Gambar halaman

this will make them the laughing-stock of the world and an object of contempt of all right-thinking men. They can not go back; the day of strife is yet before them, as they will find out, and they must meet it. For this, let us prepare, let us fore-arm, let us prepare here in this great central association and make a home for those county medical societies that will resist coercion! Here they can come and find comfort and protection. We owe them this protection, and we shall do less than our duty if we neglect the opportunity.

In reply to Dr. Moore, I must steal some of his thunder. It is a very grand idea that right will live down wrong, but if right is going to thus live and conquer, it must do so by moral weapons. It will not do to stand upon this theory and do nothing. He has spoken of the great antislavery contest as an instance in which a terrible wrong was lived down, as though some quiet and inscrutable force did this. But how was it done? This survival of right over wrong was the result of men banding together in a great central association, bringing scattered forces together, and thus becoming a great moral power. The antislavery advocates did not attempt to advance their cause by sending delegates to the National Whig conventions or to the Democratic conventions, where they would have been treated with something like the bluster and bravado that has been measured out to us; but they banded together and developed forces that in the end accomplished a great moral revolution. I have to thank Dr. Moore for an apt illustration. With our delegates in the old society we are powerless; with a clear and undisputed majority of thousands scattered among the county societies, we have as yet been unable to do anything; but by cementing this great majority in a central organization and fusing together our scattered forces, we shall create a quiet but irresistible moral power that, as a final result, will conquer. To me it is evident that we must not postpone the organization of this association for a single hour.

DR. FLINT, Jr., said:

MR. CHAIRMAN: I am opposed to any postponement of the provisional organization of a State Medical Association. I am discouraged and heart-sick to see a disposition on the part of any member of this convention to delay action. I have already seen defeat and disaster follow a policy of delay and the advocacy of

temporizing measures. In my opinion, if we fail to make a provisional organization this evening, we are lost. The contest has already produced personal enmities that will never be healed and has broken up life-long friendships. As I stand before you now, I think I can hear the jeers and taunts with which we shall be greeted if it should occur that we separate to-night without forming our loyal organization. We have been told that the profession is not with us; and we are now in convention for the purpose of making an emphatic denial of that charge. If any one present imagine that those who have captured the State Society will fail to carry out their purposes to the end, he can not have appreciated the inexorable logic of past events. I, for one, shall never consent to remain in fellowship with those who are striving and will continue to strive to break down the barriers which have so long separated us from quacks. In the old societies, these men will always be found, and they can never be repressed. The time has come, in my opinion, to inaugurate a new era of peace and good-will. This is now demanded by the majority of the profession of the State and by our brethren in sister States and in the National Association. I am confident that we can best uphold the honor and the legitimate interests of the profession by organizing, now and here, the New York State Medical Association.

DR. W. P. SEYMOUR, of Rensselaer County, favored the preamble and resolution, the principles of which would eventually triumph.

DR. G. W. COOKE, of Ulster County, was uncompromisingly in favor of immediate adoption of the preamble and resolution as the strongest protest that could be made against the position in which the State Society had been placed, and thought that action should be taken now or never.

DR. FERGUSON spoke for the preamble and resolution, and moved that they be adopted to-night, but that such adoption should be in force only in case the State Society shall fail on Tuesday evening to re-enact the National Code, otherwise the action. to-night to be void. He also called attention to the fact that the formation of this Association does not debar any member from continuing his connection with the State Society, provided his interests or the interests of the profession make such a continuation of membership or delegateship desirable.

DR. M. W. TOWNSEND, of Genesee County, moved that Dr. Flint's preamble and resolution be laid on the table until Wednesday.

The motion to lay on the table resulted in a tie-29 for, 29 against.

DR. GILLIS, of Franklin County, thought no action should be taken until after an appeal to the State Society.

DR. J. C. GREENE, President of the Erie County Medical Society:

MR. CHAIRMAN: The motion of Dr. Townsend to table the preamble and resolution of Dr. Flint meets with my hearty approval. As a member of the State Society from the County of Erie, and a representative of this county as its president, I am in favor of the resolution to table, for I think a great effort should be made to harmonize the existing factions in the profession and put an end to all strife and disturbance. Although elected as a National-Code man, I think precipitate action in this matter unwise and to be avoided. Now, from my stand-point, I can see only one method for us to adopt to-night, and it is to thoroughly canvass this question pro and con, but we should defer action until the vote has been taken in the State Society. I am sure my constituents will expect my vote and my influence to be on the side of union and harmony, if such can be obtained. It is to be hoped that the sense of propriety and a desire to be in affiliation with the American Medical Association and through it with the other State societies, as well as the medical societies of the civilized world, will induce the advocates of the "New Code" to rescind the action of 1882, and thereby restore the State Medical Society to its normal relation with other societies, and thus give it back all its lost prestige and glory.

