PHOTOGRAPHY AND MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE.

  • Published on
    30-Dec-2016

  • View
    219

  • Download
    5

Embed Size (px)

Transcript

  • 311

    compared with the preceding year, of 211 per 1000 in thosefrom eighteen to nineteen; but there seems good reasonto doubt how far this difference is correct in point of fact,for there has been a decrease of 166 per 1000 between nine-teen and twenty. These two facts combined lead to a strongsuspicion that, under the previous limit, there must havebeen a systematic overrating of their ages by lads who wereanxious to enlist, but were under the regulation age.There has been a decrease also, though by no meansso marked, at all the ages above twenty. There hasbeen a very great increase in the proportion of recruitsfrom 5 ft. 3 in. to 5 ft. 4 in. in height, and a considerable onealso in those from 5 ft. 4 in. to 5 ft. 5 in., and a decrease atall heights above that. In the weights of the recruits therehas also been a great falling off ; there were 277 per 1000under 120lbs., while in 1882 the proportion was only 171per 1000. The chest measurements yield similar unfavour-able results, there being a considerable increase in thoseunder 34 in., and a corresponding decrease above that size.These results, we fear, show too clearly that in order toraise the additional number of recruits required for thearmy in 1883, it was necessary to reduce the standard ofphysical quality as measured by age, height, weight, andchest development.The reports of the various principal medical officers on

    the sanitary condition of the stations under their chargeafford good evidence that this very important subject isnot overlooked, but that all defects likely to prove in-jurious to the health of the troops are brought promptly tothe notice of the military authorities. That they are notalways remedied so quickly as might be desired is a con-sequence, no doubt, of the expense involved in the necessarymeasures of improvement and the difficulty of extractingfrom the Treasury the amounts requisite for the purpose ;but the work appears to go on steadily, and the results, asshown by improved health and a reduced death-rate, fullyjustify the expenditure involved in efficient sanitation.We regret again to miss from the Appendix the annual

    "Report of the Progress of Hygiene for the Year,"begun by Professor Parkes, and so ably carried outby him and, till the last two years, by his successor,Dr. De Chaumont. But there are some valuable paperson other subjects. Surgeon-General Longmore has fur-nished a report of several very interesting cases ofwounds and injuries received in Egypt during the cam-paign of 188, which, on being invalided to England,came under his care at Netley. He has also prepared ashort paper on the important subject of " First FieldDressing Packets," and "a report on the Conference heldat Geneva between the 1st and 6th of September, 1884, bythe representatives of various Governments and NationalAid Societies, at the invitation of the Red Cross Interna-tional Committee of Geneva." In the latter he has given abrief history of the origin of the Geneva Convention of 18G,and the subsequent international conferences, with a noticeof the national aid societies which were thus called intoexistence. This is followed by a report of the discussions onthe various questions submitted to the Geneva Conference of1884, which Professor Longmore attended as the delegate ofthe British Government; and it concludes with a detailedaccount of the exhibition at Geneva of improvised ambulanceequipment, by Dr. Port of the Bavarian Army, under thethree heads of-(I) improvised means of carriage of patients;(2) improvised means of dresssing wounds in the field; and(3) improvised means of hospitalisation. The paper is one ofa very practical character, and deserves the careful study ofall who are interested in such questions.Surgeon-Major Godwin has contributed a good surgical

    report of cases of wounds treated in the Second Division ofthe Victoria Hospital at Suez, of which he was in charge.The Appendix also contains a reprint of the instructionsissued by the Director-General for the information of theofficers of the medical staff of the Suakim ExpeditionaryForce. As we noticed these fully when they were firstissued, it is unnecessary to make any further remark uponthem than again to commend them to the attention of allofficers (military and medical) who are ever likely to beemployed on field service. The report, of which we haveendeavoured to bring to the notice of our readers some ofthe most important points, contains much valuable informa-tion, and is well calculated to maintain the reputation ofthe department from which it emanates.

    1 THE LANCET, March 21st, 1885.

    PHOTOGRAPHY AND MEDICAL JURIS-PRUDENCE.

    THE GALTON COMPOSITES IN THEIR RELATION TOTHE DETERMINATION OF IDENTITY.

    BY WILLIAM MATHEWS (BRISTOL).[SECOND NOTICE.]

    THE achievement of consolidating into a single typicalphotograph the portraits of six or seven separate sitters hasnaturally awakened some curiosity. Other and yet moreremarkable operations may be expected to follow. Littleby little the field of inquiry will extend itself. In thenatural course of evolution, possibilities will loom intoview that, thus far, are not within the scope and purpose ofthe experimentalists. One of the more inevitable of these-approaching developments falls so entirely within the path-way of procedure that its investigation cannot be muchlonger postponed. In this very novel portraiture of the"composite order" there are some attendant phenomenathat are of a nature at once to challenge observation and to.lead in the direction indicated. Meanwhile, at the verythreshold, it becomes evident that due attention has notbeen yet conferred upon the conjointure-certainly under-less exacting conditions-of an arranged series of the photo-graphs of the self-same sitter. Of such composites it isapparent that their superstructure should be constituted ofportraits taken at definite and well-separated epochs. Thechanges which ensue from youth to maturity and frommaturity to decadence are clearly amenable to certain phy-siological limitations. These by this time photographymight have definitively elucidated. The "seven ages" of the-dramatist display, we may rest assured, various points incommon which the photographer, as well as the psycholo-gist, might nowadays detect and investigate. That the" boy is father to the man" is admitted. But what a por-trait will that be in which the boy, the lover, the soldier, andthe justiceare conjoined into one harmonious photograph rThat will be a " modern instance " worthy of the age!

    In the Galton Composites" it has been noted that in thosethat are the most successful the final outcome is in someparticulars more effective and life-like than are the separateportraits of the members of the group. If the question behere mooted, tentatively, Whence comes this curious andunexpected consequence ? it is hoped it may not be deemedwaste effort. It should be recognised that the picture-assumes in some degree the aspect of being in relief. Theappearance might be fitly styled " medalesque." Howhappens this ? In reply, it may be pointed out that in a.kindred branch of art-in all such engravings as are designedto assume the appearance of medallion work or basso-relievo--the artist adopts a given expedient which is readilyappreciable. Along the margins, between the half-tones andthe darker outlines of the engraved work, there is alwaysinterposed a zone of absolute white representative of theplay of light upon the illuminated edges of the design.Similarly, it will always occur that in the case of super-posed portraits, and, a fortiori, in those in which the out-lines are the more perfectly conformable, a broken zoneof lighter tinge will skirt the outer shadows just wherethe "points in common" most manifestly approximate.Here, then, we obtain a glimpse of the conditionsunder which this effect shall become the most markedlypronounced in its degree. And, in this connexion,it must be regarded as already experimentally ascer-tained that in the instance of an individual who hasreached maturity the typical form of the face will thence-forward be maintained without manifest or appreciabledeparture.1 It is clear that under such circumstances the-fiducial lines remain in unison, and that there will arise nordifficulties in effecting the absolute superimposition of theportraits. Meantime, it may be regarded as inevitable thatin the interval between two or more sittings the sitter hasbecome either more plump or more attenuated. Whicheverevent has happened, the superimposition will be attendedwith an identical issue. Interposed between the half-tonesof the facial areas and the exterior marginal shadows there

    1 In the conjointure of a photograph of Mr. Gladstone of thirty yearsante with one of the present date this effect is strikingly illustrated.In such case each portrait receives its due modicum of exposure.

  • 312

    will appear narrow belts of lighter tinge, by which thecoupled images will be differentiated. From this vantageground, therefore, we betoken the assured attainment of anovel and artistic result in photographic portraiture. Thisit is for the ingenious to develop. More to our presentpurpose is the consideration that medical jurisprudencemay find here the adjunct of a new and indubitable test ofpersonal identification. Here, if anywhere, we may catchsight of "that function which science asks of photography,and which medical jurisprudence is entitled to ask ofboth." Need it be added that this presumed terra in-.eognita has been already practically, if but partially,explored, and that it now awaits only that formal annexa-tion to the ever-extending realms of science which,- sooner or later, must inevitably take effect.

    CHOLERA INTELLIGENCE AT HOME ANDABROAD.

