future of medicine as a means of making a liv
c.c. Dose, one teaspoonfulthree or four times
a day. 32 cases were completely and often ing is a black one indeed, and there can be no
quickly cured. doubt that every man enters medicine with that end in view, apart from any view of a GuerMONPREZ advises packing tubercular philanthrophic nature, for every man must foci with iodine. Eight or ten successive aplive, and in a new country, such as ours, there plications usually suffice for cure. Iodism are very few who have had the good luck to does not occur. Don't wait for spontaneous have a large enough fortune to enable them ulceration, but open with a bistoury or thermoto use medicine as a means to an end in fur. cautery. It is painless. The eschar is thrown thering scientific research.
off in four to eight days.
A Weekly Journal of Medicine and Surgery.
Vol. XXXIII.-No. 26. BALTIMORE, OCTOBER 12, 1895. WHOLE No. 759
INSANITY AND THE COURTS.
By C, C. Hersman, M. D. The legal tests of responsibility of , bility in the insane, law is (in the opinthe insane as applied under the laws of ion of the medical profession at least) ) the United States have given rise to very short of what the science of medi. grave discussion in the ranks of the cine demands. The unprejudiced mind medical profession. This must arouse should investigate this subject in the every thoughtful mind. Such discussions light which science has brought to its are intensified by reports of cases all solution. Our law-making power should over the country, and especially so in our examine our statutes to see if they are city by that of George Ducovic. That a founded upon sound principles. knowledge of the nature of the homi The medical profession, yea, all procidal deed committed by an insane per- fessions, the public even, know that a son, and of its being a violation of the knowledge of right and wrong, and of law, is neither safe nor reliable as a test the penalties of the law, are not the of the responsibility of the accused is the
proper tests in such cases.
The men undivided opinion of our profession. The best qualified to judge tell us that the conclusion to this is, not whether the ac insane not only know right from wrong cused knew the legal consequences, but and often fully understand the nature could he resist the morbid desire which and penalties of the law, but as a rule so engulfed his reason ?
they can discriminate betweep right and The legal profession has been trained wrong in their wrong doings committed to accept legal decisions, precedents under the force of insane delusions which and the settled authorities in a long line they cannot resist, and I insist that these of cases, and to inquire what the law truths must be considered in determinreally is, rather than to investigate its ing criminal responsibility. justice, its foundation, its reasons, and The legal profession, especially the the principles upon which it is based. thinking members, must acknowledge The inquiry of that profession and espe this. They must also acknowledge that cially of the Judiciary is — what is the our law as interpreted by our courts, in lex scripta ? They seem to be bound by many cases, is misleading; and that a it, and are determined at all hazards to careful revision by our legislators would enforce its provisions according to pre
be a speedy relief. The case of George cedents and decisions, established in Ducovic, who was tried and convicted at time reaching back almost to the dark the April term of Criminal Court, Alleages.
gheny County, of murder in the first deAs to the true tests of legal responsi- gree, shows fully the state of the present
law, and the need of different legal pro- nity. He first threatened him, thinking ceedings in such cases. That Ducovic that he would get into the court by so was insane cannot be doubted, as was doing and obtain justice. found since his conviction. He was ad Failing in all other attempts at justice mitted to Dixmont, May 13, 1894, a very he killed him for the following reasons : insane man, suffering from delusions of First : To save his own life. suspicion and persecution. He believed Second : To get before the courts, he was persecuted in many ways, the believing that he would be justified, and most serious of which was to take his that it would be publicly proclaimed life. Such is the testimony of the super that he had done a great and moral act. intendent and staff of the hospital. On Third : That he owed it to society to August 29, 1894, two months or more rid the community of such a character. before the time set for his execution, I Also, he often talked to a friend of a was called to the jail to examine him as daughter of a member of the firm for to his mental condition, but owing to which he worked who was greatly ensome irregularity in obtaining the order amored of him, and whom he could have from court I was not allowed to see him. married had not Dobrozdravic placed
On Saturday, September 6, I was such a stigma upon him. He often dec. again called, at which time I asked the orated his head with flowers and wreaths assistance of Dr. Samuel Ayres. Soon simulating a woman, at which time he after the examination was commenced, was solicitous in taking part in marriage and we elicited the following facts : ceremonies.
