Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

overload the stomach, paralyze its digestive powers, and lessen its warmth in proportion to the shock given to them? How is it to be accounted for on Thomson's principles ? The terms food and medicine are sometimes used synonymously, and he says—"If it is agreeable in one case, it is agreeable in all.” What do they mean by heat upon the surface? I do not comprehend what dependence the outward heat or atmospheric heat has upon the inward heat. The stomach is called the focus of the inward heat-it is generated in the stomach. The supposition is that the outward heat will be exceeded by the heat of the stomach, as it is constantly originating there, and evolving from it-yet they contend that the outward heat may be greater than that from the stomach. The Thomsonians contend that heat is life; and, of course, there is no life, by their rule, without heat. What are we to do with the cold blooded animals—have they not life? The book says, “Life, blood, heat and nature, are synonymous terms.” Here we have an outward and inward heat, and an outward and inward life; an outward and inward natureand, for aught I know, an outward and inward blood, too, for they are all synonymous ! Surely Thomson did not understand himself when he was putting forth these follies. He is more powerful in using the weapon of slander than in anything else. I can read an extract from a work on Animal Heat, showing that the natural temperature of the blood of man was the same in all climates. Other authors say that the origin of heat is in the lungs and blood-it appears more reasonable that it should be there than in the stomach. Is there any other motive for respiration than to produce vital heat? For this, only, it appears essential to human life.

The origin of Thomson heat is in the stomach, which is constantly exposed to diminution by the action of the atmospheric air and a variety of other agents. Thomson said, he had long sought for a universal remedy, but, if his system is based upon such untenable principles, it is dangerous to carry it into practice.

I now come to the consideration of the evidence of the witnesses who have given in their testimony before the court

—but, first let us make inquiry into the condition of the man who died. Patrick and Moffit both say that they saw him on the morning of the day on which he died. They say that they did not know that anything was the matter with him. Larrabee says he complained of pains and oppression in the stomach and bowels, and appeared very much alarmed; but Townsend says, he saw him at about a quarter past ten near his own house, and that he did not appear ill. Sumwalt tells you that he did not know that Hazelip had spasms, but that Bell told him that Hazelip had. Pope and Stansbury say that he had spasms. The testimony of the witnesses conflict much with each other; you are the best judges of who, what and how much of these statements is to be believed, when the whole is taken in conjunction with the testimony of Dr. Hintze, that he was called upon late on the night previous by Hazelip, and that nothing but alarm ailed him at that time; and, in conjunction also with the testimonies of all the physicians that were present at the post mortem examination, that the body of the deceased had no internal marks of recent disease. Next, Hazelip was seen on the steam-cot by Patrick, Moffitt, West and McCauley—they all testify that Burke and Bell gave, or had given Hazelip medicines, and at tặe same time he was lying on the cot and under the influence of the steam—that Hazelip asked to be let off, but that they prevailed on him to stay on the steam-cot; and again, that he sat up on the cot, and that they persuaded him to lie downthat Hazelip appeared very restless, was in a profuse per. spiration, and that Burke and Bell gave him composition powder, lobelia, cayenne pepper, and number six; and that they said they did not wait for the medicine to operate. Townsend says he saw Hazelip near his house at a quarter of ten. Patrick says he saw him on the steam-cot at between eleven and twelve of that day. We may, therefore, fix the time of the commencement of the steaming at half past eleven; and, by the concurrent testimony of all the witnesses for the prosecution, he was free up to that time from all appearance of disease; and all say, that while on the steam-cot he had no appearance of disease. Moffitt says when he went to see Hazelip the second time, it was between two and three o'clock, and he found him on the bed, beside the steam-cot, in a state of insensibility. And West says he saw him on the steam-cot at fifteen to twenty minutes past one, and then no bed had arrived, or was in the room. All who speak positively on the subject during the operation of the medicines and steam, say that there was no preparation of the sort in the room. Suppose we fix the time of his being relieved from the operation of the steam to two o'clock, Hazelip then must have been at least two hours and a half under the operation of the steam.

