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enough is stated by your reviewer, to shew the impossibility of overturning these antient fabrics. 6- The College of Phy, sicians," he oliserves, " was instituted by royal authority, and from the nature of its constitution is intimately connected with our two English Universities, and consequently may be regarded as forming part of the aristocratic establishment of thie country. Any attempt at reform, therefore, not sanctioned by the College itself, must be hopeless, whilst these institutions continue to be upheld by Government.” If then it be deemed so difficult to subyert a single college, can it be conceived possible by one effort to pull down nine Medical Corporations, founded on Acts of Parliament, and protected, as many of them are, by royal charters? The very experiment in these unsettled times would savour of insanity. Dr. Harrison, convinced of its futility, has contrived a bill, which bears no reference to the constitution of the public bodies. The question between the Fellows and Licentiates of the Col. lege of Physicians, and the examiners and private members of the College of Surgeons, is therefore left wholly untouched.
Loud and reiterated lamentations are likewise made abont quack inedicines. Every person tolerably acquainted with human nature, and the state of medical affairs, must feelingly deplore the encouragements afforded to these pernicious articles of finance. Much as I disapprove the policy of Government in this respect, and sincerely as I join the malcontents, I must nevertheless be allowed to think it an act of justifiable.caution, on the present occasion, to disregard the patent warehouse. Whenever quack medicines are brought under parliamentary review, let them be introduced in a separate bill and undergo a specific investigation, or no good will be done by the attempt. Look at the popular torrent as it now runs in favour of the Eau Medicinale. Do we not discover Peers and Commoners of distinguished talents and political influence, among its decided partizans ? Such is the unaccountable rage for this newly imported secret, that no less an individual than the President of that learned and scientific institution, the Royal Society of London, a severe and crippled Podagric, has repeatedly tried its powers and declaims openly in its favor. What is perhaps still more to our purpose, the most fashionable physicians do not hesitate to recommend it, and the King's Sergeant Surgeon has, it is said, condescended to swallow the remedy and to give testi. mony to its sanatiye virtues, on his own person. During the continuance of such prejudices with respect to one reputed panacea, can it be reasonably expected that a general clause to restrain the sale of all quack medicines would be favourably received in the British senate ? Surely not. Al
though corporate societies and empirical nostrumis are un assailable, may we not be permitted to try a remedy for the other evils and grievances, under which we have long and confessedly suffered ? Dr. Harrison seems to have been ac. tuated by these considerations, when he observes, that “in. fluenced therefore, by prudential motives, it was determined to exclude the mention of some less important or objectionable abuses, rather than hazard the whole scheme by making it too difficult and complex, leaving it to the wisdom of after times to correct them, by such provisions 'as 'may be suggested by sound policy and subsequent reflection.
It is matter of notoriety, that the provinces and even tlie. capital itself are infested with physicians, surgeons, apothea çaries, and venders of drugs, who are acting as regular persons, without having passed through a prescribed course of study, or giving any test of professional skill. And are these irregularities to be patiently endured in a civilized, country? Shall such an outrage upon society, such a scana: dal to well informed practitioners be allowed to continue, and no effort made by us to remove the disgrace. Let a be coming regard for the best interests of the people, and for the honour of an useful profession, rouse to immediate exertion. The first process should, I think, be limited to the regular establishment. When that has been purified, and made fully competent to its important duties, ulterior regulations will follow in course ; because their necessity will become apparcnt. With this intention, as I conceive, the bill has been limited chiefly to the education and admission of future candidates, leaving a great variety of other matters wholly unnoticed. From the agitated and suspicious temper of the faculty, it appears that Dr. Harrison judged well, in cona fining his first efforts to a few points. The different orders of the profession are so extremely jealous of each other, that it is next to impossible to devise any measure likely to meet with general approbation. In different conversations with Dr. Harrison, while in London, last summer, I found his chief expectations are from parliament. He was admitted to an official interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and had communications with many leading persons in both Houses. A privy counsellor, one of the most active members of the government, would have introduced the bill into the House of Commons had he received it early enough in the late sessions. A peer, who is of the cabinet, has also voluntarily offered his best services. This noblenian, like many others, thought the present measure insufficient for an effectual arrangement of the profession. Being told what subsequent matters are in contemplation, he declared
his entire approbation, and his determination to support the bill.
