« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
519 The torture too (I mean of the operation), as distinct from that resulting from the poison, is objectionable in a philosophical sense, because it places the nervous system in a factitious state, of which system you are really asking the question. What should we think of estimating the natural action of the stomach on any substance in a patient who was ill or in pain from other causes, or in whom we had just tied the æsophagus !!"
“ The highest claim to attention that any experiment on any animal can have, as regards the physiology of man or its relation to medical science, is its being resolvable into analogy. But analogy to be anything must be real, freed from all things which can distort the implied parallelism; the moment you institute any process which you cannot imitate in man, the parallelism is destroyed, the analogy is at an end; and lastly, no one thinks of reasoning from analogy when he can reason from fact. This we shall show to be practicable in the present instance, on the testimony of Mr. Orfila himself, whose book contains examples of the effects of almost all sorts of poisons on Man, and which, in fact, constitute the chief value of his work on the subject. The truth is that accidents, mistakes, murders, and fatal as well as failing suicides, have furnished a series of facts and experiments in man which it is of course impossible, strictly speaking, to repeat in any other animal. With this fact before us, I would ask any man, whatever his sentiments may be on the general question, whether he would, in any case of poison, dare to institute a treatment founded on observation and experiments in animals, whilst he knew of any which had been deduced from observation on man.” P. 13.
Mr. M., while he admits the value of M. Orfila's work upon poisons, very truly remarks that its practical value is almost quite independent of the dreadful experiments which it records.
“ Let the book," says he, “be read, excluding first all the experiments on living animals, and let the conclusion legitimately deducible from the facts enunciated, be noted; then let the experiments on animals be examined, for the purpose of testing their influence on the conclusions which have been noted, and it will be found that they affect them in no way whatever.” P. 14.
Who will gainsay the perfect truth of this valuation? If any one does, he has only to compare it with the rival work of Christison, a name of as high repute and authority as that of Orfila, and he will be constrained to admit that the advancement of toxicological science has been infinitely more indebted to the observation of clinical and necroscopic phenomena, and to the results of chemical research, than to all the horrible disclosures of the experimental torture-house.
Passing over our author's strictures on the very unnecessary and most unscientific experiments of Sir A. Cooper, in which he fractured the neck of the thigh-bone in dogs and other animals, with the view of determining the disputed question whether true osseous union ever takes place after the accident when it occurs in the human subject, we shall close our notice of the “ Remarks" by quoting the following passage in reference to the opinions of him, who may fairly be deemed the foremost of modern physiologists. Would that his example and his precepts were more generally followed !
“ It is interesting,” says Mr. Macilwain, “ to observe that we not only have the evidence of Sir Charles Bell, as to the sources whence he adduced his own discoveries, which, as it will be seen, were altogether independent of any experiments on living animals; but that he has left us the gratification of knowing what his opinions were generally on that mode of investigation. After comparing Chemistry and Anatomy, with a view to impress that the former is emphatically a science dealing largely in experiment, the latter, one which depends chiefly on observation : this distinguished physiologist thus proceeds—Anatomy is already looked on with prejudice ; let not its professors unnecessarily incur the censures of the humane; experiments have never been the means of discovery, and a survey of what has been attempted of late years will prove that the opening of living animals has done more to perpetuate error, than to confirm the just views taken from Anatomy and the natural motions.' This is perhaps enough, but again Sir Charles Bell observes, ' In a foreign review of my former papers, the results have been considered as a further proof in favour of experiments; they are, on the contrary, deductions from Anatomy-and I have had recourse to experiments, not to form my opinions, but to impress them on others. It must be my apology that my utmost powers of persuasion were lost whilst I urged my statements on the ground of Anatomy alone. I have made few experiments, &c. Once more I will quote Sir Charles-Much has been said (he writes) in favour of experiments made by men anbiassed as to the results. The only instances of this which I can allow are, (he is speaking of nerves, illustrative of his own enquiries,) when surgeons cut the nerves on the face in surgical opera. tions. In such operations as those for Tic Douloreux he is indeed unbiassed, and we have seen the result, that after fifty years of such experience we remained quite ignorant of the functions of these nerves.'*
“Surely any one who reads these quotations, whatever may be his own views of Vivisection, will scarcely venture to quote Sir Charles Bell in support of it. The fact is, that to see an animal writhe with torture, and on a particular nerve being divided to exhibit manifestations of loss of motion or sensation, was easy, mere eye-work, which could per se prove nothing ; but diligently to investigate the courses of nerves in the dead animal, to trace the filaments of which they were composed to their respective relations in the brain and spinal marrow, and then to test the suggestions arising out of these proceedings, by careful observation of phenomena in man, whether arising from disease, accident, or surgical operations, was difficult, tedious, and requiring the exercise of the higher faculties, whilst it constituted the only mode of eliciting the truth; and especially Sir Charles' ultimate object, viz. the application of the whole to the explanation and relief of disease." P. 24.
