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us reconciled to the loss of the companionship of those members who have always by their words and constant presence done so much to promote the welfare of the Rufus S. Frost General Hospital, and the profession generally.
Although time had made Dr. William C. Cutler one of our senior members, his unfaltering activity classed him as one of our juniors. And so has passed a physician who for many years has been a pillar in the Rufus S. Frost General Hospital, and by his death we are called upon to mourn the loss of one of our senior brothers. We shall always cherish his memory and keenly feel the absence of one of our most prominent and esteemed members, whose long experience and wise counsel will be greatly missed in our deliberations. In him we recognize the noble man, earnest, devoted physician, and highly respected citizen, and our sympathy is feelingly tendered to the family of our deceased member in their sad affliction.
Charles H. SHACKFORD, President.
LAURA MAXWELL PORTER, M.D.
Died May 2, 1899. These few words mean that many men and women have lost from their lives the presence of a lovely woman, a noble character, and a continual inspiration. The memory of her beautiful presence and of her inspiring daily life remains, but the human heart craves the light of the noble face, the tender kindling glance of the eye, and the strong, warm clasp of the hand, and to-day there is no comfort.
Dr. Porter was born in Scituate, Mass. She was educated in the Lyman School, East Boston, going from there to the Girls' High School, in Boston, and thence to the Boston Normal School, where she graduated. She taught for many years in the Phillips School, and many Boston boys now grown to manhood owe much of their
ability of character and right views of life to their association with Dr. Porter at this school. But, though Dr. Porter was a teacher in the best meaning of the word, she resigned this profession to become a physician. She thus satisfied all the aspirations of her nature, for a physician is a teacher and something more. She studied medicine in New York, graduating, in 1878, from the New York Woman's Medical College and Hospital. She returned to her beloved Boston, and at once entered upon a successful practice. Dr. Porter was highly esteemed in her profession, and was a member of the Massachusetts Homeopathic Medical Society, the Boston Homeopathic Medical Society, and the Twentieth Century Medical Club.
A. C. V.
BOSTON HOMEOPATHIC MEDICAL SOCIETY.
The regular meeting of the society was held at the Boston University School of Medicine, Thursday evening, April 6, 1899, at 7.50 o'clock, President Sarah S. Windsor, M.D., in the chair.
The records of the last meeting were read and approved.
The following physicians were elected to membership: Wilmot L. Marden, Lynn ; Susan B. H. Gibbs and Charles S. Capelle, Roxbury.
The Obituary Committee on the death of Dr. Houghton presented the following resolutions :
Whereas, Dr. Henry A. Houghton, one of our honored and beloved colleagues, has been removed from our midst by death ; therefore
Resolved, That in his death we as a profession have lost a genial comrade, a wise counsellor, and a true friend.
Resolved, That we sympathize with his family in their great bereavement, and with his many patients in their loss of a noblehearted, kind, self-sacrificing, faithful, and devoted physician.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon our records and sent to the family of the deceased.
I. T. TALBOT,
5.00 Annie M. Selee . Winfield Smith .
J. W. HAYWARD, M.D., Chairman;
Drs. J. Emmons Briggs, George H. Earl, and Frank L. Newton were elected sectional officers for the ensuing year.
1. Résumé of Hospital Service just Finishing. Nathaniel W. Emerson, M.D.
II. Use of the Clamp and Cautery in the Treatment of Hemorrhoids. Frederick W. Halsey, M.D.
III. Report of Four Surgical Cases Showing Patients and Results.
1. Bronchial Cyst in an Infant.
Winfield Smith, M.D. Discussion opened by Edward E. Allen, M.D.
IV. Operation of Choice in Chronic Prostatic Hypertrophy. William T. Hopkins, M.D.
As Dr. Emerson was not present early in the evening, the first paper was read by Dr. Halsey.
Dr. Boothby, in discussing the paper, said in part : “I suppose the chairman knows that I am not an enthusiastic champion of the clamp or cautery, because I believe that operation by removing the tumors and uniting the parts is quite as good and, to my mind, is a little nicer way of doing it. The objection to the clamp, that I see, is this : in a large number of cases of hemorrhoids there is not one large hemorrhoidal growth on one part, but several. Remove a little mucous membrane, and you see a number of little veins standing up; you can remove these down to the fibres of the muscle by taking away tissues, and in this way there is a more complete operation. Dr. Green, of Little Rock, said he had adopted a suggestion of mine in regard to hemorrhoids where they were external and internal. Instead of making a complete circle, a part of the hemorrhoid is taken out near the integument and a little one side, and then a little of the internal, so as not to remove too much of the tissue around the edge. In Pratt's system a considerable tissue is taken out near the anus and the mucous membrane from the bowel drawn down, which is bad, as it is of a different character and color, and should not be near the anus. I would favor the knife rather than the clamp in most cases, and in others the clamp would be better."
Dr. Stone: I have no use for cautery, except in a very few cases. I have better success with the knife than the cautery. The ideal operation is the slip. The cut is clean, and the parts immediately adjust themselves. I have never seen any bad results. My principal reason for the slip operation is : clean cut, and the parts adjust themselves without sutures.
Dr. Halsey : There is little to add. Dr. Boothby, in speaking of the clamp, very kindly acknowledges that it has its uses, and if he had heard all my paper he would have agreed with me that the clamp was useful in certain hemorrhoids, where they are distinct and separate. I have had a little experience with the slip operation that Dr. Stone refers to without taking any sutures, I have had one or two patients come very near bleeding to death, which destroyed my faith in that method. Sewing is more painful.
Dr. Emerson then gave a brief “Résumé of Hospital Service just Finishing,” stating that notwithstanding the rigid system of asepsis employed, a mixed infection had, in some manner which he could not explain, found its way the hospital.
Dr. Wesselhoeft, in discussing the subject, said in part : “Dr. Emerson has stated all that I know regarding the facts in the matter. I should like to say that my confidence in the measures employed has not been shaken at all. Why the cases suppurated, and why it took place at that particular time, we are not prepared to explain. The measures used to gain asepsis were more rigid than ever before. I have had the pleasure of serving two terms with Dr. Winn. He was able to run the summer season without one drop of pus. It seems to me the test was as thorough as ever has been made to my knowledge, therefore I have no explanation to offer. We tried to do our best.”
Dr. Boothby: Was this condition so severe as to endanger life, or was it a trouble which came on during the case ?
Dr. Emerson : In no case was life in danger. A stitch abscess, containing a small drop of pus in the lower part, which we should not have considered anything, was scored a failure. A principle of this kind loses its value if it is colored to make it favorable. The catgut was more carefully prepared than ever before and of finer quality. The cases were of such a variety that they could not be traced to any particular feature. Every one was excluded from the operation except Dr. Wesselhoeft and myself. An ordinary case of appendicitis we would do alone. Though working individually, neither one was able to eliminate the feature of sepsis. I do not believe we are so dependent upon surroundings that we cannot control sepsis. There was a mixed infection, which had its origin in the hospital. I would like to emphasize what Dr. Wesselhoeft says, that it in no way affects my views of the problem as stated. The fact that there was infection and failure does not shake my faith in the methods used.
Dr. Boothby: In regard to the fatal cases, were they due to sepsis?
Dr. Emerson : No. In no case except one, which I ques. tion. I think that was an exception; a patient died thirtysix hours after operation. I question if it was due to sepsis, because there was nothing in the condition of the woman before her death that would indicate it.