Lobelia is an article so dangerous in its qualities and vehement in its nature, that it is not safe to be administered indifferently in disease, and only in a few cases; but in any form it is to be admitted cautiously, and with a well informed and well ripened judgment; but in this instance it appears to have been administered in excessively large doses, and without attention to symptoms and indications; conjoin with this the constant action of the steam for two hours and a half, at such a high temperature as to be complained of by Hazelip; that the steam excites the vessels on the surface to

in rapid and violent action; and when carried to too great an extent, ceases to excite, by overwhelming the heart and arteries. Does this show that maltreatment caused Hazelip's death? You have been told, too, gentlemen of the jury, that the action of all the medicines, etc., administered, are vehement in their action, and violent and dangerous in their operation and effects. Lobelia is represented as an acrid and poisonous article-it may or may not be so. The witnesses for the defense say it is not. Pope says it casts up what is offensive, but his porridge is not thrown up by it. I do not believe him. There are a great variety of remedies which may be used with indifference, but it did not appear that the lobelia was an article of that description.

Gentlemen of the jury, Dr. Barton, from all the information and experience he possessed, says: “If lobelia does not puke or evacuate speedily, it frequently destroys the patient in five or six hours." With permission, I will read to the jury cases tried in the courts on the subject, from which you may be able, in view of the testimony in this present case, to make up your decision; and first, I would beg leave to read the trial of the author of the system and discoverer of the medicines upon and with which the prisoner at the bar practices. It is the case of Samuel Thomson.10 The recklessness of Thomson and his ignorance are here shown, in undeniable evidence; but the Judge instructed the jury, on submitting the case to them, that as the prisoner was there on an indictment for murder, for wilfully and maliciously killing Ezra Lovett, his patient, unless it could be proved that the act was wilfully and maliciously done, an action on the case could not lie; and they were bound, however satisfied that the patient, Ezra Lovett, came to his death from the improper administration of Thom-> son's medicines, to decide in his favor; and upon that ground, the jury found a bill of “Not guilty.” But this is not the case with the present suit-neither do the judges enjoy and exercise powers to the same extent as they do in Massachusetts; the jury in the present case may find their verdict as they may determine from the nature and weight of the testimony. All the cases go to show, that where there is not due caution observed in the administration and qualities of the medicines, the prisoner should be guilty of the crimes alleged against him. Was not Hazelip under the application of the steam for two and a half hours? Was not the whole treat. ment carried to excess? If the prisoner at the bar is not convicted upon the evidence before the court, an immunity from responsibility will be the consequence; and thereafter, any man that chooses to get Thomson's patent, may go forth and kill or cure, without fear of punishment.

[ocr errors]

10 6 Mass. 134.

MR. RICHARDSON, FOR THE DEFENSE.

Mr. Richardson said that in several passages read by Mr. Gill he had stopped short of giving Dr. Thomson's ideas, and thereby presented them in a wrong form, and such was the case with nearly all his quotations—and in one only, there was a semblance of truth in the charge of slander of the medical faculty by Dr. Thomson, and that had some justification in their persecutions of him. He next went into investigation of the nature of the disease, and showed by the testimony of Pope, Stansbury and Sage, to the fact of Hazelip having

that Hazelip had had spasms, without being denied by the patient—that Pope and Stansbury, from their knowledge of the disease, considered it as a case of cholera; and Dr. Geddings' admission, that with some slight difference, that the appearances after death were such as is usual in that disease. To prove that the appearances about the brain were also concomitant, he read from Good's Study of Medicine: "Several instances were heard of at Hoobly, and other places, of natives being struck with the disease whilst talking in the open air; and who, having fallen down, retched a little, complained of vertigo, deafness and blindness, and expired in a few minutes." Mr. Gordon gives a history of many cases of this kind. “At Bellary, a tailor was attacked with what was supposed to be cholera, and instantly expired, with his work in his hands, and in the very attitude in which he was sitting." And (pp. 182-83)—“I have said that the living power during the whole of this melancholy event, seems to have been very feebly recruited from its fountain, or not recruited at all. The latter appears to have been the case in the island of Ceylon, where the disease raged with even more violence than on the Indian continent; and the patient very frequently expired in twelve or fifteen hours from its attack. A dissection of those who perished thus early in this quarter, has put us in possession of some interesting facts, varying in a few particulars from those that

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »