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Of the treatment, I have little to say, as it has been generally addressed to the symptoms and mainly palliative, leaving much to time and to the conservative efforts of nature.
Is there a question whether the symptoms described may not depend upon other causes than that to which I impute them? My answer is, I have not based my conclusions upon the observations of one or two, but of quite a number of cases; and, with all the circumstances bearing upon the history and etiology of those cases before me, I felt entirely competent to judge as to the causative influence of the drug.
In presenting this paper, I have been prompted, not only by a desire for the truth, but by the belief that many practitioners have failed to recognize the toxical effects of a drug which they are almost daily prescribing, and that these effects, when observed, have been ascribed to other and unknown causes. Without assuming to instruct or enlighten my professional brethren, I have called attention to this subject, for the purpose of eliciting facts from the experience of other and, perhaps, closer ob
MINUTES OF A CONVENTION
HELD IN THE CITY OF ALBANY,
FEBRUARY 4th AND 6th, 1884,
AT WHICH THE
NEW YORK STATE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION WAS ORGANIZED ON A PERMANENT BASIS.
IN compliance with an invitation issued during the last week of January, a number of members of the medical profession assembled in the parlors of the Delavan House, Albany, at 8.30 P. M., February 4, 1884.
After calling the roll, 76 being present (more entered the rooms later, making a total of about 100), the object of the convention was briefly stated by Dr. J. W. S. Gouley, of New York County, as follows:
In view of the dissension which has been created in the Medical Society of the State of New York by the radical change made in its code of ethics, it was suggested that a convention be held on the day preceding the session of the State Society, to discuss the question of this change in all its aspects, and finally to take such action as the majority assembled should decide upon. Therefore it is, gentlemen, that you have been invited to meet here by the members of the profession who have signed the call for the convention, which is as follows:
DEAR DOCTOR :
The undersigned, permanent members of, and delegates to, the Medical Society of the State of New York, request you to attend a meeting to be held in the parlors of the Delavan House,
Albany, on Monday evening, February 4th, at 8.30 o'clock, to take into consideration the question of the Code of Ethics which will come up before that Society on the day following.
I. H. Abell, P. M.
H. B. Allen, Del.
L. Barton, P. M.
H. D. Didama, Ex-President.
Geo. G. Hopkins, Del.
Thos. F. Rochester, Ex-Pres.
DR. H. D. DIDAMA, of Onondaga County, was called to the chair, and DR. CHS. S. WARD, of New York County, was appointed Secretary.
On taking the chair, DR. DIDAMA said:
As I understand it, the object of this conference is to exchange opinions regarding the proper course to be pursued by the adherents of the National Code of Ethics.
I need not remind you that, unkindly, unfairly, and in all probability by a pre-arranged plan, certain men grabbed the State Society two years ago.
The catalogues, prepared with immense labor and the greatest care by our New York city brethren, show that the advocates of the "New Code" misrepresent the profession of this State.
Of course, the vast majority of the profession can protect themselves. They will not submit to the rule of a minority, whose leaders are unscrupulous. They will not consent to be cut off from affiliation with their brethren outside of this State. They will not tamely submit to have the great State of New York without a representation in the National Association, of which one of her most worthy sons is the honored president. If they can obtain their rights within the State Society, well and good; if not, they will form a new society.
What course shall be pursued? Shall we go into the meeti to-morrow night, present our facts and figures, appeal to the love of fair play which dwells in the heart of every decent physician, ask the minority to put things back as they were before the vote in 1882, and restore the harmony which once existed, and avoid a rupture which is otherwise inevitable-a rupture whose far-reaching consequences are not pleasant to contemplate; or shall we at once, without an effort to secure justice, or to give the minority an opportunity to recede from their hasty and miserable course, proceed to organize a new society which shall be in accord with our brethren everywhere outside of this State? If we pursue the former course, we may, and probably shall, fail; but we shall throw upon the minority-faction the responsibility for the rupture, and we shall not be accused of precipitate and unnecessary action.
One other matter is worthy of consideration. The remarkable activity of a few leaders of the minority is well known. They have been aided by certain medical journals in New York and elsewhere. These journals, in violation of all sense of propriety, have received our money for their support, and have then, week after week, thrust their misrepresentations, their boasts, their puerile arguments, and their pitiful sophistries into our unwilling faces.
I need not intimate that there is a remedy for this evil also; that there are medical journals, able and deserving our support, and disposed to give us at least civil treatment.
The freest expression of opinion is now invited.
The following telegram from DR. JOHN P. GRAY, of Oneida County, was read: "Received the circular invitation. Sorry I can not be with you this evening, or this week, to join you and other brethren in efforts to uphold the dignity and unity of the profession in regard to the National Code and the medical educational institutions of the State."
The following telegram was also received: "Personal sickness detains me. Do not give up the National Code." Signed, J. H. ORTON, Binghamton, Broome County.
A letter was received from DR. C. C. F. GAY, of Erie County, saying that he was prevented from attending this meeting by sickness in his family.
DR. GOULEY then rose to make a report of the canvass of the State, which has lately been completed, and said:
MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN: In order to bring before you the subject which we are to consider to-night, let me crave your indulgence while I give you the results of a twelve-months' careful study of the whole question, and also a synopsis of the canvass which has been made under the auspices of the organization to uphold the National Code of Ethics-a body composed of representative men. This organization, as you know, has taken measures to ascertain the will of the members of the State Society and also of the profession throughout this State; and to that end an extensive correspondence has been entered into, canvassers have been employed, and circulars of inquiry (containing these three questions: 1st, Are you in favor of the National Code? 2d, the "New Code"? 3d, or No Code ?) have been sent to all the physicians of this State whose names and addresses could be obtained, the number being upward of five thousand.
These names were all classified by counties and printed for distribution, with a view to corrections and additions and the reaffirmation of his position or vote by each physician or by others authorized to do so. In accordance with this plan, the following circular was printed on the first page of the proof :
NEW YORK, November 15, 1883.
DEAR DOCTOR: This proof, which shows the vote of the profession on the various codes of medical ethics, is forwarded to you for correction, if correction be needed. Please to observe: