Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

more important findings in this department of science. It has been said that “the people perish for lack of knowledge,” which, if it be so, is a pathetic situation indeed. It may be also that this lack of knowledge leads to lack of desire and will to exercise the considerable powers they possess for the proper control of the health of communities. Yet there is no department of government in the State where co-operation is so necessary, and at the present time so needed, as in the maintenance of a higher standard of public hygiene.

This little volume may, therefore, be looked upon in some sort, as a missionary handbook, sent forth as a reminder that the physical health and fitness of the people is the primary asset of the British Empire, and the necessary basis of that social and moral reform which has for its end “the creation of a higher type of man.”

GEORGE NEWMAN.

London,
October, 1907.

SINCE the essence of wealth consists in power over men, will it not follow that the nobler and the more in number the persons are over whom it has power, the greater the wealth 2 Perhaps it may even appear, after some consideration that the persons themselves are the wealth. . . In fact, it may be discovered that the true veins of wealth are purple——and not in Rock, but in Flesh-perhaps even that the final outcome and consummation of all wealth is in the producing as many as possible full-breathed, bright. eyed, and happy human creatures. . . . I can even imagine that England may cast all thoughts of possessive wealth back to the barbaric nations among whom they first arose; and that she, as a Christian mother, may at last attain to the virtues and the treasures of a Heathen one, and be able to lead forth her Sons, saying—

“These are My Jewels.”

RUSKIN, Unto this Last.

THE

HEALTH OF THE STATE.

CHAPTER I.

THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF PREVENTIVE MEDICINE.

“It is the province where Medicine joins hands with Common Sense.” SIR JOHN SIMON, K.C.B., F.R.S., First Medical Officer of the Privy Council.

THER: is nothing in the science of modern medicine more remarkable than the new development of the simple proverb that “prevention is better than cure.” The bleeding and drugging of the old physician is giving place to treatment of disease by fresh air, simple living, suitable dieting, and a sane hygiene. More and more do we ally ourselves with Nature and, learning her secrets, her ways of doing things, endeavour to imitate her and work along the line of her laws. The wise physician is he who works not in opposition to her, but in co-operation with her. We are privileged to live in the midst of a great time, when we may daily witness the unfoldings of science to the furtherance and betterment of man's existence. Above all, we are learning the solidarity and interdependence not of physical nature alone but of human society. We are learning that no man liveth unto himself. We are learning, though it be but slowly, that a diseased man is a danger to the State, and that the health of the State is one and the same thing as the health of the people. As Lord Rosebery once said, “the State is the aggregate of the individuals who compose it.” Think of that idea in terms of medical science and you have before you the practical business and not ignoble ideals of the public health service. The rise and progress of State Medicine, or the science of Public Health, is due to at least four factors, namely, the growth of our knowledge, the ravages of disease, the development of local government, and social evolution.

I. The Growth of Knowledge.

The art and practice of medicine possesses a history which runs far back into the records of man's life upon the earth. Probably the men who lived even before the time of recorded history made rude attempts to repair bodily injuries received from wild beasts or from one another in the fierce conflict of primeval life. We know that surgery was already an art when medicine proper was but a phase of superstition, and that both originated with the Egyptians. The first medical writing which has come down to us is known as the Papyrus-Ebers, which was written 3,500 years before Christ. It dealt with the preparation of various medicines “for all the corporeal parts of individuals.” Two thousand years after that came the Vedas, the sacred books of India, containing its oldest records of the healing art; and

« ZurückWeiter »