Report ON THE ARCHETYPE AND HOMOLOGIES OP THE VERTEBRATE
SKELETON. By Professor Owen, F.R.S., &c. (From the Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for 1846). 8vo.
pp. 171. London : R. and J. Taylor, 1847. HAVING, in the review of the distinguished author's Lectures on the Comparative Anatomy and Physiology of Vertebrate Animals, in our last number, made the reader acquainted with the more prominent features of his theory of the cranial ver. tebræ, it is unnecessary to do more, upon the present occasion, than merely recommend this Report to the studious perusal of every one who feels an interest in the philosophy of osteological science. Even if space permitted, a lengthened notice of its contents would not be exactly suited to the pages of a Journal whose main object is the advancement of practical medicine. "To show, however, that such
“Sir Charles Bell's writings strongly suggest that it was the fallacy of Vivisection which created his distrust of it, as purely as his humanity had edgendered his dislike of it. In one of his earlier proceedings, after stating the apparent result of the experiment, he says, “but here there was confusion because of sensation, therefore the animal was instantly destroyed by a blow on the head; in other words, the suffering was put an end to, because sensation obscured the reasoning on the experiment.'---Bell on the Nerves. Svo. edition, ist part."
521 enquiries, notwithstanding their subtle and somewhat abstruse nature, are not wholly devoid of interest to him who is engaged in the exercise of the healing art, we gladly find a place for the following observations. Most of the terms used in it will be found explained in our last number.
“ The abnormal conditions of the human skull give further illustration of the truth of the general homologies of the cranial bones, and reciprocally receive light from such determinations. In the case of idiots from defective growth or development of the brain, where the cavity of the cranium is reduced to half or less than half its normal capacity, as e. g. in the skull described and figured in my. Memoir on the Osteology of the Chimpanzee,' it might have been expected from the anthropotomical ideas of the cranial bones,-according to which no one bone is deemed either more or less important than another in its essential nature, and where the squamosal is as little regarded in the light of a superadded or intercalary piece as the alisphenoid,--that all would be reduced in the same proportion in forming the parietes of the contracted brain.chamber. But this is by no means the case. In the instance above-cited the basioccipital and basisphenoid have been developed to their usual size, and the distance from the posterior boundary of the bony palate to the anterior border of the foramen magnum is as great as in any normal skull. The exoccipitals (condyloid portions of the occiput), the alisphenoids and the orbitosphenoids retain in like manner their full dimensions. The distance between the frontal and temporal bones is as great as in the average of fully developedi Caucasian skulls, and is greater than in most of those from the Melanian race, in which the direct junction of the frontal with the temporal, as in the chimpanzee, is by no means rare. The contraction of the capacity of the brain-chamber is due chiefly to arrested development of the frontals, parietals, supraoccipital and squamosals. By the reduction of the supraoccipital and the retention of the centrums of the cranial vertebræ of their normal proportions, the foramen magnum becomes situated nearer the back part of the basis cranii than in the normal skull.
“ In a still smaller cranium of a female idiot, who reached the age of twentyone years, which is preserved with the male idiot's skull above-mentioned in the anatomical museum of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, the contrast between the normal proportions of the basioccipital, basisphenoid, exoccipitals, alisphenoids and orbitosphenoids, on the one hand, and the reduced dimensions of the supraoccipital, parietals, frontals and squamosals on the other, is still more striking and significant of the true nature of those bones. The normal growth of the centrums, indeed, might be explained by the concomitant nearly normal size of the medulla oblongata, base of third ventricle and optic chiasma, in the brain of the same idiot : but it is not so obvious from the condition of the brain itself why the alisphenoid should not have shrunk in the same proportion as the parietals, frontals and squamosals. To the homologist, however, the recognised difference of subjectivity to modification presented by the neurapophyses, spines and diverging appendages of the typical segments, renders very intelligible the partial seats of arrested growth in the bones of these idiots' crania.
* In reference to disease, also, one sees not why the alisphenoid should have a minor attraction for the morbid products deposited, or be less subject to the destructive actions excited during syphilitic or mercurial disease, than the parietals, or the orbitosphenoids than the frontals, or the exoccipitals than the supraoccipital; yet it needs but to examine any series of such morbid skulls in our museums of pathology to be convinced that the variable and peripheral elements of the neural arches, viz. their expanded spines, are almost exclusively so affected : the frontal and parietal being the most common seats of the disease: the supraoccipital a less frequent one, concomitantly with its minor deviation from the typical standard of the element. I have yet seen no example in which either a cranio-vertebral centrum or neurapophysis was so affected; but the nasal bones are notoriously attacked.”
