South Australia - Health
- Influenza and Colds
- General Health Matters
- Food Adulteration
- Infant Paralysis
- Public Health
- Smallpox and Vaccination
- Social Diseases
- Infant Mortality
- Medical Professions
- Flying Doctors
- Lodges and the Medical Profession
Anaesthesia"New Method of Painless Surgery" is in the Register,
5 May 1847, page 4e; also see
31 July 1847, page 9c,
26 October 1847, page 2c.
An operation using ether is reported in the Register on
2 October 1847, page 3a; also see
22 October 1847, page 3f,
11 February 1848, page 2d,
"Anaesthetic Agents" is in the Register,
7 and 12 February 1859, pages 2f and 3g.
"Laughing Gas as an Anaesthetic" is in the Observer,
17 April 1869, page 11g.
"Before the Days of Chloroform" is in the Register,
22 January 1903, page 5f,
"Deaths Under Chloroform" is in the Observer,
29 November 1873, page 8a,
3 April 1875, page 4c,
30 August 1890, page 28d,
2 April 1875, page 6a,
28 August 1890, page 4g,
7 January 1895, page 4f,
2 September 1893, page 32b,
12 January 1895, page 14e,
26 December 1896, ppage 15d,
7 January 1895, page 3f,
19 December 1895, page 3e,
21 December 1896, page 2d,
30 October 1897, page 4d,
7 May 1898, page 15a,
6 February 1897, pages 4f-5g and
5 January 1901, page 6f.
"Under Chloroform" is in the Register,
14 February 1879, page 5g,
22 February 1879, page 21e.
"A New Local Anaesthetic" obtained from Euphorbia drummondi by Dr John Reid of Port Germein is discussed in the Observer,
5 March 1887, page 36d.
"Modern Painless Surgery" is in the Observer,
5 December 1896, page 34a.
"A Remarkable Surgical Operation Under Hypnotism" is in the Observer,
4 May 1895, page 16e.
"Death Under Ether" is in the Observer,
7 September 1895, page 15b,
21 December 1895, page 5c,
2 November 1897, page 4i,
9 September 1898, page 6a,
17 November 1899, page 4h,
18 November 1899, page 27e,
2 December 1899, page 28e,
17 May 1904, page 7f-h,
17 May 1904, page 3g,
18 November 1905, page 8i,
22 November 1905, page 8h,
"Chloroform in Surgery" on
17 August 1911, page 8d,
"Chloroform and Operations" in the Register,
3 August 1912, page 14d.
"Anaesthetic Dangers" is in the Advertiser,
29 July 1921, page 9b.
"Death Under Anaesthetic" is in the Express,
5 February 1914, page 4a,
13 August 1921, page 45a.
"Modern Painless Surgery" is in the Register,
28 November 1896, page 4h,
5 December 1896, page 34a.
"Painless Surgery" is in the Register,
10 December 1900, page 4e.
"Surgery Past and Present" is in the Register
6 February 1904, page 4d.
"Death Under Anaesthetic" is in the Register,
27 and 29 July 1921, pages 7f and 7c.
Flying Doctors"Aerial Doctors" is discussed in the Register,
28 July 1921, page 7d,
15 July 1922, pages 6h-8d,
"Flying Doctors" on
1 November 1927, pages 8d-12a;
"Aerial Medical Service" is in the Observer,
5 November 1927, page 11a.
Photographs are in the Chronicle,
18 September 1926, page 40.
"A Chat With Rev John Flynn" is in the Register,
7 September 1925, page 12f.
Also see Advertiser,
6 November 1924, page 13e,
28 and 29 May 1925, pages 10d and 12i,
3 and 25 November 1927, pages 12g and 15e,
5 November 1927, page 11,
29 September 1933, page 7b,
25 October 1933, page 9c,
1 December 1933, page 12f,
10 August 1936, page 24f,
7 August 1936, page 8f,
8 August 1936, page 4,
26 October 1936, page 6c,
2 and 20 November 1936, pages 6c and 6c,
12 February 1937, page 24e.
"Aerial Medical Services" is in the Advertiser,
2, 3, 8 and 27 July 1937, pages 28a, 26f, 18e and 19a.
"Missing Flying Doctor [Fenton]" is in the Advertiser,
28, 29 and 30 September 1937, pages 18d, 19f and 23e,
28 September 1937, page 1a.
Lodges and the Medical Profession"Medical Treatment for Lodge Patients" is in the Express,
