Dr. Hadwens First Article. From "Truth,"
January 3, 1923.
THE FRAUD OF VACCINATION
THE ORIGIN OF VACCINATION.
DANGERS OF VACCINATION.
THE GLOUCESTER EPIDEMIC
GERMANY AND THE PHILIPPINES
From "Truth," January 17, 1923. SANITATION v. VACCINATION.
THE ORIGIN OF SMALLPOX.
THE SOURCE OF ALL "OUTBREAKS."
SHEFFIELD AND OTHER CASES
THE LESSON OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT
Dr. Hadwens First Article.
From "Truth," January 3, 1923.
THE FRAUD OF VACCINATION
Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace in his book The Wonderful Century, devoted a chapter to "Vaccination, a Delusion"; Dr. Charles Creighton, an acknowledged authority on epidemiology, declared independently that "the bottom had been knocked out of a grotesque superstition," a conclusion irresistibly forced upon anybody who gives unbiased study to the subject. Yet so strong is the effect- of authority, custom, and endowment, and so prone are people to save themselves the trouble of personal investigation by the simple process of accepting the decisions of "the majority" (which they thereby swell, rendering the process easier to others), that it has been possible, within the last few weeks, for a gigantic scare to be got up in the interests of vaccination on the ground of an altogether insignificant outbreak of smallpox almost entirely confined to one East End workhouse, where the Public Vaccinator himself was one of the first to fall a prey to the disease.
One well-known daily paper, not a household word for accuracy, committed itself to the ludicrous statement that two of the adult patients, having been protected by vaccination in infancy, thereby secured a mild attack, ignoring the fact that vaccination in infancy had not prevented the actual death of others. Jenner declared positively that a primary vaccination protected for life, and his followers, while obliged to drop this claim (for which piece of unsupported bombast be received £30,000), have fallen back upon the theory that it at least mitigates the disease. Evidently these have been "mitigated"-deaths.
SMALLPOX NO LONGER SERIOUS
According to a reply given recently by Major Boyd Carpenter in Parliament, 56 provincial and 7 London districts have had cases of smallpox during the past year. And in all these places many thousands of unvaccinated persons, called a "danger to others," have not even been a danger to themselves, the total deaths, including vaccinated and unvaccinated, having only been 27, with the unprecedentedly low death-rate of barely 3 per cent. The total number of cases all over the country is given as 902, of whom 271 were vaccinated and 625 either "unvaccinated" or" presenting no evidence of vaccination" and incubation cases; 6 cases with no information.
We are struck here with the remarkable fact that two distinct classes are included among the unvaccinated, namely, those which presented no doubt, and those apparently examined for "evidence" which was not found. Clearly the latter cases are those in which the patients declared that they had been vaccinated. The marks may have been concealed by the eruption, or their vaccination may not have " taken"in which case, according to the theory, smallpox ought not to have "taken" either. This circumstance, together with the tricks that can be played with the classification during a scarecounting as unvaccinated those alleged to have been "probably" sickening before the vaccination took placerenders the classification highly unsatisfactory. I have had personal experience of the tendency to put down a smallpox case as unvaccinated. Every kind of disingenuousness is resorted to in order to make the diagnosis agree with a preconception. The fact has ere now been confessed by the offender. Even whereif anywherethe classification is correct , it must be remembered that the unvaccinated class is liable to contain children so delicate that the public vaccinator has refused to vaccinate them, infants a few days or weeks old whose parents are among the sufferers, and others who cannot be fairly compared with the normal majority. In the recent Poplar outbreak an official of the Ministry of Health has stated that only 19 per cent of the child population is vaccinated, and practically everywhere the percentage of the unvaccinated exceeds that of the vaccinatcd. This, of course, has a great influence on the figures. If smallpox breaks out in a school, in a district where most of the children are unvaccinated, the majority of the sufferers are bound to be in that class.
People have been solemnly warned that the reason why smallpox has just broken out is because our population is unvaccinated; yet Dr. Killick Millard complains of primary vaccination as liable to make smallpox mild and unrecognised, so that the element of danger lies in the vaccinated! He has his excuse in the circumstance that these have always started epidemics.
THE ORIGIN OF VACCINATION.
Why do people believe in vaccination? Why did they ever believe in the Kings touch?
Jenners idea was based solely upon a dairymaids superstition. He sought to give it a scientific air by calling cowpox (a disease which bears no analogy to smallpox) variolae vaccinaei.e., smallpox of the cow. The Latin name was not without its effect, and anything that promised less harmful results than the prevailing practice of the direct inoculation of smallpox matter (which had been killing people by hundreds, and afterwards had to be forbidden by Act of Parliament) was acceptable at the time to the frightened and gullible population. The rest was an affair of influence. When once an error is accepted by a profession corporately and endowed by Government, to uproot it becomes a herculean task, beside which the entrance of a rich man into the Kingdom of heaven is easy.
The Compulsory Vaccination Act was passed in 1853; a still more stringent one followed in 1867. And between the years 1871 and 1880 there were 57,016 smallpox deaths. Compare this with the small number in the present day, when considerably more than half the population is unvaccinated, and when awful warnings are periodically uttered about the decimating scourge always "bound to come," which never arrives! Between 1911 and 1920 the deaths numbered only 110.
Let us look at the most recent Annual report of the Registrar-Generalthe eighty-third. He states that during the last 15 years 53 vaccinated persons have died of smallpox. In addition, there were 92 other deaths of the "doubtful" class mentioned above; that is, those declared by patients or friends to have been vaccinated, but which have been entered by medical officials as "doubtful" rather than take the slight trouble of searching the registers for verification. We may conclude, therefore, that there were 145 cases of smallpox deaths in vaccinated persons in this country during the last 15 years. And yet there were only 78 unvaccinated deaths during the same period. Thus, the rate of vaccinated to unvaccinated deaths is nearly two to one. This is the more remarkable seeing that during this same 15 years England has been largely unvaccinated, probably to the extent of about 75 per cent.
DANGERS OF VACCINATION.
But the tragedy of the whole sorry business is this:
That during the same 15-year period there is recorded by the same authority the terrible toll of 165 deaths from "cowpox and other effects of vaccination!" In short, vaccination not only failed to save 145 persons from death, but actually killed another 165 in addition! Hence, whereas 78 are alleged to have died because the "preventive" had not been resorted to, more than double that number died from the effects of its use. What have the scaremongers who boast of the "certain and harmless preventive" to say to this? The only way, so far as I can see, that those 165 poor little victims of the eighteenth century Gloucestershire dairymaids superstition were prevented from having smallpox (if they were ever likely to get it) was in being killed by the "preventive" before the disease could attack them.
In some years more persons have been officially certified as killed by vaccination than by smallpox. Besides this, enormous numbers are left with some permanent disability, a fact to which parents, at least, can testify. Meanwhile, whenever smallpox comes, it is promptly and easily dealt with, and fails to spread beyond a limited time and area. Sanitation has practically banished the disease, just as it banished black death, cholera, and typhus. It would appear that vaccination, so far from aiding, actually retarded the decline, for the Registrar-General reported in 1880 that it was the only gross zymotic which showed a rise in the death-ratethat is, after 30 years of compulsory vaccination.
THE GLOUCESTER EPIDEMIC
The advocates of vaccination are never tired of quoting the smallpox epidemic which occurred in Gloucester in1895-6. A picture of Gloucester Cemetery is often presented, apparently with the idea of impressing an ex parte statement upon the memory. Where the picture itself cannot be given, the statement alone is madeviz., that 279 unvaccinated children lie buried in that cemetery (the picturesque detail is never by any chance omitted), together with only one out of some 8,000 children said to he vaccinated before or during the epidemic. The latter figure may be correct officially, but it is incorrect actually, for I worked in Gloucester at the time and came into personal contact with the cases, and I have the names and addresses of 116 vaccinated children up to ten years of age attacked by the disease, of whom 27 died.
The truth is that the whole child population of Gloucester was practically an unvaccinated population, the vaccinated numbering only 4 per cent.; hence the greater number of unvaccinated attacked is easily explained. Ten thousand unvaccinated children passed through that epidemic unscathed. The severity of the scourge was due to sanitary defects, which were afterwards remedied at great cost, to the fact that the disease broke out and spread like wildfire in a large unsanitary elementary school, where the vaccinated teacher was the first to succumb, and to the utterly disgraceful hospital conditions to which these little patients were removed. Out of the 1,979 total cases; about 1,750 occurred in the southern half of Gloucester, where the sanitary defects above mentioned existed, the unvaccinated children of time northern half escaping practically unscathed. Nearly two-thirds of those attackedviz., 1,211 out of 1,979were vaccinated, in spite of the fact that Gloucester was an "unvaccinated city."
GERMANY AND THE PHILIPPINES
No European country has had such severe vaccination laws as Germany. They started in 1834, and enforced continual re-vaccinations. Yet in 1871-2 smallpox carried off no fewer than 124,948 in Prussia alone. In Berlin itself there were 17,038 vaccinated cases of smallpox, of whom 2,240 were under ten years of age, and of these vaccinated children 736 died.
A particularly interesting case is that of the Philippines. When these islands fell into the hands of the Americans a vast vaccination scheme was carried out, and smallpox, which had naturally been a scourge among the inhabitants owing to the bad sanitary conditions, declined just in proportion as these were remedied. The result was, of course, put down to vaccination, though there is a certain humour in the circumstance that, while the natives were suffering less from smallpox, the vaccinated arid re-vaccinated American soldiers fell victims to it, dying at a percentage three times higher than that which obtained among the unvaccinated people they had come to instruct. Of course, the usual thorough system of cleansing, finding its parallel later in the Panama region, was pursued, and for many years it was the great boast of the disciples of Jenner that smallpox was banished from the Philippines.
They boasted too soon. Within the last few years, in spite of the rigorous vaccination laws, the disease has regained its old virulence, and there were no fewer than 60,612 cases and 43,294 deaths from smallpox in the Philippines during 1919an enormous toll in a population of something under 11,000,000.
Whenever laxity in sanitation occurs, it is clear that smallpox ignores vaccination, just as typhoid fever ignored inoculation during the war under similar conditions. The Americans, content with having once cleansed the Philippines, no doubt shut their eyes to many unhygienic practices. It is one thing to teach natives how to live and start them on a right path, but quite another to see that they keep to it. Vaccination, however, never suffers neglect so long as medical officials are maintained for the performance of the rite; and it is somewhat amusing to find that the Filipinos, horror-stricken at the toll smallpox has been taking, have attacked vaccination itself as the originating cause which seems to them time most probable.
The Birth of the Vaccination Fraud
Editorial in "Truth" for January 10
In his article "The Fraud of Vaccination," published last week in Truth, Dr. Hadwen made some remarks not altogether complimentary to the discoverer of time reputed prophylactic against smallpox. These remarks led one reader to denounce both Dr. Hadwen and myself Dr. Hadwen for libelling one of the greatest benefactors of humanity, and myself for propagating the libel. Dr. Hadwen is well able to take care of himself. For my own part, not wishing to do any injustice to the name and fame of the late Dr. Jenner, I asked Dr. Hadwen what he had against him, and he replied by sending me a pamphlet he has written on the subject. This I have compared with the account of Jenners life given in the Dictionary of National Biography, and the result is so illuminating that I will now give the salient facts as briefly as possible.