Now, sir, if this result is obtained by to-morrow's vote, we shall have no use for Dr. Flint's preamble and resolution.

Mr. Chairman, it has been said on this floor that we of the western portion of the State know very little of the obloquy that the advocates of the National Code have had to endure in the city of New York from some of the "New-Code" adherents. We know that many of the gentlemen present have stood manfully and endeavored by argument and persuasion to avert this great calamity that has overtaken our time-honored society. We thank

you for it, we honor you for the bold stand you have taken to uphold the dignity and honor of the profession. We have heard something, and read much, about the action of a few designing men who planned and carried into execution the demoralization of the Medical Society of the State of New York, by adopting what they term the "New Code," which really means no code. Now we wish to see for ourselves what the "New-Code" men propose to do by their vote to-morrow.

If they still persist in their suicidal course as regards this great question at issue, and we are again out-voted, then I shall be in favor of Dr. Flint's preamble and resolution.

DR. D. GUERNSEY, of Dutchess County, said:

MR. CHAIRMAN: Before the vote is again taken I desire to say a few words in favor of Dr. Flint's resolution. I am fully in accord with Dr. Moore, that if we can restore the National Code of Ethics this year, or the next, or in the next five years, it would be unwise to form a new State Association. Do the facts warrant us in believing that this can be done? Two years ago a minority of fifty-two members of the New York State Medical Society, although constituting at the time a two-thirds majority of the members present, abolished the National Code of Medical Ethics, and adopted the "New Code"; this, to say the least, was a great surprise to most of the members of the Society who uphold the National Code, as it was supposed that no change would be made that would in the least impair the spirit or effectiveness of the National Code. They were urged to delay action until a full expression of the views and wishes of the Society could be obtained. This they refused; and the "New Code" was adopted, as I have stated. No one for a moment believes-they do not believe it themselves-that if full notice had been given that at that meeting they were about to adopt a "New Code" of ethics differing so widely from the one under which the Society had so long flourished and grown up to its present position of honor and usefulness, they could have obtained the necessary two-thirds vote. A careful canvass of the delegates and members of the Society shows that at present there are 193 members for the National Code, 134 for the "New Code," and 19 for No Code. With such figures, I do not believe that we can restore the National Code. I am willing, if thought best, to make one more effort, and then,

having placed ourselves on record, I do not think it wise to keep up the fight year after year. We are opposed to the "New Code." We are in favor of the National Code. Let us form an association of our own, send delegates to the American Medical Association, and place ourselves again in line with our medical brethren throughout the Union.

DR. GOULEY urged speedy action, because, he said, there is not the least chance that the National Code of Ethics will be reenacted by the Medical Society of the State of New York, as long as a two-thirds majority is required. There is not a two-thirds majority; and he did not believe such a majority could be obtained in five years or more. Besides, even if the National-Code party were to prevail, it would be impossible for the two parties to work harmoniously together; there could never be that peace and good fellowship which are so much to be desired in all medical societies. These two parties can not now, and probably never will, agree. The best course, therefore, to be pursued is for them to part. Let us then have an association of our own, and leave others to do as they please with the State Society.

Those who uphold the National Code have an unquestionable right to form one or many associations in affiliation with the National and State Associations. The sooner they do so, the better for the honor of the profession and for the cultivation and advancement of the science of medicine. He was sorry to be obliged to disagree with his honored friend, Dr. Moore, for he did not think that the present formation of an association could justly be characterized as a hasty action. The National-Code party has had two years to reflect upon the course to be taken. This party has been defeated during two sessions of the State Society, and it will this year meet with the same fate. All have carefully considered the question; and if they are not now prepared to take final action they never will be, and might as well give up the idea of forming the association if the preliminary steps to that end be not immediately taken. In conclusion he said: "I fervently hope, Mr. Chairman, that Dr. Flint's preamble and resolution will be adopted to-night; and I have the honor to call upon you to close the discussion."

In closing the debate, the Chairman, DR. DIDAMA, earnestly advocated the action proposed by Dr. Flint. No harm, he thought,

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »