Baltimore Evening Sun (7 November 1913): 6.
The poor wets of the dry counties cry for relief. They are tired of speak-easy whisky and near-beer. Courage, gents! We are coming!
A DAILY THOUGHT. If you are in earnest about relieving the poor, you must not merely dole out alms. A portion of the very greatest misery of the poor often proceeds from their not knowing how to help themselves out of a difficulty. I suggest that you should try to remedy this lamentable state of things by placing your education, your intelligence, and your knowledge of life at their disposal.—Pierre Bailey, founder of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Headline on a Washington dispatch in The Evening Sun of October 23:
RABIES ON INCREASE
Pasteur Treatment Sometimes Re- sults In Paralysis, Says Health Bureau.
Anticipating that the second line of this head would be seized upon eagerly by the old maid tear-sqeezers of the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society (why, indeed, haven’t they been heard from?), I caused inquiry to be made in Washington as to the truth of the dispatch. I found that it was based upon a papor entitled “Paralysis During Antirabic Treatment,” by Passed Assistant Surgeon H. E. Hasseltine, appearing in Volume XXVIII, No. 43, of the Public Health Reports. A quotation from that paper:
In the reports on file at the Hygienic Laboratory from various Pasteur institutes that obtain virus from the Hygienic Laboratory and are under the supervision of their respective State and city boards of health, I find three cases of paralysis noted, the whole number of cases treated being 3,115.
In other words, the odds against a patient being paralyzed are 1,000 to 1. And what does he gain by taking this risk? In ninecases out of ten he gains life itself. The death rate in rabies, in the absence of the Pasteur preventive treatment, is exactly 100 per cent.: no victim hs ever been known to escape. But the death rate among those who receive the Pasteur vaccine is less than 1 per cent. Of the first 1,000 patients treated by Dr. N. G. Keirle at the Baltimore Pasteur Institute but two died—a death rate of one-fifth of 1 per cent. At the Pasteur Institute in Paris, which has treated nearly 43,000 cases, the death rate is but one-third of 1 per cent. In the whole world—24 institutes—it is but four-fifths of 1 per cent.
Dr. Hasseltine, in the paper I have quoted, inclines to the view that the rare cases of paralysis following vaccination for rabies are due to anaphylaxis—that is, that they are actually caused by the vaccine and not by other agents. But even if this theory is correct—and in the absence of proofs it must be received only tentatively—it remains obvious that the rabies patient gains 1,000 times as much as he risks. The highest paralysis rate so far reported is three-fifths of 1 per cent. This comes from the Hygienic Laboratory in Washington, where 2 patients out of 537 have been paralyzed. But among 7,080 cases reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1909 (Vol. LIII, p. 1625) there was not a single appearance of paralysis—and among the 3,115 cases studied by Dr. Hasseltine, as we have seen, there were but three.
In view of all this, it must obvious that the public need not have the slightest fear of the Pasteur treatment. It is not, of course, infallible, but it is so nearly infallible that all persons bitten by mad dogs may take it in perfect confidence. No other medical agent of recent invention, not even the typhoid vaccine, shows a higher percentage of efficacy. Promptly and properly applied, it reduces the victim’s chances of death from absolute certainty to well under 1 chance in 100. And the risk of dangerous after-effects is is so microscopic that it may be very well disregarded. Even if the chances of paralysis following were 50 per cent., the treatment would still be very valuable. Paralysis is bad enough, but no sane man would argue that it is as bad as death from rabies.
Meanwhile, I repeat my polite expression of surprise that the zoolators of the Maryland Anti-Vivisection Society have not turned Dr. Hasseltine’s article to their grotesque uses. It is full of phrases suitable for discreet distortion. I myself have been sorely tempted to make an eloquent anti-vivisection document out of it. What ails the old maids, male and female? Why have they overlooked this chance to deal a lick at Pasteur, and to blow the horn for their pet super-Pasteur, Prof. Dr. Bathhouse Jean, author of the sitz-bath cure for hydrophobia? Alas, they lose their cunning! The Letter Column misses their old-time slobber-gobble!
Sat what yyou will against it, anyhow the new Legislature is bound to give a good show.—Adv.
No one save “An American Mother,” that alert Bonapartess, seems to be offering any criticism of the Hon. Frederick H. Gottlieb’s astounding theory that music makes for virtue. And even “An American Mother” is trying to carry on her case without the aid of the principal witnesses—for instance, the late Count d’Agoult; the late Hans von Bülow, Mus. D.; the late Frau Minna Wagner, née Wesendonk. I pass over Enrico Caruso, Lina Cavalieri and Gaby Deslys—affecting examples all. But what of Franz Schubert? What of Josef Haydn? What of Ludwig van Beethoven, that sardonic polygamist? And what of the greatest musician of the Bible—that David who played a primeval Richard Geyer to Lieutenant Uriah’s Herr Wesendonk?
Certainly, the Hon. Mr. Gottlieb must be well aware, as a member of the Vice Commission, that music is a poison quite as often as it is an antiseptic. Let him ask any Red Light cop thle part it plays in what the suffragettes call “commercialized vice.” He will be told things that will stagger him. He will be told that its corroding influence is greater than that of ethyl, or even methyl alcohol—that the Tenderloin has survived the stoppage of drinks, but would go dark in two days if the phonographs and automatic pianos were stilled. And if he is still sot in his amazing views, then let him turn to Holy Writ and read the sixth chapter of Amos, beginning “Woe unto them that are at ease in Zion,” or the third chapter in Daniel, with its eloquent description of the demoralizing effects of the cornet, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer—and flute.