To begin with, it is clear that Jenner never possessed anything that would be recognised to-day as a medical qualification. At the age of 16 he was apprenticed to a country surgeon and apothecary, and at 21 he was sent for two years as a pupil to Dr. John Hunter, of London, who undoubtedly was the most eminent surgeon of his day, and, like Jenner himself, a keen naturalist. At 23 Jenner returned to his native village and started to practise as surgeon and apothecary. Here he remained for 17 years, just a plain unqualified country surgeon and apothecary, unknown to the world at large, but keeping up a correspondence with Hunter on a variety of natural history subjects. At the end of this period he made his first bid for fame. In 1787 he sent a paper on "The Natural History of the Cuckoo" to the Royal Society, and, as a result, with Hunters influence, he was elected F.R.S. The paper contained a number of commonplace facts and some others, which Jenner stated to be from his own observation. The latter turned out to be purely imaginary, Jenner having accepted the report of a youthful nephew on the incidents he described. The coveted fellowship, therefore, appears to have been obtained by something very nearly approaching fraud. Three years later he applied to St. Andrews University for an M.D., and as St. Andrews in those days was no more squeamish about granting degrees than some of the so-called American Universities are to-day, so long as the fees are forthcoming, Jenner became Dr. Jenner for the modest outlay of £15. Later on in life, after several applications, he was also granted an M.D. by the University of Oxford, though this was not until after his discovery had been generally adopted.
As for the discovery itself, it appears to have been founded upon what Dr. Hadwen calls a "superstition among the dairymaids of Gloucestershire that a person who had suffered from cowpox would never have smallpox." I hardly think anyone would to-day regard this as more than superstition. Smallpox was then one of time commonest, most dreaded diseases in all ranks of society, and it was already the custom to inoculate people with it in order that they should get the disease under the most favourable circumstances. Jenner appears to have bethought himself of testing the Dairymaids superstition, and with this object he inoculated a boy named James Phipps with lymph from a vesicle on the hand of a dairymaid suffering from cowpox in May, 1796. In July of the same year he inoculated the same boy with smallpox by what Dr. Hadwen calls the "bogus Suttonian method," which "afforded no evidence as to protection." Yet it was upon the strength of this solitary experiment that Jenner had launched his discovery upon the world, claiming that cowpox was a prophylactic against smallpox, while to give some sort of scientific colour to the claim he labeled cowpox with the name "Variolae Vaccinae" (smallpox of the cow).
On the later developments and time exploitation of vaccination there is no need to dwell at any length. Jenner obtained both cash and credit. He received £30,000 in grants from Parliament for his wonderful discovery, and all classes, medical and lay, tumbled over themselves in their desire to do him honour, though even then there existed a few sceptics who asked for better proof of the claims made for time new prophylactic. That those claims could not be fully substantiated was proved when he was called upon to attend the son of Earl Grosvenor, who was suffering from confluent smallpox, although vaccinated in infancy by Jenner himself. He thereupon modified his claims for the protective powers of his cowpox vaccine, and he was content to assert that vaccination had modified the disease so that his patients life was preserved.
What strikes me as most remarkable about the whole story is the ease with which Jenner got his theory accepted. It is true that medical research was a very different thing in the early days of the nineteenth century from what it is to-day ; but even then the picture of the whole of time Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons swallowing the theory of an unqualified country apothecary, based on one totally unreliable experiment, seems scarcely credible. Jenners personal bona fides is a different matter. It is unquestionable that he obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Society by humbugging that learned body with his yarn about a cuckoo; but that he deliberately set himself to humbug the whole of the public as well as the medical profession with his "Variolae Vaccinae," I hesitate to believe. I should imagine that he was one of those unscientific researchers who, like the spiritualists, are on the look out for facts to fit their theories, instead of first making sure of their facts. His methods were those of the quack, but of the self-deluded quack. But how any real scientist can accept his theories to-day seems astounding, except under the supposition that they have been supported by later and more conclusive experiments.
From "Truth," January 17, 1923.
SANITATION v. VACCINATION.