    THE story of cholera in Spain is :still one of extension,some half-dozen fresh provinces having been added duringthe past week to those which were previously infected, andthe total daily mortality having shown a further tendencyto increase. The largest numbers of deaths are recordedfrom the provinces of Castellon, Saragossa, Teruel, Alba-cete, and Grenada; and the greatest increase has occurredin the city and province of Granada, in each of which theodaily average deaths now amount to 160 in number. AtMarseilles the disease is also on the increase, although itmay be stated that no great bound, such as cholera oftentakes after a slow and steady increase, has as yet occurred.Panic has, however, set in, and an exodus from the cityhas already commenced on a large scale. Rumours of furtherextensions in Northern Italy, in the Basses Pyrenees and atGibraltar, are floating about. None of them have been sub-stantiated, but they are taken advantage of in order tosecure the imposition of many most vexatious quarantineregulations. Thus, Spain, where cholera is killing from 1200to 1600 persons daily, put Gibraltar in quarantine, and untiltwo days ago stopped communication with the mainlandbecause a single individual in the rock fortress had died of asuspicious form of diarrhoea. France, too, is complaining ofthe injury done to her port of Marseilles by the strictnessof the regulations which have been imposed both by Spainand Gibraltar. As regards the latter place, it is highly pro-bable that the action taken is absolutely necessary toexistence. Unless Gibraltar imposes stringent measuresof quarantine as regards all places which Spain chooses toregard as suspicious, communication with the mainland ishindered by means of sanitary cordons, and the ordinarymeans of livelihood are seriously affected. It is the systemitself which is vicious, and France is perhaps more rspon-sible for its maintenance than any other country, for it washer representatives who at Rome took the lead in the crusadeagainst replacing quarantine by a reasonable system ofinspection and of sanitary administration.

    At home rumours of mischief have also commenced, butthe only case that has so far justified suspicion was thatof the sailor Douglas, who, having been at Marseilles onboard a ship which was infected, travelled overland toBristol, and then died suddenly under circumstances which,called for all the vigilant measures which were so expedi-tiously adopted by Dr. Davies, the medical officer of healthto the port and city. No extension of the disease fromwhich the patient died has taken place, for which, if thecase was of a choleraic character we have probably tothank the local sanitary administration. But from the firstthere were circumstances associated with the case whichgave grounds for considerable doubt as to the actual natureof the malady.London, we learn, is making some preparations in case

    cholera appears in our midst. Last year the MetropolitanAsylums Board arranged with a number of hospitals andinstitutions to set apart beds for cholera patients should

    the necessity arise, and from the letter published in thedaily press from Sir Sydney Waterlow as to the arrange-ments which have been made at St. Bartholomews Hos-pital, we may infer that the details determined on last yearwill hold good for the present one, and that a very sub.stantial first line of defence, in so far as isolation is con.cerned, is in actual readiness. An impetus has also beengiven to other sanitary questions, and it is evident fromanswers to questions in Parliament that some temporarymeasures with respect to the state of the Thames and theLea are about to be undertaken. It will, however, beimperative that these should be followed by permanentmeasures, and it is to be hoped that the public will not beput off by anything short of this.

    Curious cases of immunity from cholera are againbrought under our notice, and especially with referenceto the influence of such substances as sulphur and copperin preventing attacks, and it is suggested especially thatsulphur by its various compounds may be used as a curativeand preventive agent. The statements made last year asto the immunity fron cholera amongst those employed incopper-works was hardly substantiated, but the subject isone of interest, and if any trustworthy data are available asto cholera amongst persons employed in chemical and otherallied works they would be of value.

    THE VOLUNTEER MEDICAL STAFF CORPS ATALDERSHOT.

    ON Saturday, August 8th, a hundred men and eight officersof this corps proceeded to Aldershot for a weeks trainingwith the Medical Staff Corps of the regular army. On ar-riving at the station the corps was welcomed by the medicalofficers of the depot. Hundreds of men of the Medical StaffCorps came to the station to welcome the much-talked-ofcorps, and altogether a royal reception was accorded, Theofficers were made honorary members of the medical staff,and the kindness extended by these officers was of theheartiest description, and was thoroughly appreciated, Thesergeants of the Medical Staff Corps entertained at theirmess the non-commissioned officers of the Volunteer Corpson their arrival.On Monday the two companies of the corps took part in

    the field day, and performed their work...