19, 23, 24 and 28 April 1884, pages 3g, 3c, 3c and 3b,
"Lodges and Medical Men" on
24 May 1884, page 3e.
"Lodge Doctors" is in the Chronicle,
24 January 1891, page 5c.
"Well-to-do Lodge Patients - Objections by Medical Men" is in the Advertiser,
6 and 7 April 1905, pages 6e and 7d,
6 June 1905, page 8d.
"Friendly Society Dispensaries" is in the Observer,
20 August 1910, page 47c,
2 September 1911, page 41a,
13 and 15 March 1911, pages 4g and 4i,
7 July 1911, page 3d,
29 September 1911, page 4g.
Doctors' objections to the Friendly Societies' Dispensary are aired in the Register,
30 and 31 August 1911, pages 4h and 8f,
4 and 9 September 1911, pages 10i and 19g,
24 August 1912, page 46a.
"Lodges and Doctors" is in the Observer,
1 February 1913, page 46b.
"Doctors and Lodges - An Important Agreement" is in the Advertiser,
24 September 1917, page 4g,
"Lodge Dispensing" on
24 May 1926, page 7c,
4 June 1926, page 18h; also see
24 and 26 September 1927, pages 23f and 23c,
30 November 1927, page 20c,
10 December 1927, page 16f.
An Essay on Patent Medicines and "Quackery"
(As seen at the turn of the 20th century)
J. Bullock has received ex Elizabeth Buckham, a large quantity of Bates's Compound Breast Salve and which can confidently be recommended as infallible remedy for inflamed or broken breasts. It is also a certain cure for cuts, wounds, burns, boils, witlows and of great relief to hard and soft corns.
(Observer, 1 July 1843, page 2.)
The following words appeared in the South Australian Gazette & Mining Journal in 1849 and they are just as meaningful today:
There is something in the moral aspect of a secret remedy that ought to put mankind on their guard against it. The possession of health is so valuable and to the poor so necessary; pain and suffering are so dreadful that it is the duty of everyone to communicate every assistance in his power to relieve it.
With all the industry and accumulated knowledge of [our] age, there are too many diseases which baffle all the skill of the profession, and there must be something suspicious about those who, affirming themselves to be in possession of a remedy for cancer or consumption, conceal the knowledge of it in their own bosoms.
Some patent medicines are harmless and insignificant, and their only effect is to amuse the patient with delusive hopes, and to trifle away the time during which the constitution could bear the employment of active remedies. In other cases, by the alacrity and hope they inspire, they impart a salutary energy to the mind; and hypochondriacs may be brought to use rational methods of cure, whilst they expect everything from their boasted specific.
Some patent medicines are merely those which every physician prescribes and which every druggist sells; but which quacks disguise, and multiply the price of manifold. Drugs of the same composition as Anderson's pills, Barclay's anti-bilious pills and James's analeptic pills could all be purchased at a much cheaper rate.
But there were other kinds of 'quack' medicines of a somewhat more dangerous tendency and against which the ignorant should be put on their guard. Such are all those which profess to be an infallible cure for cancers, which promise to cure syphilitic complaints without the use of mercury and those which cure colds and consumption.
To its pretentious habit of quacking about nothing in particular, the otherwise inoffensive duck owes its apparent association with the unscientific part of healing. Time was when the medical charlatan conducted one of the noisiest of known trades; and as, at an old English fair, for example, each empiric endeavoured to out-quack his rivals, the contest obviously suggested to our ancestors an assemblage of ducks on the village green.
Quackery has undergone great changes and has become less clamorous; but the extension of scientific knowledge does not seem to have reduced it. Indeed, the diversification of charlatanism would make it appear that the number of its practitioners tends to increase.
But it is indisputable nevertheless that the activities of the genuinely spurious quack-salver are still carried on in all parts of Australia, and that incalculable damage is being done to the health of the community.
A case of quackery was evident in Adelaide in 1854. George Handking (born circa 1821), labourer, took ill complaining of pains in his head and bowels and was attended by an unqualified medical practitioner, Mr Luther Scammell, of Hindmarsh, who mistook the nature of the disease and, in consequence, treated him incorrectly 'and in all probability hastened his death.'
An inquest was held at the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton, where Mr Scammell stated in his own evidence that he treated the man for rheumatism and that he considered that he cured him, as he told him he would want no more medicine, and recommended a nutritious diet and a little porter.
Subsequently, a post mortem examination revealed that the man died of an inflammation of the liver and kidneys caused by an internal abscess. In evidence, Dr Woodforde, when asked by the coroner as to the case with which the real cause of the pain could be detected, said that, if he were not able to determine the nature of the disease from the symptoms, he should not account himself fit to practise.
It appeared from Mr Scammell's evidence that he had no diploma from any college, that he had never received a complete and regular professional education, but that he had attended several medical lectures at hospitals, had practised for five years and expected shortly to get a regular licence. In case he should get the licence the Court said 'we should consider it judicious in him to select a new arena for the exercise of his talents, as it is not unlikely that Thebartonians troubled with a pain in their backs will for the future be chary of allowing Mr Scammell to treat them...'
In fairness to Mr Scammell it must be said that Drs Bayer and Woodforde, who conducted the post mortem examination, admitted that 'death would have probably occurred from the disease under any treatment, though the false treatment to which he was subjected was calculated to hasten it.'
It is some years since a travelling, well-advertised quack oculist and aurist visited Adelaide, and the number of partially blind and deaf he rendered entirely so, was appalling. This scoundrel had to leave hurriedly to escape the vengeance of the relatives of one of his victims, who were about to take the law into their own hands, and execute summary justice upon him and although lynching was too good for him he saved his skin.
There have been many charlatans here since, who have ruined the chances of longer or shorter existence of persons relying on their advertised promises, by their ignorant treatment of cases which they were no more able to correctly diagnose than a cook's mate. I knew of several sufferers from the treatment of these men and women who shrink from exposing their folly.
Not long since and old lady, who was partially paralysed, came to Adelaide to consult doctors in the hope that some one of them might be able to restore her to the use of her limbs, but all the members of the profession she saw assured her that she was incurable - not so, however, a quack whom she unfortunately called upon. He could cure her straight away for £30 down and fees as the case proceeded. He bled the poor old body of all the means she possessed and then killed her off in one act and did not go to the funeral as an honourable medical attendant should.
Another case came under my notice some time back; a gentleman paralysed from the hips downward went to a female quack who was then in the city, who asserted that she could put him right in a very short time for £20 down and ten shillings a visit for massage purposes. This patient was, however, too many guns for the quack - 'No cure, no pay', he said, 'cure me and I will give you fifty pounds'.
The lady, not liking to back down on herself pretended to undertake the case and called on the patient once. He, out of pure cussedness, called on her in his invalid chair about three times a week for advice and medicine until she had to skedaddle on account of the police bursting up her business.
General NotesAlleged cures derived from Holloway's pills and ointment are in the Observer,
25 March 1848, page 3a,
20 April 1850, page 1c.
"Quack Medicines" is discussed in the SA Gazette and Mining Journal,
22 February 1849, page 4c,
"Unqualified Medical Practitioners" in the Register,
21 and 27 February 1854, pages 2g and 3a,
6 August 1864, page 1e (supp.).
11 may 1875, page 2a.
An editorial on unqualified medical practitioners is in the Advertiser,
26 January 1880, page, 4e; also see
31 January 1880, page 6b.
"Quacks and Quackery" is in the Advertiser on
27 August 1864, page 2g,
31 August 1864, page 3a,
"Medical Impostors" on
16 January 1866, page 2c.
"Medical Men and Quacks" is in the Observer,
17 January 1880, page 107a,
6 July 1889, page 37b,
6, 8 and 12 January 1880, pages 5g, 6d and 4d-4g-5g.
"An Alleged Quack Doctor" is put to trial and reported upon in the Advertiser,
6 December 1890, page 5g,
31 December 1890, page 4g,
4 July 1891, page 25c.
The subject is discussed in the Register,
3 September 1887, page 4f.
"Doctors and Quacks" is in the Register,
1 July 1889, page 5a; also see
20 and 22 November 1890, pages 4h-5b-6d and 6e,
6 December 1890, pages 5a-5b-7c.
"Medical Quackery" is in the Observer,
3 January 1891, page 25a,
"Quacks in South Australia" in the Register,
17 January 1895, page 7f,
"Not Mere Quackery" in the Advertiser,
2 November 1901, page 10d.
"A Charge of Conspiracy - The Pink Pills Prosecution" is in the Advertiser,
2 April 1898, page 6i,
9 April 1898, page 16d.
Cartoons are in The Critic,
7 January 1899, page 31,
11 March 1899, page 29.
"Some Comical Quacks" is in the Observer,
8 July 1899, page 33a,
"Concerning Quacks" on
12 August 1905, page 41b,
9 August 1905, page 8f,
5 September 1905, page 4f.
"Illegal Operations" is in the Register,
26 January 1906, pages 4c-7a,
11 December 1906, page 5c,
12 January 1907, page 11a,
19 and 27 March 1907, pages 5a and 7g,
11 April 1907, page 3f.
"Alleged Illegal Operation - A ""Doctor"" Arrested" is in the Observer,
15 December 1906, page 36a,
"A Nurse Arrested After Illegal Operation" on
23 March 1907, page 42a; also see
13 April 1907, page 38b,
4 April 1908, page 42a,
11 March 1911, page 50a,
22 March 1913, page 47e,
2 August 1913, page 45a.
"An Amateur Healer - Hypnotism and Magnetism" is in the Express,
12 March 1909, page 3h.
"Cancer and Quackery" is in the Register,
27 July 1912, page 12c.
"What is a Quack" is in the Register,
18 January 1913, page 12f,
22 May 1925, page 8f.
"The Harvest of Quackery" is in the Observer,
11 May 1923, page 39a.
"Lum You's Cancer Treatment - A Complete Failure" is in the Register,
22 and 25 September 1923, pages 9c and 7d.
"Quackery" is in the Register,
22 May 1925, page 8f.
"The Decline of Quackery" is in the Register,
30 July 1927, page 8d.
"The Harvest of Quackery" is in the Register,
6 May 1929, page 6c.