THE ORIGIN OF SMALLPOX.
By following the superstitious impulses of Edward Jenner and the ancient tradition of time Gloucestershire dairymaids, the medical profession has lost sight of the vital question, what is the origin of smallpox? The faculty of reasoning upon time subject appears to have become almost extinct; in its place there has arisen a demand for obedience to authority. Fashion has usurped the place of scientific thought, and arbitrary Acts of Parliament and the policemans truncheon have supplanted logical consistency.
When the question is asked, "Why does smallpox break out at all?" the twentieth century scientist answers, "Because time populace have not been protected against it by vaccination." This reply only begs the question. It pre-supposes that smallpox is a natural visitation of Providence which may strike anybody at any moment, and that the only way by which this presumed inevitable evil can be met, is to compel every human being in this world to undergo a process of "protection," which is to render the system "immune" to attack. This is a negative form of reasoning. It leaves unanswered the crucial question, what is the origin of smallpox? Why are we to suppose, as was believed in the eighteenth century, that a smallpox attack is the probable lot of every member of the race? Why must everybody be diseased to protect him against disease, especially if that disease is one from which, owing to altered conditions, lie is never likely to suffer? Surely, if a disease breaks out there must be a cause for it.
THE SOURCE OF ALL "OUTBREAKS."
Now one fact stands out pre-eminently in every part of time world where smallpox has appearednamely, it has been invariably associated with insanitary and unhygienic conditions. From time immemorial it has been called in Austria "The Beggars Disease." It has followed in the wake of filth, poverty, wars, pestilences, famines, and general insanitation, in all ages. It accompanied the clash of arms of the American armies in their struggle for independence, and in their Civil and Spanish wars; it claimed more victims than the battlefield in the ravages of the Crimea; it formed the dark background to the triumphant marches of the German army in 1870; it increased tenfold the horrors of the siege of Paris; and plagued our warriors at Tel-el-Kebir. Even during the late Great War no inconsiderable amount of smallpox occurred amongst all the armies involved wherever conditions of unsanitation triumphed over the scrupulous efforts made to circumvent them. Smallpox outbreaks and epidemics have invariably been the call of Nature to responsible authorities at home: "Put your house in order"; personal municipal, and civic cleanliness has been her unvarying demand, a demand which was couched in one striking injunction by the prophet of old: "Wash and be clean."
I remember 26 years ago there was an outbreak of smallpox at Redruth, in Cornwall. The Press in all parts of the United Kingdom was immediately supplied with exaggerated reports, and scares were created by public vaccinators hundreds of miles away. I went down to investigate the affair on my own account. There were altogether 44 cases; 84 per cent. occurred in vaccinated persons. One-fourth of the cases was located in "Trestrails Row," consisting of seven houses, each containing only two small low-roofed rooms, and with no water connections. One midden privy, in the most disgusting condition, accommodated the seven houses. One of these hovels was occupied by no fewer than seven persons, all of whom contracted smallpox, and out of the total of seven deaths three occurred in this house. Nearly another fourth of the cases was confined to Adelaide Road and Raymond Road, where smallpox first appeared, the houses of which were supplied with uncovered cesspits. Three cases occurred in Falmouth Road, with one death which took place in a house closely hedged in by foul middens, a manure heap, and a piggery. Three more cases and one death occurred in the midst of similar unsanitary conditions at Hockins Court. Midden privies were the order of the day, and the ultimate disposal of the sewage was primitive to a degree. The smallpox rapidly played itself out, and then the municipality corrected the conditions that had been the cause of time outbreak.
I remember, too, the epidemic in Gloucester in 1895-6. I was in and out of the smallpox houses throughout that visitation of nearly 2,000 cases. The echo of it is still heard among time ranks of Jennerian followers, and always with time tragic whisper, "Gloucester was an unvaccinated city!" Never in all time history of professional scaremongering was such a determined effort made to boost vaccination, and never a word was uttered as to the shocking insanitary conditions which produced the tragedy. In fact, those conditions were persistently denied by time officials who were responsible for them.