Provision is made in the bill not only for the passing generation to continue their functions unmolested, but to confirm them in the legal enjoyment of their several practices, consequently the plan will be highly beneficial to the present establishment. Unadmitted persons are required to submit to certain preliminary conditions, which in fact were meant to have been included in the several acts of Henry VIII. In his reign the colleges of physicians and surgeons were constructed to examine and admit all physicians and surgeons. The company of apothecaries was afterwards founded to superintend the practice of pharmacy. The present bill professes to supply these defects, and to provide for the introduction of midwives, and all venders of drugs. -. It is no where declared that the scheme offered to the medical public is yet complete, or divested of formidable objections. The friends readily admit its imperfections, and are solicitous to receive the candid remarks of well informed individuals, that its defects may be supplied, before the sitting of parliament. In stating difficulties or offering corrections, gentle. men are particularly requested to confine their remarks 'to what is contained in the bill itself, since they cannot be acquainted with the nature or extent of all that is intended. I may safely assert from what I have heard, that the matters brought forward by your several correspondents, and other irregularities not noticed by them, are well known and under consideration. I may further add, that some verbal alterations have been suggested to the solicitors : e. g. In the clause for physicians " to receive" is wholly omitted. In that for surgeons - to claim" is substituted for 6 to receive." By these trifling alterations, it is believed, that the utmost dem gree of latitude possible will be given to surgeons in the prac. tice of physic, and to apothecaries in both physic and sur. gery.
T'hebill seems in one material instance to have been generally misunderstood, and in consequence to have been unjustly abused. An opinion seems to prevail, that the bill will forcibly restrain physicians, surgeons, and a pothecaries to their respective lines. No such thing was ever in contemplation. Dr. Harrison, to tranquillize the apprehensions of the profession, declares in his pamphlet, “ in order to remove the fears, and correct the mistakes of some people, it may be proper to ob serve, that the bill docs not attempt to limit ihe sphere of medical duty by coercive statutes. * Practitioners will be
the profesinations to a suitabever oblig
left under it at full liberty to use their talents according to their own discretion. It will however oblige all future medical men to pass through a suitable course of study, and una dergo examinations for the particular branch, or branches of the profession, into which they are admitted. If any of these persons be desirous afterwards to act beyond the autho, rity of his Diploma, as is now the case with many in the profession, and can succeed with the public by his address or merit, he will not be prevented by the bill from following the bent of his inclination.” From Dr. Harrison's frequent consultations with the Solicitor, and the Barrister, who drew out 'the bill, we may fairly conclude, that he is fully authorized
in making the above statement. The action lately brought
I am, Gentlemen, .
. . H: R. ,
To the Editors of the Medical and Physical Fournal.
Bailey on the Eau Medicinale. GENTLEMEN, FROM the commencement of your Repository, its pagés have been open to the animadversions of candid criticism : hence has arisen its widely diffused and well established famé. A work continued upon principles like this, will not be likely to lose any of its crcdit.
Although I am no more concerned for the character of the remedy, the effects of which I propose to lay before you, than you are yourselves, yet as the subject has been noticed in your Journal, and as the eyes of the public are turned towards the conduct and opinion of the medical world, it is no more than just, that an impartial and dipassionale inquiry should take place.
The old maxim, audi alteram partem, holds good in me dicine as well as in law. :
From much that I had heard and from more that I had read, I considered that the high solinding fame of the new gout remedy would, like many of its precursors, soon 6 vanish in thin air;" until very lately a small volume being put into my hands, edited by a regular physician of eminence, icontaining a short history and a list of cases cured by the Eau medicinale. The character of the gentleman who recommended it, and the rank of patients on whom it was tried, banished my scepticism. I determined to make trial of it in the first clear and unmixed case that came in my way. An opportunity soon occurred in the person of a man about fifty years of age, who had had several attacks of regular gout in his feet and hands. Thursday, the 29th ult. was the first day that I saw the patient in bis paroxysm ; it had come upon him the day before, and was as severe in its at. tack, and as menacing in its consequences as any one that he before had suffered ; it was in his wrist, and from his sensations and former experience promised soon to attack his feet and knees ; in this respect he was not deceived, for on the following day he was confined in bed with both his feet wrapped up in flannel, inflamed, swollen, and exquisitely painful; the prospect of passing a dreary winter in pain and distress, lay before him. In this unfortunate condition he beg. ged that I would procure him a bottle of the Eau medicinale; having a good deal of curiosity and more desire to alleviate my patient's distress, I lost no time in complying with his wishes. Ou Sunday evening, at eight o'clock, lic took ætca spoonful, which is about half the bottle, dixed in some