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LAST year the number of suicides in France was 5617, ofwhom 4435 were men. Hanging was the measure resortedto by 2500 individuals, 1514 drowned themselves, 895 blewout their brains with firearms, 407 suffocated themselveswith charcoal fumes, 129 swallowed poison, 154 threw them-selves from public buildings, 13 elected to be cut to piecesunder railway trains. The assumed causes stated in their
order of frequency were as follows -Insanity, drunkenness,physical suffering, domestic trouble, and fear of poverty.The greater number of suicides belonged to the class of
A NATIONAL BAZAAR in aid of the building fund of theLivingstone Medical Missionary Memorial Institution will
be held in Edinburgh in December next, under the specialpatronage of the Princess Louise. The institution will bedevoted to the training of medical missionaries, and willperpetuate the name of Livingstone in connexion with theenterprise he so earnestly advocated.
DURING the month of March the deaths of 2993 personswere recorded in the eight principal towns of Scotland.The zymotic class of disease caused 346 deaths, being thelowest mortality in any month since the Registration Actcame into operation in 1855.
THE public health of Cape Town is still very unsatisfac-tory. Scarlet fever continues to prevail, and it is stated bylast advices that during the first ten days of March thedeath-rate rose to 68 per annum of the population.
SIR HENRY THOMPSON takes the chair at the anniversarydinner of University College, which is fixed for May 16th.The attendance of old students is requested, to revive in-terest in the College.
HER MAJESTY THE QuEEN has graciously accepted Mr.Henry Smith’s Memoir of Sir William Fergusson.
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE VACCINATION.
IN a recent letter addressed to the President of the LocalGovernment Board by Mr. Charles T. Pearce, a member ofthe Royal College of Surgeons, but an opponent of revaccina-tion, were published some statistics purporting to show thenumber of successful vaccinations in England and Walesduring the twenty-four years 1852--75, and the proportion ofthese successful vaccinations to births registered. The
figures published by Mr. Pearce are thoroughly misleading,for instead of being, as he describes them, "numbers ofpersons successfully vaccinated," they are in reality only thenumber of persons successfully vaccinated by public vacci-nators, and take no account of those vaccinated by othermedical practitioners. According to Mr. Pearce, the pro.portions of successfully vaccinated persons to births in
1873,1874, and 1875 did not exceed 602, 58-4, and 58-5 percent. respectively; if these proportions were correct itwould follow that during those three years more than 40per cent. of the children born were not successfully vacci-nated. These figures are undoubtedly acceptable to the oppo-nents of vaccination, who have been much disconcerted bythe calculated rates of mortality from small-pox among vacci-nated and unvaccinated children aged between one and fiveyears in London, published by the Registrar-General in hisweekly returns. These calculations were based upon theassumption that 92 per cent. of the children living in Londonat these ages have been successfully vaccinated. If thenumbers of unvaccinated are as shown by Mr. Pearce, andnot as calculated by the Registrar-General, the rate of
mortality from small-pox among the unvaccinated wouldbe over-stated. It is desirable, therefore, to point out the
extent of error in Mr. Pearce’s figures. They are taken fromthe fifth annual report of the Local Gwernment Board(page 364), and are correctly reproduced, with the importantexception of the omission of the words " by the public vac-cinators" in the heading to the table. Previously to theVaccination Act of 1871 there existed no means for record-ing the number of vaccinations performed by medical prac-titioners other than public vaccinators ; but since 1S71,all successful vaccinations are reported to, and recordedby, the vaccination officers appointed by the several boardsof guardians. Up to and including 1872, however, the re-turns of successful vaccinations by public vaccinatorsmade no distinction between primary vaccinations andrevaccinations, and in the course of the epidemic of1871-2 the proportion of revaccinations was very consi-derable. Neither did the Local Government Board Reportsafford the means for ascertaining the numbers of successfulprimary public vaccinations performed upon infants underone year of age, and upon children and others over thatage, in any year prior to 1873. The returns for 1873 aretherefore the earliest which enable the numbers of childrenrespectively vaccinated by public vaccinators and privatepractitioners to be estimated. As Dr. Seaton’s digest of thevaccination returns for 1874 is not yet published, 1873 is theonly year for which the requisite facts are available. Mr.Pearce states in his letter to the President of the LocalGovernment Board that only 501,189 persons were success-fully vaccinated in 1872, or equal to 60 2 per cent. upon thenumber of births. The true number of primary public vac-cinations under one year of age was indeed only 469,538. Itappears, however, from Dr. Seaton’s complete digest forthe year, that the true number of successful infant vacci.nations was 704,666, from which it may be inferred that235,128 children born in 1873 were vaccinated by privatepractitioners. Thus, of the children born in that year, noless than 85 per cent. were successfully vaccinated, insteadof the 60 per cent., as stated by Mr. Pearce, and of thenumber successfully vaccinated only 67 per cent. were vac-cinated by public vaccinators, and 33 per cent. by othermedical practitioners. It should also be stated that, inaddition to the 85 per cent. of the children born in 1873that were successfully vaccinated, nearly ten per cent. diedpreviously to the usual vaccination age, and that less thanfive per cent. were left unaccounted for. So far as may bejudged by the imperfect figures at present published relatingto the vaccinations in 1874 and 1875, it would appear thatthe proportion of public to total vaccinations is deslinin.We can, however, but regret that the Local GovernmentBoard should find it impossible to publish their completevaccination digests until more than two years after the closeof the year to which they relate.
THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS.1
j AT a quarterly meeting of the Council, held on Thursdaylast, the resolution that certificates of attendance on lee-
; tures and dental hospital practice shall not be receivedfromany lecturer who does not hold a registerable surgical
, qualification was again referred to a committee. The
. minutes of the preceding meeting, relating to the question,
of giving effect to Russell Gurney’s Act, were confirmed.What the resolutions were we are unable positively to state
. in consequence of a determination on the part of some of £
; the members of the Council to preserve them private andi confidential. It is, however, rumoured that the general
tenour of the resolutions is against the admission of womento the membership or fellowship of the College, although theCouncil is not unwilling, separately or in conjunction withthe conjoined authorites, to consider the advisability of
I admitting them through some other’ registerable title.Through the adoption of Mr. H>1ncock’s motion, the Con-joint Scheme, when complete, will require to be again dis-cussed in its legal bearings. The Jacksonian Prize, for thebest essay on the Treatment of Cancer of the Rectum, wasawarded to Mr. Harrison Cripps. The subject for the nextJacksonian Prize Essay is Glaucoma. The subject forthe next College Triennial Prize is the Physiology andIr juries of the Third, Fourth, and Sixth Cranial Nerves.