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Haines, who are also amongst the contributors; and, so far as the present volume is concerned, the editors may reasonably claim to have succeeded in the object aimed at, namely, “ to give to the medical and legal professions a fairly comprehensive survey of forensic medicine and toxicology in moderate compass.” It is too discursive a work to be suitable for students preparing for examination, its rôle being rather that of a book of reference ; though even in this direction its usefulness is lessened for British practitioners by the constant, and, indeed, unavoidable, reference to American laws and institutions. But for precisely the same reason the work gains in interest for an English reader what it loses in valve as a practical guide in this country. The introduction is a terse and thoughtful chapter by the editors, who discuss the sources of error in evidence relating to obvious or ascertainable matters of fact; it is interesting to note, in view of the recent discussion of this subject by the British Medical Association, that they advise a conference with the experts of the other side for the purpose of interchanging views.
The chapter on the “ Technic of Medico-Legal Post Mortem Examination,” by Professor L. Hektoen, of Chicago, is very thorough and satisfactory, and finely illustrated by photographs. Wounds, death from unnatural causes, and cognate subjects are adequately treated. In the article on Identity, it is startling to read the following :
:-“It has repeatedly been observed that the hair may grow after death. In the New York Medical Record, August 18, 1877, Dr. Caldwell reported that in 1862 he was present at the exhumation of a body that had been buried for four years. The coffin had become loosened at the joints, and the hair of the corpse appeared at these openings. There was reliable evidence (sic) that the head had been shaved before burial, yet the hair of the head measured eighteen inches in length, the beard eight inches, and the hair of the chest four to six inches." That such grotesque stuff should be gravely adopted without comment by a writer in a scientific medical treatise is much to be regretted; it is a blot on the book which ought to be removed at the first opportunity. The chapters on Railway
Injuries, Injuries and Disorders of the Nervous System following railway and allied accidents, the Medical Jurisprudence of Life Assurance, and the Medico-Legal Aspects of Vision and Audition, are valuable monographs which will repay perusal. The concluding chapter on Mental Perversions of the Sexual Instinct contains much that is unsavoury, and is evidently not written pueris virginibusque. This is, of course, due to the necessities of the case, but the balance of the entire book would have been more proportionate if the thirty-three pages of the last chapter had been reduced, and the section on Finger-prints, which is extremely meagre, had been considerably amplified. We welcome the issue of this work, and await with interest the second volume, which is to deal with several practical branches of forensic medicine.
REPORTS OF SOCIETIES.
BRITISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
BIRMINGHAM BRANCH. The Second Ordinary Meeting of the Session was held on Thursday, November 10, 1904, at the Medical Institute. The President, Dr. T. E. Underhill, was in the chair. There were forty-four members present.
The Minutes of the last meeting were read, confirmed, and signed.
Dr. Douglas Stanley read a paper entitled “The Prog . nosis in Some Forms of Cardiac Disease," of which the following is an abstract :-Factors in the prognosis of Heart Disease. Associated Morbid Conditions. Information furnished by the examination of the Circulatory System. Age.
The paper was discussed by Drs. Short, Wilson, Oakes, Melson, and the President, and Dr. Stanley replied.
Mr. Milward then read a paper on “ The Examination of the Rectum in Disease," of which the following is an abstract :-Necessity of examination in all cases of disease. Preliminaries to examination. Position of the patient. The patient may assist the surgeon. Instrumental more effective and less painful than digital examination. The various specula in use. Lesions to be discovered by these means. The investigation of other organs and of the general constitution must, at the same time, not be neglected. Cases to illustrate the paper.
The paper was discussed by Mr. Lloyd, Drs. Melson, Stacey Wilson, and the President. Mr. Milward replied.
Dr. W. A. Potts then read a paper on “ The Diagnosis of Feeble-minded Children,” under the following heads :Physical and mental characteristics of the feeble-minded in general; various special types such as Mongolian, Microcephalic, etc.; and showed living examples of some of the types.
Dr. W. R. Jordan spoke to the paper and Dr. Potts replied.
This concluded the business.
MIDLAND MEDICAL SOCIETY. THE Annual Meeting was held at the Medical Institute on Wednesday, October 12, 1904. The chair was taken by the President, Professor Saundby.
The following office-bearers were elected for the ensuing year :-President, Mr. Wood White; Treasurer, Mr. Garner; Members of Council, Messrs. Haslam, Langley-Browne, Newton, and Whitcombe; Hon. Auditors, Drs. W. R. Jordan and Sidney Haines; Secretaries, Messrs. Gamgee and Allport.
Subsequently the First Ordinary Meeting of the Session was held, the President, Mr. Wood White, in the chair.
Dr. Douglas Stanley showed a boy, aged eight years, who was admitted under his care as suffering from acute rheumatism. The highest temperature recorded was 101°. There was swelling and tenderness of both knees, which lasted an unusual time, and on which salicylates seemed to have but little effect. Some days after admission there was enlargement, with tenderness of the lymphatic glands in the right groin. The spleen was not felt. The patient's mother had had “rheumatism," and another child had “heart disease, following rheumatism.' Enlargement of the knees persisted, and the joints became stiff. There was interstitial keratitis, of eight months' duration. This was considered by Mr. Martin Young to be syphilitic. There was no other evidence of syphilis. Dr. Stanley believed that the case was one of rheumatoid arthritis.
Mr. Leedham-Green showed a specimen of a large melanotic sarcoma, which he had removed from the middle portion of the rectum of a man aged forty-five. The growth appeared as a large, slightly-indurated ulcer, nearly encircling the bowel. The patient made an excellent recovery from the operation, but died a month after from secondary deposits in the brain and other organs. On microscopic examination of the rectal growth, it proved to be a spindle-celled melanotic sarcoma.
Mr. Jordan Lloyd read a paper on “Excision of the Tongue : Partial and Complete."
From Baillière, Tindall, and Cox
Handbook of Diseases of the Ear. RICHARD LAKE.
Ear. W. LAMB.
WRIGHT. The Surgery of the Diseases of the Appendix Vermiformis
and their Treatment. BATTLE and CORNER. Clinical and Pathological Observations on Acute Abdo
minal Diseases. CORNER. From Rebman, Ltd.The Diseases of Women. SUTTON and GILES. Fourth
Edition. From J. Young and Sons— Seventy-Seventh Annual Report of James Murray's Royal
Asylum, Perth. From J. FalconerTransactions of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ire
land, Vol. XXII.