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articles of the Association ; he said there was noreason for striking him off the register except thefact that he had advertised the price of spectacles ;this in itself was not a sufficient reason. His counsel
challenged the legal authority of the Association tosay to one of its members " you must obey our code."The court refused the remedy of an injunction.The incident illustrates the uncertainties of a systemof voluntary registration. If Parliament is to beasked to confer upon a representative body ofopticians statutory authority for the keeping of aprofessional register and for the enforcement ofethical standards, there must first be a general agree-ment about the scope of their vocation. It would be
optimistic to introduce a Bill based on Mr. Burford’sassumptions that the modern optician is as fullycompetent to test sight as to dispense spectacles orthat sight-testing is a piece of routine which a boyof 16 picks up in three weeks. Mr. Burford’s ownwitness repudiated these views. The public mustbe protected. When cross-examined about his self-advertisement as an " eminent London eyesightspecialist," Mr. Burford replied that examinationsdid not matter-the important thing was experience." Have you ever asked yourself," inquired the LordChief Justice, " at whose expense you have learned
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
POLIOMYELITIS AND THE PUBLIC
POLIOMYELITIS in this country caused an unusualamount of discussion in the newspapers as well as theprofessional journals this year. Although the diseasehas shown the usual seasonal decline, interest in theproblem remains at a relatively high pitch. Accord-
ing to Public Health Reports, the number of casesreported this year up to the week ending Sept. 18thwas 6391, as compared with 2261 up to the end ofthe week ending Sept. 19th, 1936. Although thisindicates a considerable increase, it is questionablewhether it reached truly epidemic proportions thisyear except possibly in a few communities. Themost debated question was whether schools should beclosed in communities in which the incidence was
relatively high and the decision in this respect variedconsiderably in different parts of the country. In1932 the health officers of several of the larger citiesagreed that the schools should remain open in thepresence of poliomyelitis, but this year those inChicago as well as in some other cities delayed openinguntil the peak had passed. It is still too early toattempt to analyse the results or to determine whetherthere may have been any decrease in incidence as aresult of such closures. The second point of import-ance was whether nasal sprays containing zinc sulphatewhich had been found effective in preventing polio-myelitis in monkeys should be introduced on a largescale in communities with high poliomyelitis rates.Unfortunately this question came up too late inmost communities to receive adequate attention andthe results obtained this year will hardly be significant.Furthermore it has been pointed out that the spraysare irritating and the side actions or possible complica-tions of this attempted preventive are not yet fullyknown.
BILE SALTS FOR ARTHRITIS
It was noted several years ago by several indepen-dent observers that the appearance of jaundice in
patients with arthritis was attended by a dramaticdecrease in pain and remission of symptoms. Atthe last meeting of the American Rheumatism Associa-tion in Atlantic City tentative reports were made of theattempted treatment of arthritis by various prepara-tions of bile salts. Thus Thompson and Wyatttreated 10 cases of chronic atrophic arthritis with
daily intravenous injections of a bilirubin bile-saltmixture for 8-12 days. They reported success in theproduction of the hyperbilirubinsemia and some
remission in symptoms of the arthritis for variableperiods. Hench repeated these experiments, usingbile salts, bile feedings by stomach-tube, trans-fusions of jaundice blood, and experimental jaundicefrom toluylenediamine, but was not able to obtainconsistent results. If the method of Thompson andWyatt can be repeated successfully it will permitclinical investigators to study the phenomenon moreclosely but at present the method has little to recom-mend it as a therapeutic procedure.
ANTAGONISM TO SOCIALISED MEDICINE
The Medical Society of New Jersey while pledgingitself to cooperate with existing departments ofhealth has stated its view that federal control in thepractice of medicine should be confined to the army,navy, and marine corps, war veterans with disabilitiesdirectly due to active duty, and public health servicein a strict sense ; and local government control to themaintenance of institutions for the insane, epileptic,and those having communicable diseases needingisolation. Other phases of the practice of medicinethey feel should be free from governmental super-vision or control. The principle of caring for theindigent by the use of public funds for the paymentof physicians on a reduced fee basis should be sup-ported. Those gainfully employed, but in a so-calledlow wage group, should not receive government aidbut be cared for by private physicians through amutual adjustment of fees on the deferred paymentbasis. Finally the society affirmed its convictionthat compulsory health insurance or any other formof State medicine is not suited to the American peopleand would harm both him who gives and him whotakes.
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
THE third of the series of Honyman Gillespielectures was delivered in Edinburgh last week byProf. D. K. Henderson. His subject was suicidewhich, he said, is a major problem to-day, numberingamong its victims people of every class and everynation. The number of suicides in any country givesan index of the mental and emotional stability of itspopulation. Statistics show that there had been alarge increase in the number of suicides during thelast century.
Prof. Henderson claimed that a suicide is not acoward nor a hero, but one who exhibits feeling tothe highest degree. To the Mohammedans and theJews suicide is unthinkable, but to the Greekphilosophers it was quite reasonable, since theymaintained that the struggle of life was so doomedto defeat that a man was justified in ending it by hisown hand. In the past the church and the lawhave been important factors in controlling suicide-the former by instilling dread of the hereafter for