Baltimore Evening Sun (13 January 1914): 6.
News and gossip of the Boy Snouts:
Company A, Capt. W. W. Davis, will go into camp at Back River May 1. Archdeacon Wegg, D. D., has been gazetted chaplain of the mounted company at Havre-de-Grace.
Editorial note in the estimable Pocomoke Ledger-Enterprise:
What will poor Mr. H. L. Mencken write about, now that his special favorite, Mr. William H. Anderson, has left Maryland for New York?
About the permanent effect of his seductions upon eccleslastical honor in this State; about the Legislature’s forthcoming investigation of his whole sinister career; about the chicanerous doings of the heirs and assigns he has left behind him; about his own revolting intrigues in the State of New York; about the alarming possibility that he may one day return.
A DAILY THOUGHT. Non est ad astra mollis a terrs via.—James W. Seneca.
Dexter branch of the Boy Snouts: the Hypodermic Girls.
Motto of the Boy Snouts: Snout and the world snouts with you; mind your business and you mind it alone.
The year 1914 is still less than two weeks old, but already Col. Jacobus Hook has given away 8,400 cigars, 1.750 stogies, five fountain pens and two complete sets of the works of Bulwer-Lytton.—Adv.
Yet again, today is the seventy-fifth anniversary of Jonas Jones, of Utica, N. Y., the first man to cut his throat with a celluloid collar.
And the three hundredth anniversary of Kommerzienrat Hugo Bierfisch, of Augsburg, Bavaria, the first man to sell saurkraut on spools.
A welcome to the Rev. Dr. Thomas M. Hare, successor to the graceless Anderson, as Superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League! Dr. Hare has a gigntic task ahead of him. He must labor to rehabilitate the Anti-Saloon League, to make it respectable once more, to restore it to the favor of the moral element. As a first step to that end, let him purge it of the Fleet parsons attracted to its fold by the abhorrent seductions of the late Anderson.—Liquor Ring Adv.
NO one, I dare say, will be disposed to quarrel with the estimable Hot Towel’s cartoon of this morning, defending Dr. Howard A. Kelly against the charges now brought against him, but certainly the cartoonist took an unwarranted liberty in fitting him with a lamentable case of convergent strabismus. For the benefit of those who have never enjoyed the happiness of viewing the Doctor in person, it may be said at once that his optical axes are stictly parallel, or, in the homely phrase, on the level, just as he is himself.
Incidentally, the current pother over the Kelly case calls attention to the fact that the rules of medical ethics, like the Ten Commandments before them, should have a few ifs and buts added to them, to make them workable. It is all well enough, in the abstract, to forbid a physician to tell the public directly, through the newspapers, what he is doing or what he proposes to do, but suppose the whole success of his enterprise depends upon getting public support for it? Suppose he has to have the public behind him to accomplish the sound and humane thing that he wants to accomplish? What then? Is he to sacrifice what he conceives to be the general good to his profesatonal honor, or to risk his professional honor for the general good?
I here attempt no discussion of the merits of Dr. Kelly’s present propaganda. There are surgeons of the very first rank who think that his faith in radium is more madness; there are other surgeons who believe that it will do all he says that it will do, and there are yet others who take a middle ground. In brief, the evidence in both directions is still so scanty that professional opinion has not yet formed, and so it would be silly for a layman to put in an oar. But it remains a fact that, if radium is as valuable as Dr. Kelly honestly thinks it is, it is highly important that the nation’s supply be conserved, and it also remains a fact that the only way to accomplish this conservation is by arousing the public to a keen sense of its importance. Such an enterprise necessarily involves a straining of the extremely rigid code of professional ethics.
The same dangerous necessity confronts every physician who seeks to educate the public. The code of ethics was torn to tatters in the tuberculosis campaign of a few years ago. Men of the first eminence not only urged upon the public the importance of combating tuberculosis, which was perfectly allowable under the code, but also argued for definite (and sometimes debatable) methods of treatment, which was not allowable. Strictly speaking, I dare say, Dr. E. L. Trudeau, of Lake Saranac, more than once becane amenable to discipline under the code, just as Dr. Robert Koch undoubtedly did in Germany. And yet it must he obvious that these men and others like them, despite the serious errors that they made, performed a great public service, and that any attempt to discipline and halt them would have been very harmful.
In brief, there can be such a thing as too much ethics. The current campaign of the Society for the Control of Cancer, in which there is no hint of anything debatable, is greatly hampered by the fact. If the men who are to charge of that campaign could come before the public openly and argue for early surgery as frankly as all hygienists now argue for vaccination, they would deal cancer a staggering blow, for their professional standing is such that no sane layman would be heedless of them. But as it is, the punctilio requires that they confine themscives to indirect and largely anonymous approaches, and that the most powerful argument they possess, to wit, their personal authority and dignity, be not brought forward. This, no doubt, is a good thing for the medical profession, and. in a sense, for the public, for it shuts off the confusing urgings of men of less authority, but at the same time it works enormous harm, for on the one hand the public is deprived of advice that is sound and invaluable, and on the other hand it is not protected thereby against the deceits of downright quacks.
News note from the estimable Sunpaper:
[The Hon.] William H. Anderson, former Superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League in this State, will be one of the star speakers at the massmeeting in the Lyric on the afternoon of Sunday, January 25.
Warning to the Hon. Mr. Anderson: Beware of catchpolls from Annapolis! Once you cross the State line, you may be nabbed at any moment!