the association of port sanitary authorities

of 1 /1
1517 letter inclosing the circular just mentioned was sent to the medical practitioners asking them to keep their patients and suspects under supervision until three consecutive bacterio- logical examinations giving negative results had been carried out. Immediately following the preventive use of antitoxin and the commencement of bacteriological examinations there was an increase in the daily number of notifications, largely caused, no doubt, by the reco- I gnition of mild cases which might otherwise have escaped I, notification. The largest number of daily notifications (nine) was reached on Oct. 30th, after which date li they fell rapidly, 10 cases only having been notified in November. The value of the preventive injections has been shown by the fact that only one slight case of diphtheria has occurred among those treated, many of whom were found to be harbouring the diphtheria bacillus at the time, while among the elder members of their families who had not been injected several cases occurred. No complaints of rashes or of other complications have been heard from the parents of the children who were injected. THE CORONER AND THE DEATHS OF LUNATICS IN POOR-LAW INSTITUTIONS. THE Local Government Board have issued an Order direct- ing that within 48 hours after the death of a lunatic in any Poor-law institution notice of such death shall be sent by the superintending officer of the institution to the coroner of the district in which the institution is situated. The notice is to be accompanied by a statement signed by the medical officer, or the medical superintendent, or the medical man who attended the lunatic in his last illness, and containing certain prescribed particulars. The Order will come into operation from and after Dec. lst, and it is in our opinion an excellent innovation, as tending to reassure the public in a very real and practical manner that everything that is possible is being done for a sadly afflicted class. We print it in full on p. 1528 of this issue, and congratulate the Coroners’ Society upon the success of their efforts. A thousand lurid but unsupported tales, with an occasional case or two, like the terrible one of recent occurrence at Crumpsall, have bred in the public mind suspicion that the cause of death of lunatics in Poor law institutions would not always bear scrutiny. The full publicity of a coroner’s inquest will remove this suspicion. THE SEXUAL LIFE AND THE OFFSPRING OF EPILEPTICS. Dr. Bourneville and Dr. Poulard have published in the Progres Medical of Sept. 29th the concluding part of a series of three articles dealing with the sexual life, marriage, and descendants of an epileptic, which presents in an interesting way an epitome of the question of hereditary transmission. The case which embodies the facts is that of a young man who began to have epileptic seizures in his thirtieth year. He was possessed of great sexual vigour and he married and begat several children. The epilepsy was of the idiopathic type and ran its usual course. At present the patient is intellectually weak and suffers from loss of memory and diminished sexual power. He begat eight children, two of whom died from athrepsia while a third died from intestinal catarrh (cholera infantum). A fourth child is alive and is the subject of convulsive attacks with twitchings of the eyes (petit mal) and violent outbreaks of temper. Another child has epileptic seizures (haut mal) and suffers from hallucinations of sight and disturbances of sleep. A sixth child is very nervous and has night- terrors. Thus of eight children six are the subject of grave neurotic troubles inherited from an epileptic father. Dr. Bourneville and Dr. Poulard discuss at some length the question of the marriage of epileptics and conclude that the marriages of those who are the subjects of epilepsy petit mal and haut mal) and epileptoid psychoses and neuroses (epileptic imbecility, epileptic insanity, and hystero-epilepsy) should be forbidden or strongly discouraged. THE ASSOCIATION OF PORT SANITARY AUTHORITIES. A MEETING of the Association of Port Sanitary Author- ities will take place to-day (Friday) in the Guildhall at 10.30 A.M. The special business before the meeting will be to consider the recent reply to the association from the Local Government Board relating to the resolution passed at the last annual meeting re the notification of the existence of infectious diseases at foreign ports. Three discussions that promise to be interesting are announced. Mr. G. J. Woodman will open a discussion on the "Exemption of Government Vessels from the Provisions of the Public Health Act with Regard to Infectious Diseases." Mr. Councillor T. Clarke (Liverpool) will open a discussion on " The Precautionary Measures Adopted in Regard to Plague," when delegates will be invited to narrate briefly the measures adopted at their respective ports. Mr. Alderman T. Walton (Southampton) will open a discussion on I Port Sanitary Administration as it Exists, and the Further Powers Required." FUNCTION OF THE PROSTATE GLAND. IN the October number of the Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dr. George Walker of Baltimore describes a number of experiments which have led him to the con- clusion that the function of the prostate gland is to furnish a fluid in which the spermatozoa can move freely. He found that there was no movement of the spermatozoa in semen from the testicle itself or from the globus major. Semen from the globus minor and vas deferens showed slight move- ment where the fluid was thin, but there was no movement in the portions of thick consistence which formed the bulk of the sample. On the other hand, in a mixture of prostatic juice and semen from the substance of the testicle there was distinct but not lively motion, while semen out of the epididymis with prostatic juice showed lively motion which continued unabated for some hours. Semen from the epididymis with normal salt solution also gave lively move- ment in the places where a mixture had occurred. In other areas where the liquid was thick no motility was apparent. For the continued motility more is necesary than the mere thinning, for in the salt solution all movement ceases after three hours, whereas in the prostatic juice it continues for over 20 hours. ___ CONVICTION OF AN ABORTIONIST. ON Nov. 20th Ernestine Katz, a midwife, was tried at the Central Criminal Court, before Mr. Justice Darling, on a charge of having murdered a young woman named Kate Kennedy. The prisoner, a German, resided in Whitechapel, and it was alleged that on June 30th she performed an illegal operation upon the deceased by means of "an instrument." The case for the prosecution was that the deceased woman’s death was occasioned by the operation which the prisoner was alleged to have performed upon her. Much legal interest was attached to the manner in which the depositions had been taken and a long argument ensued, but the main question for the jury was as to whether the prisoner was guilty of murder or of manslaughter, the fac’s of the case being perfectly simple. Mr. Arthur Hutton for the defence denied that the prisoner had performed an illegal operation, and he urged that what she did was for a perfectly lawful object. If, however, the jury did not take that view, he argued that they ought to find only a verdict of manslaughter. Mr. Justice