The smallpox was practically confined to the southern half of the city, where there was no fall for the sewage. The pipes had been hurriedly laid in this new district without concrete base or cemented joints. There was a drought that lasted months; time water supply ran short; flushing of the sewers had to be discontinued, and time sewerage pipes became choked. When, after time epidemic was over, investigation was made, the pipes were found to be broken in all directions; in fact, the whole district offor the most partcrowded houses, many of them back-to-back with no through ventilation, lay over what was nothing more nor less than a huge cesspit. The outlets for the sewer-gas consisted of street manholes, which belched their poison into time atmosphere. I traced the first case of smallpox in every street to the house nearest to a manhole. Wooden stoppers were made to close them down, but they had to be used sparingly lest the sewer-gas should be driven into the houses. Hundreds of the houses were drawing their water supply from shallow wells, liable to contamination by constant leakage into them from house drains; and the sewage-pipes in numerous instances ran under the floors of the houses from the closets at the back to the street in front. Some of the houses had their w.c.s in the back kitchen. In one street of 114 houses the latter were supplied with water declared by the city surveyor to be contaminated with sewage from its source to its delivery, and as it had not force enough to fill the flushing tanks, the w.c.s were never flushed and always choked, the contents being emptied periodically on to the small garden ground attached.
In some of these tiny houses there were seven, nine, and even twelve cases of smallpox. A sixth part of the whole epidemic occurred in three streets. In one street the sewage entered the cellars of the houses, and the choked-up street sewer had to be opened up in the midst of the epidemic. Nearly half the houses in this street had smallpox cases. Then the epidemic caught on in two disgracefully insanitary and overcrowded, ill-ventilated elementary schools. Forty-five children were struck down suddenly in one of them and 31 in the other. The patients were removed to what was called an isolation hospital. It was congregation, not isolation. A woman employed in the early part of the epidemic as solitary night nurse told me that time sight and screaming of these poor children at night as they ran about the wards in delirium so completely unnerved her that she was obliged to leave. They were allowed no water for their fevered skins, time baths were choked with dirty linen, and never used. The little ones were packed three, four, and even five in a bed; vermin was crawling everywhere; no oil was used for the faces, and the poor children scratched themselves till they bled. Of every two taken in to the Stroud Road Hospital one was carried out a corpse; when the mortuary became choked with dead bodies, the bathroom was utilised for this purpose. One child lay for two weeks and two days with her eyes scabbed and not a single drop of water was given to relieve her. When one hospital became full, another one was opened which had been used as a cholera hospital many years before. It was built on stakes in a rough, boggy field; it had no sewerage connections, nor any drainage whatever, and water had to be carried in water-carts over a quarter of a mile of bog to reach it.
The panic became fearful, and a wild, despairing cry went up from the plague-stricken city as the destroying angel sped from house to house in these awful slums. And what was the answer the terror-stricken inhabitants received from the Guardians of Public Health? Still the same mad reply: "These be thy gods, O Israel!" as they pointed to the vaccine lancets, dripping with their filthy venom; in helplessness and fear they implored the people, in a unanimously signed medical manifesto, to bow down and worship at the shrine.
At last the rain came. It washed time atmosphere, it flushed the sewers and drains; it filled the vacuoles of sewer gas in the sandy soil, and the epidemic died down. The councillors who put up at the next municipal contest were one and all indignantly swept away at the polls by the enraged voters, and anti-vaccinationists took their place; a new sewerage system was laid throughout the whole smallpox district at a cost of some £30,000; 20,000 sanitary defects in the houses were rectified, and no smallpox has occurred since, although nearly 90 per cent, of the population is unvaccinated. But even in that awful epidemic, smallpox picked out the vaccinated for attack; two-thirds of the sufferers had been "protected" by time filthy superstitious rite.