First : That in his native country he On the evening of the killing he went had been very much depressed at one to the house of a friend again to seek time, and had sought death while blast aid in obtaining justice, at which time ing in a stone quarry by refusing to get he became very excited and cried bitout of harm's way during the explosion. terly, but was finally quieted. Then he
Second : That when discharged from said, “You have ceased to be my friend Dixmont he believed that he was only and I will have to seek justice alone," sent to court and remained in the P. F. and in a few minutes he committed the W.C. R. R. station, Allegheny, until act for which he was sentenced. night, waiting for some one to escort The deed done, he talked to friends him to the courthouse, after which he and officers apparently unagitated and went to the home of a friend in Etna made no effort to escape. At this writ. Borough, where he exhibited the same ing the jail physician, Dr. Cheesrown, delusions as before he was sent to the informs me that prisoner thinks a woman insane asylum. He insisted that they of small stature appears nightly at the must help him to bring his supposed foot of his bed in a white robe, which he enemy, Dobrozdrayic, to justice ; that believes to be a good omen. he and eleven others were conspiring He thinks Dobrozdravic was found against his life and welfare.
guilty and that he is unjustly detained After various unfruitful attempts to by mistake ; that no judge can punish have Dobrozdravic brought into the him for the act, thinks it strange that courts, he went to work in the coal he is detained at all. mines, where he acted strangely, work To recapitulate : ing, stopping suddenly, crying, praying, He thinks that Dobrozdravic was and when at home wanted to be alone seeking his life, position and money ; in his room.
that he was aided in the conspiracy by Suddenly he gave up his work with eleven others; that he was compelled out assignable cause and came to the to kill Dobrozdravic to save his own town to seek justice.
life ; that Dobrozdravic was found It was his idea that Dobrozdravic was guilty ; that a daughter of the firm was to have killed him on a certain Wednes enamored of him ; that he will not be day, on which day he would have killed punished ; that it will be publicly proDobrozdravic had he had an opportu claimed that he is innocent ; that he
thought it was the general talk that which is possibly a mental evidence of Dobrozdravic was to kill him.
an illy-nourished or anemic brain. Their These delusions he had before he career is instinctive. In this condition went to Dixmont, after his release from of morbid suspicion they attach deluthere, and when examined by us. sional importance to very simple acts.
From the examination with the his There may be morbid feeling of fear tory of the man and the crime and all connected with the suspicion. In the facts deduced therefrom we unquali case of Ducovic the fear was the more fiedly stated that he was insane.
marked. With monomania of suspicion, He was so incoherent at times during patients may conceal their thoughts exour examinations it was with difficulty cept to their intimate friends, and may the interpreter could make out any even deny believing them if accused, meaning. Prisoner had insane delu some even appearing sane only while sions of fear and suspicion, but we locked up, the delusions cropping out could find no excuse for such delusions. again as soon as at liberty. The parties were not conspiring against The facts are plain. This young man, him at all but wished him well and were well behaved, industrious, seized by the sorry for his condition. His notions delusion above stated, kills his imagined were without credence, a positive evi foe. The act was an insane one. There dence that he was insane.
is a feeling abroad that a man, if insane These cases do not attribute their an and irresponsible, is always so, whereas noyance to unnatural or unseen things, most insane often are collected enough or impossible means, but to the malevo- during most of their lives. Prisoner lence of real persons who plot against did his work, which was mechanical, them, have evil designs on them, who well, but he had no power of persuasion poison their food, etc. His was a typi- that it was wrong. I have no doubt cal case in that these persons reason cor that if he had failed in his attempt or rectly from false premises ; their state had been let run at large he soon would ments are coherent and rarely confused. have had to have been locked up again. With a fixed delusion such a one may That the prisoner knew he was killing go on for years making a living and a man and that he knew the penalty, possibly accumulating something; but, does not exclude insanity, for I have had as a rule, he is lacking in effort in one under my care the worst kind of insane direction and apt to be meddlesome. who knew the penalty of murder, yet He is thought to be harmless. A jury they were mad. In any other case than would likely see only eccentricity, “just murder, an irrational act is taken as a little off," and the populace go on un ground at least for suspicion that the conscious of danger until something des mind of the perpetrator is disordered, perate is done to avenge an imaginary but in murder no account is taken of wrong. He thinks he shall be a public the unreasonable act. benefactor if he rids the world of this The medical profession may be said culpable individual. Encouraged by to agree substantially as a body that in the hope of notoriety, he expects to the homicides by the insane a knowlgain the highest pinnacle of publicity edge of the character of the act comand be hailed as a great deliverer. mitted, and of its being a violation Does he know that he is wrong? Could of law, is not a safe and reliable test he resist the insane desire to act ? Un of responsibility. We have investigated questionably no.
this question with courage, without preSome are of a suspicious temperament, judice, and in the light which science others are made so by real experience or has brought to the solution. There is ill-health. The weak are always suspi too much belief in the common sense of cious throughout the animal kingdom, a jury, to be the best judge of insanity. and the human brain is not different in One great fault is partly due to the law instinct. They think they are looked requiring definitions from medical witat, watched, followed, conspired against, nesses. .