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Page 1: THE ASSOCIATION OF PORT SANITARY AUTHORITIES

1517

letter inclosing the circular just mentioned was sent to themedical practitioners asking them to keep their patients andsuspects under supervision until three consecutive bacterio-logical examinations giving negative results had been

carried out. Immediately following the preventive useof antitoxin and the commencement of bacteriologicalexaminations there was an increase in the daily numberof notifications, largely caused, no doubt, by the reco- Ignition of mild cases which might otherwise have escaped I,notification. The largest number of daily notifications

(nine) was reached on Oct. 30th, after which date lithey fell rapidly, 10 cases only having been notified in

November. The value of the preventive injections has beenshown by the fact that only one slight case of diphtheriahas occurred among those treated, many of whom were foundto be harbouring the diphtheria bacillus at the time, whileamong the elder members of their families who had not been

injected several cases occurred. No complaints of rashesor of other complications have been heard from the parentsof the children who were injected.

THE CORONER AND THE DEATHS OF LUNATICSIN POOR-LAW INSTITUTIONS.

THE Local Government Board have issued an Order direct-

ing that within 48 hours after the death of a lunatic in anyPoor-law institution notice of such death shall be sent by thesuperintending officer of the institution to the coroner of thedistrict in which the institution is situated. The notice isto be accompanied by a statement signed by the medicalofficer, or the medical superintendent, or the medical manwho attended the lunatic in his last illness, and containingcertain prescribed particulars. The Order will come into

operation from and after Dec. lst, and it is in our opinion anexcellent innovation, as tending to reassure the public in avery real and practical manner that everything that is

possible is being done for a sadly afflicted class. We printit in full on p. 1528 of this issue, and congratulate theCoroners’ Society upon the success of their efforts. A

thousand lurid but unsupported tales, with an occasionalcase or two, like the terrible one of recent occurrence at

Crumpsall, have bred in the public mind suspicion that thecause of death of lunatics in Poor law institutions would not

always bear scrutiny. The full publicity of a coroner’s

inquest will remove this suspicion.

THE SEXUAL LIFE AND THE OFFSPRING OFEPILEPTICS.

Dr. Bourneville and Dr. Poulard have published in

the Progres Medical of Sept. 29th the concluding partof a series of three articles dealing with the sexual life,marriage, and descendants of an epileptic, which presentsin an interesting way an epitome of the question of

hereditary transmission. The case which embodies thefacts is that of a young man who began to have epilepticseizures in his thirtieth year. He was possessed of greatsexual vigour and he married and begat several children. Theepilepsy was of the idiopathic type and ran its usual course.At present the patient is intellectually weak and suffers fromloss of memory and diminished sexual power. He begateight children, two of whom died from athrepsia while a thirddied from intestinal catarrh (cholera infantum). A fourthchild is alive and is the subject of convulsive attacks withtwitchings of the eyes (petit mal) and violent outbreaks oftemper. Another child has epileptic seizures (haut mal)and suffers from hallucinations of sight and disturbancesof sleep. A sixth child is very nervous and has night-terrors. Thus of eight children six are the subject of graveneurotic troubles inherited from an epileptic father. Dr.

Bourneville and Dr. Poulard discuss at some length thequestion of the marriage of epileptics and conclude that the

marriages of those who are the subjects of epilepsy petit maland haut mal) and epileptoid psychoses and neuroses

(epileptic imbecility, epileptic insanity, and hystero-epilepsy)should be forbidden or strongly discouraged.THE ASSOCIATION OF PORT SANITARY

AUTHORITIES.

A MEETING of the Association of Port Sanitary Author-ities will take place to-day (Friday) in the Guildhall at

10.30 A.M. The special business before the meeting will beto consider the recent reply to the association from the

Local Government Board relating to the resolution passed atthe last annual meeting re the notification of the existenceof infectious diseases at foreign ports. Three discussionsthat promise to be interesting are announced. Mr. G. J.Woodman will open a discussion on the "Exemption ofGovernment Vessels from the Provisions of the PublicHealth Act with Regard to Infectious Diseases." Mr.Councillor T. Clarke (Liverpool) will open a discussion on" The Precautionary Measures Adopted in Regard to Plague,"when delegates will be invited to narrate briefly the measuresadopted at their respective ports. Mr. Alderman T. Walton

(Southampton) will open a discussion on I Port SanitaryAdministration as it Exists, and the Further Powers

Required."

FUNCTION OF THE PROSTATE GLAND.

IN the October number of the Bulletin of the Johns

Hopkins Hospital Dr. George Walker of Baltimore describesa number of experiments which have led him to the con-clusion that the function of the prostate gland is to furnisha fluid in which the spermatozoa can move freely. He foundthat there was no movement of the spermatozoa in semenfrom the testicle itself or from the globus major. Semenfrom the globus minor and vas deferens showed slight move-ment where the fluid was thin, but there was no movementin the portions of thick consistence which formed the bulk ofthe sample. On the other hand, in a mixture of prostaticjuice and semen from the substance of the testicle there wasdistinct but not lively motion, while semen out of the

epididymis with prostatic juice showed lively motion whichcontinued unabated for some hours. Semen from the

epididymis with normal salt solution also gave lively move-ment in the places where a mixture had occurred. In otherareas where the liquid was thick no motility was apparent.For the continued motility more is necesary than the merethinning, for in the salt solution all movement ceases afterthree hours, whereas in the prostatic juice it continues forover 20 hours.

___

CONVICTION OF AN ABORTIONIST.

ON Nov. 20th Ernestine Katz, a midwife, was tried at theCentral Criminal Court, before Mr. Justice Darling, on acharge of having murdered a young woman named KateKennedy. The prisoner, a German, resided in Whitechapel,and it was alleged that on June 30th she performedan illegal operation upon the deceased by means of "aninstrument." The case for the prosecution was that thedeceased woman’s death was occasioned by the operationwhich the prisoner was alleged to have performed upon her.Much legal interest was attached to the manner in which thedepositions had been taken and a long argument ensued,but the main question for the jury was as to whether theprisoner was guilty of murder or of manslaughter, the fac’sof the case being perfectly simple. Mr. Arthur Hutton

for the defence denied that the prisoner had performedan illegal operation, and he urged that what she did

was for a perfectly lawful object. If, however, the

jury did not take that view, he argued that theyought to find only a verdict of manslaughter. Mr. Justice