SHEFFIELD AND OTHER CASES
I remember Sheffield and its epidemic in 1887-8. No less than 98 per cent of the population had been vaccinated; it was the best vaccinated town in the kingdom the public vaccinators had reaped a richer harvest of bonuses for "successful vaccination" than those of any other town, and yet they had 7,000 cases of smallpox. It originated and clung to an unsanitary area of 175 acres covered with cesspitswhich was called The Croft. The medical profession helplessly cried "vaccinate" and "re-vaccinate"as if the pubic had not already had enough of it. At last the flood-gates of heaven were mercifully opened, and the bountiful rains suddenly accomplished what 56,000 vaccinations had failed to effect.
I went to Middlesbrough in the great epidemic of 1898. I visited every smallpox hospital ward, and investigated the conditions of the houses, and their environment, from whence the smallpox came. As everybody knows, the houses at that time had been run up at an enormous rate, much too fast for the sanitary officials to keep pace with them. The part where the smallpox raged was situated chiefly over a swamp where it was difficult to find foundations for the houses; many of them were raised on piles driven through the soil. The only method of house sanitation in all that district was that of pails in the backyards. But whatever else had been neglected, vaccination had been sedulously attended tothe inhabitants were vaccinated up to 98.4 per cent, of the population. Nevertheless the vaccinated and re-vaccinated hospital officials fell before the disease side by side with the vaccinated and re-vaccinated inhabitants. Nine hospital ward-maids, one trained nurse, one medical man and three policemen fell victims to the disease. Outraged Nature laughed outright at the Jennerian fetish and declared in plain and unmistaken language that if smallpox was to be prevented the conditions which caused it must be remedied. Poisoning human bodies with the products of a foul eruption on a cows udder could only add fuel to the fire by reducing the vital resisting powers of the sufferers.
I call to mind the case of one adult male I interviewed in one of the smallpox hospital wards at that time. He was vaccinated in infancy, had smallpox when eight years old, and was subsequently revaccinated three times. That man died of smallpox. I took a particular interest in that case, and was staggered to find when the official report was published that, owing to his having had the eruption so badly as to cover his vaccination marks, he was actually declared to be "unvaccinated"!
I have visited Glasgow in two of its smallpox epidemics. The slums in which they occurred; the overcrowded and unsanitary condition of the tenements told, the same tale as elsewhere. Nothing but sweeping away, the rookeries, where smallpox invariably, takes hold, can ever save those parts of the city from periodical visitations. Space forbids further reminiscences but it is the same story everywhere. Go back to the records of Old London and we find insanitation and smallpox keeping company throughout.
THE LESSON OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT
Before the passing of the Public Health Act of l875 in this country, every succeeding epidemic of smallpox was worse than its predecessor in spite of more and more compulsory vaccination; but with less and less vaccination and more and more sanitation smallpox has become a comparative curiosity. It is only in unsanitary quarters it can gain a hold. Sir Edwin-Chadwick, the veteran sanitarian, has well said:
Smallpox, typhus, and other fevers occur in common conditions of foul air, stagnant putrefaction, bad house drainage, sewers of deposit, excrement sodden sites, filthy street surfaces, impure water, and overcrowding, and the entire removal of such conditions is the effectual preventive of diseases of those species, whether in ordinary or extraordinary visitations.
When will the medical profession arouse itself to ask the question: "What is the origin of sma1lpox?" When will a Ministry of Health cease to bring discredit upon itself by the advocacy of a disgusting fetish that has proved, itself a failure as a preventive of the disease in every part of the world in which it has been adopted for the last century and a quarter? When will a British Government that boasts of its progress and civilisation cease to ally itself with a filthy, uncivilised, unscientific practice that has done nothing but spread disease and death amongst the populace for generation and which is opposed to the common-sense views of the majority of thinking men and women in the realm?
[Home] [Smallpox] [Dr Hadwen]