The Microscoric Anatomy Of The Human Body IN HEALTH AND
Disease. Illustrated with numerous Drawings in Colours. By Arthur
Hill Hassall. London : Highley, 1847. The Plates of this most useful work which have lately appeared, especially those of Part X., are extremely accurate and well executed. Those of our readers who have examined the figures illustrative of the minute texture and development of bone, will, we are assured, agree in the opinion here expressed. The drawing (Plate 33, fig. 6) taken from a specimen prepared by Mr. Tomes, showing the coloration of the walls of the Haversian Canals from the effect of madder, is particularly interesting as indicating the share taken by the endosteum in the formation of new bone. We can, with much satisfaction, strongly recommend Mr. Hassall’s Microscopic Anatomy to all who desire to become acquainted with that most attractive branch of the science of organization, and it is fortunate that the extremely moderate price at which these plates are pub. lished, renders them generally attainable. We trust the whole work will be speedily completed, and that the author will receive that general support to which his labours so well entitle him.
The PRESERVATION op INFANTS IN Delivery. Being an Exposition of
the chief Cause of Mortality in Still-born Children. By Richard King, M.D., M.R.C.S. 8vo, pp. 60. Churchill, 1847.
It seems this tends to prove a revolutionary era in the established usages of the practice of Midwifery. We have Dr. Simpson counselling us to abstract the placenta as a remedy for unavoidable hæmorrhage instead of turning the child. Mr. Adams tell us it is all a mistake to suppose that absence of contraction of the uterus has anything whatever to do with hæmorrhage from that organ, the blood really coming from certain hypothetical and imaginary rents and lacerations of the passages. And now we have Dr. King standing forth to protest against the error all our celebrated teachers have fallen into, in supposing that death of the still-born child results from compression of the funis during labour. On the contrary, this very pressure may become the means of saving its life, for “the frequent death of the infant in preternatural deliveries arises from syncope, and not from asphyxia ; in fact, from the want of the compression of the cord, and not from the dreaded compression of it.” The author's idea (another, by-thebye, utterly at variance with all authority, and we believe all fact) is, that the after-birth is detached from the uterus simultaneously with the expulsion of the first portion of the child ; when it expands, "as a moist sponge would act when released from the hand and placed in contact with water," and favours the escape of the blood from the child, who perishes from the consequent syncope. His practice is therefore, as soon as the breech is expelled, to compress the cord before the delivery of the rest of the body; and he seems even to have invented some description of forceps for the purpose !
Feeling convinced that his supposition that the placenta is detached prior to the birth of the child is only correct in some rare exceptional cases, we likewise believe that the practice he founds upon it may often prove dangerous by diverting attention from a more correct procedure, or by itself inducing an asphyxia, which otherwise might never have happened. The distinction between the asphyxia and the syncope of new-born infants Dr. King lays so much stress upon, as of novel discovery, is borne in mind by every accoucheur, at least if he allows himself to be guided by the rules laid down in our standard works.
ON THE FREQUENCY OF THE PULSE AND RESPIRATION OF THE AGED.
By C. W. PENNOCK, M.D.
“ PHYSIOLOGISTs, generally, have considered it as an established fact that the frequency of the heart's action diminishes in advanced age ; and no one has called the correctness of this view into question until Leuret and Mitivié in 1832, whilst engaged at the Salpêtriere in observations relative to the pulse of the insane, were astonished to find that the pulse of 34 sane women, in good health, whose medium age was 71 years, presented the average of 79 beats in the minute. This fact induced them to make further observations, and to institute an inquiry as to the relative frequency of the pulse of the young adult and that of the aged. On the same day, at the same hour, and under analogous circumstances, the pulses of the young men at the Veterinary School at Alfort, and those of the old men in good health at the Bicêtre were examined. The number of the veterinary students was 110, that of the aged men 27 : the average age of the students was 21, that of the aged men 71 years. The result of the examination proved that the medium pulse of the young men was 65, whilst that of the aged was 73. Temperature 32 F.
“ Evidence confirmatory of the view of Leuret and Mitivié was offered in 1835, by Drs. Hourman and Deschambre of Paris, who re-investigated the subject of the pulsations in connexion with that of the respiration of the aged. Their observations were made on 255 females, in good health, between the ages of 60 and 96 years of age, the average being 74.33 years. These researches were chiefly made between 6 A.M. and 74 A.M. at the temperature of from 46° to 48° F., soon after the individuals had left their beds and previously to eating. The result of the investigation was as follows : viz. medium age 74.33 years; medium number of pulsations 82.29; medium number of respirations 2179. The ratio of the frequency of the respiration to that of the pulse as 1 : 3:41.”
Dr. Pennock next furnishes us with an account of the results of a series of observations upon the pulse and respiration of the aged inmates of an Infirmary adjoining the Philadelphia Hospital, Blockly. They were usually made at least four hours after breakfast, when the individuals were undisturbed by exercise and free from mental excitement, the precaution being taken in order to familiarize them with the proceeding of making observations prior to those which were recorded. Various medical friends likewise forwarded to him the results of their own investigations which he has embodied in the present paper.
“ Rejecting all observations of individuals in whom any rational or physical signs of cardiac, pulmonic, or other disease existed, the number of persons whose pulse is reported is 170 men and 203 women: being an aggregate of 373: the ages of the men being between 50 and 90, those of the women between 50 and 115. The frequency of the respiration does not seem to have claimed that atten