Obrázky stránek

It is singular that the next institution should offer a parallel to the Binghamton situation. The Michigan Asylum for Dangerous and Criminal Insane, at Ionia, was chartered in 1883, and opened for patients in 1885. There was no provision for homeopathic treatment; but the superintendent, from the beginning, Dr. Oscar R. Long, is a homeopath. The treatment has always been homeopathic, and therefore the results are appended as table C. But the asylum cannot be regarded as a permanently homeopathic institution until the charter is amended and the present treatment continued by legal obligation. Further than this, in making comparisons of results, Ionia cannot be regarded as a hospital, because it is only for criminals, and not for the community at large. Its showing, however, is especially praiseworthy, for the criminal insane do not afford so good material for hopeful treatment as the ordinary, law-abiding population.

Before leaving Michigan and its institution, a digression should be made to the one at Traverse City. It is known as the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane. During its construction, in 1883, "the legislature passed an act authorizing the board of trustees to appoint a homæopathic physician as superintendent, it being then in course of construction. In 1885, when the time came to appoint, the board offered the position to one who declined the office, and, as none of the other applicants were acceptable, and the word authorised used in the act is not mandatory, they selected a superintendent who is not a homeopath.” This incident is worth recording, because it is unique in the history of hospitals, and because it is a warning to others of the necessity of great care in the selection of words for a charter.

The next State to give an institution to the homeopaths was Massachusetts. The movement originated with Dr. Samuel Worcester, in 1880, when he read a paper * before the State Homeopathic Medical Society in its advocacy. He had previously urged the same step in June, 1873, in April, 1874, and again in April, 1879; but it was not until his fourth attempt that favorable action was taken by the State society, which appointed a special committee, with Dr. I. T. Talbot as chairman and Dr. Worcester and others as members. † By a petition of a large number of the best citizens of the State, by hearings before legislative committees, and by other methods, all being directed by the persistent and skilful chairman of the committee, 2 charter was obtained June 3, 1884, establishing the Westborough Insane Hospital. The buildings previously occupied by the

* New England Med. Gazette, Feb., 1881. + New England Med. Gazette, Nov., 1881.

State Reform School were transferred to the hospital, and $150,000 'appropriated for making the necessary changes. Dr. N. Emmons Paine was appointed superintendent in May, 1886, continuing in that position until February, 1892, and was succeeded by Dr. George S. Adams. The buildings were opened for patients December 1, 1886. Its capacity is four hundred patients, but over five hundred and forty have recently been crowded within its walls. A table of statistics of all the Massachusetts hospitals for the last five years is appended, B.

The last of the State institutions is that in Minnesota, at Fergus Falls, known as the Third Minnesota Hospital for the Insane. The details of its organization not being at hand, it has been impossible to sketch, even hastily, that interesting period. It was opened July 29, 1890, and has one hundred and forty-four patients, with accommodations for one hundred and sixty, which will be increased shortly to three hundred and twenty-five. Dr. Alonzo P. Williamson, the superintendent, assumed office in May, 1890. Its first year's record is appended as table D.

These, then, are the three State hospitals established for the homeopathic treatment of the insane — Middletown, Westborough, and Fergus Falls; and Ionia may be added so long as it remains under a homeopathic superintendent. TH total number of patients now in these four hospitals is nearly seventeen hundren (1680).

Let us now consider the private hospitals for the insane under homeopathic management.

The first one, Dr. Doty's, at Margarettsville, N. Y., has been described already.

The second was that of Dr. George F. Foote, established at Stamford, Conn., after leaving the Middletown asylum, and which was in existence only a few years.

. At the present time the oldest private homæopathic hospital is “Dungarthel,” the property of Dr. Henry S. Stiles, the former superintendent of the Middletown asylum. It was opened in July, 1887, is situated on Lake George, at Hill View P. O., N. Y., and is licensed for six patients.

Drs. J. T. Greenleaf and Edward E. Snyder are the owners of Glenmary Home, at Oswego, N. Y. It has been in operation since 1889, and is licensed to care for thirty patients.

Dr. White's Private Homeopathic Insane Asylum at Sandwich, Mass., was opened by Dr. G. E. White, in October, 1891, and accommodations are offered for nine patients.

Dr. Amos J. Givens opened his private hospital, Stamford Hall, Stamford, Conn., January 1, 1892. He now has accommodations for twenty-two patients.

The Newton Nervine, at West Newton, Mass., owned by Dr.

N. Emmons Paine, received its first patient February 1, 1892, and can care for seven mildly-insane or nervous invalids.

We have now considered the existing hospitals, both public and private. Let us see where our school is making efforts for the establishment of new institutions.

The first State in point of time is Pennsylvania. There are already five large hospitals within its borders - at Norristown, Harrisburgh, Danville, Warren, and Dixmont - besides the large semi-private corporations at Philadelphia and Frankford.

There is still need, however, of another hospital, and the next one should be ours. Homeopathy is strong in Pennsylvania

. There are more physicians of our school in one city than in whole States where our brothers are already securing their rights. The profession is standing on a solid foundation of colleges, journals, hospitals, and dispensaries, with patrons possessed of marvellous wealth. All that is needed now is union and coöperation, and another magnificent institution will surely result.

An array of facts and arguments in favor of a hospital was most ably presented by the president of the State Society, Dr. Hugh Pitcairn, in his official address to its members, September 18, 1888. So far as I can learn, no active interest has been taken in the matter since that time; but the feeling is prevalent that a new activity is imminent, and that hopeful results are anticipated during the coming year.

In looking for the next outcropping of the demand for medical rights we shall discover that it appeared in the extreme East, the State of Maine. Dr. A. I. Harvey writes that the legislature appropriated money in 1888 "for the purpose of buying the necessary real estate on which to build an insane asylum in Bangor. The land was bought and plans made for the new institution, and it was expected that the appropriation for buildings would be made at the last session of the legislature, 1890–91. At that time the homeopathic physicians of this State, through a committee appointed for that purpose, applied to the legislature for the control and management of the new asylum. The result was that the legislative committee granted leave to the petitioners to withdraw, and the legislature refused to make any appropriation for buildings whatever, so that the matter remains in statu quo. Our society is united in the movement, and we shall take steps to lay the matter fully before the public before the next session, and we hope to be successful. We have about one hundred physicians of our school in this state, and the population by the last census was about six hundred and fifty thousand." These efforts in Maine are certainly bold, and deserving of success. The State contains only one insane hospital at present, that in Augusta ; and if our school can secure the new one at

Bangor our down-east brethren will become the banner State in possessing one-half instead of one-fifth of the hospitals of any given State. They must certainly succeed, because, ist, The State Society is the moving body. 2d, The members are coöperating heartily. 3d, They are planning to enlist popular approval. 4th, This one defeat will be followed by more systematic and earnest work.

In passing to the next State we shall certainly realize that “extremes meet,” and Oregon will next claim our attention. It has already built one insane asylum — that at Salem. The total population is only 325,000, and the number of homæopathic physicians is ninety; yet when, in 1890, more accommodations were needed members of our school, as Dr. Osman Royal says, “were watching, and if a new building had been erected, instead of adding a wing to the old building, we should have asked for its care.

The next State for our consideration is Kansas. It has already two asylums, one at Osawatomie and another at Topeka. The homeopathic physicians now number between four and five hundred, and the population is a little less than 1,500,000. Dr. E. R. McIntyer reports that members of our school presented a bill to the last legislature, in 1891, asking for an asylum, “but that it failed, owing to the extreme economic views of the Alliance members ; although some of the county jails contain one or more insane patients, because of lack of room in the asylums.” Another effort will be made at the next session of the legislature, in 1893

California will claim our attention next, but only for a moment. The State already has four large asylums, two being.at Stockton, and one each at Napa and Agnews. Another is needed, and the homeopaths will probably ask for its control of the next legislature.

In Kentucky active work by the State Society has already been begun. An attempt has just been made, in 1892, to obtain control of one of the three existing asylums, but it has failed.. This lack of success can easily be accounted for, when we know: ist, That it is almost impossible for an opposing medical school to obtain possession of an active and successful institution. 2d, That the society cannot claim more than one hundred members. 3d, That organization and experience are the results of time and defeat. It is probable that a medical college will be opened within a year or two, and that the work necessary for its establishment and success will develop the coöperation and experience necessary for obtaining a due share in the State institutions.

There are three other States in which the subject of homoeopathic asylums has been brought before the legislatures or the societies. In Wyoming a bill was presented to its legislature about three yea

ago, and failed, as my informant stated at the time, by only one vote. In Texas, last year, there was a similar movement; but the details of the matter are not at hand. And, lastly, in Illinois an active effort has been made recently. No State appears more hopeful of successful result than this, with its hundreds of physicians, and its colleges, journals, and hospitals. It needs only a hospital for the insane before the opening of the Columbian Exposition to stand before the world wellrounded in the front of the homeopathic ranks.

In conclusion, then, What do we find? We find three chartered homeopathic hospitals in active operation - Middletown, Westborough, and the Third Minnesota, and our method of treatment also in the Ionia asylum. We also discover that active work has been done in nine other States — Pennsylvania, Maine, Oregon, Kansas, California, Kentucky, Wyoming, Texas, and Illinois. Within the next year or two successful results will be evident in one or more of them. As the number of homæopathic physicians increases in any given State a demand will be made for a share in its public institutions. This demand will certainly be accorded as rapidly as the public become acquainted with its justice and the gratifying results it has always shown among the insane. Within the lives of members now assembled here there will come the time when homeopathic hospitals for the insane will be found in every State of the Union.

In order to reach this result, it is advisable for those in the future who decide to engage in such undertakings to know, at the beginning, what are the lessons learned from past successes. They are three: ist, That some one man, prominent, tactful, and diplomatic must give much of his time to organizing the movement in each State, so that the whole mass of physicians and their adherents may act as a unit. 2d, The people throughout the State must be kept informed, through the local papers, of what is demanded ; they must be convinced of its advantage and its justice, and their assistance must be invited. 3d, The fight, when once begun, must be carried on to victory, even through many disappointments, as shown by the three years' struggle in New York, and the four years in Massachusetts. That the right is on our side is evidenced by the uniformly high rates of recoveries shown by each of our hospitals as rapidly as they are established. It is plain, too, that this success does not all depend upon the physician in charge, nor upon the locality, nor upon the construction of the buildings, but upon the system – the principle of similia.

« PředchozíPokračovat »