HOME HYGIENELIBRARY CATALOG HADWIN'SRALLY TALK
Dr. Hadwen's First Article
From "Truth," January 3, 1923
THE FRAUD OF VACCINATION
Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace in hisbook The Wonderful Century, devoted a chapter to "Vaccination, a Delusion";Dr. Charles Creighton, an acknowledged authority on epidemiology, declared independentlythat "the bottom had been knocked out of a grotesque superstition," a conclusionirresistibly forced upon anybody who gives unbiased study to the subject. Yet sostrong is the effect of authority, custom, and endowment, and so prone are peopleto save themselves the trouble of personal investigation by the simple process ofaccepting the decisions of "the majority" (which they thereby swell, renderingthe process easier to others), that it has been possible, within the last few weeks,for a gigantic scare to be got up in the interests of vaccination on the ground ofan altogether insignificant outbreak of smallpox almost entirely confined to oneEast End workhouse, where the Public Vaccinator himself was one of the first to falla prey to the disease.
One well-known daily paper, not a household word for accuracy,committed itself to the ludicrous statement that two of the adult patients, havingbeen protected by vaccination in infancy, thereby secured a mild attack, ignoringthe fact that vaccination in infancy had not prevented the actual death of others.Jenner declared positively that a primary vaccination protected for life, and hisfollowers, while obliged to drop this claim (for which piece of unsupported bombastbe received £30,000), have fallen back upon the theory that it at least mitigatesthe disease. Evidently these have been "mitigated"-deaths.
SMALLPOX NO LONGER SERIOUS
According to a reply given recently by Major Boyd Carpenterin Parliament, 56 provincial and 7 London districts have had cases of smallpox duringthe past year. And in all these places many thousands of unvaccinated persons, calleda "danger to others," have not even been a danger to themselves, the totaldeaths, including vaccinated and unvaccinated, having only been 27, with the unprecedentedlylow death-rate of barely 3 per cent. The total number of cases all over the countryis given as 902, of whom 271 were vaccinated and 625 either "unvaccinated"or" presenting no evidence of vaccination" and incubation cases; 6 caseswith no information.
We are struck here with the remarkable fact that two distinctclasses are included among the unvaccinated, namely, those which presented no doubt,and those apparently examined for "evidence" which was not found. Clearlythe latter cases are those in which the patients declared that they had been vaccinated.The marks may have been concealed by the eruption, or their vaccination may not have"taken"--in which case, according to the theory, smallpox ought not tohave "taken" either. This circumstance, together with the tricks that canbe played with the classification during a scare--counting as unvaccinated thosealleged to have been "probably" sickening before the vaccination took place--rendersthe classification highly unsatisfactory. I have had personal experience of the tendencyto put down a smallpox case as unvaccinated. Every kind of disingenuousness is resortedto in order to make the diagnosis agree with a preconception. The fact has ere nowbeen confessed by the offender. Even where--if anywhere--the classification is correct,it must be remembered that the unvaccinated class is liable to contain children sodelicate that the public vaccinator has refused to vaccinate them, infants a fewdays or weeks old whose parents are among the sufferers, and others who cannot befairly compared with the normal majority. In the recent Poplar outbreak an officialof the Ministry of Health has stated that only 19 per cent of the child populationis vaccinated, and practically everywhere the percentage of the unvaccinated exceedsthat of the vaccinatcd. This, of course, has a great influence on the figures. Ifsmallpox breaks out in a school, in a district where most of the children are unvaccinated,the majority of the sufferers are bound to be in that class.
People have been solemnly warned that the reason why smallpoxhas just broken out is because our population is unvaccinated; yet Dr. KillickMillard complains of primary vaccination as liable to make smallpox mild and unrecognised,so that the element of danger lies in the vaccinated! He has his excuse inthe circumstance that these have always started epidemics.
THE ORIGIN OF VACCINATION
Why do people believe in vaccination? Why did they everbelieve in the King's touch?
Jenner's idea was based solely upon a dairymaid's superstition.He sought to give it a scientific air by calling cowpox (a disease which bears noanalogy to smallpox) variolae vaccinae--i.e., smallpox of the cow.The Latin name was not without its effect, and anything that promised less harmfulresults than the prevailing practice of the direct inoculation of smallpox matter(which had been killing people by hundreds, and afterwards had to be forbidden byAct of Parliament) was acceptable at the time to the frightened and gullible population.The rest was an affair of influence. When once an error is accepted by a professioncorporately and endowed by Government, to uproot it becomes a herculean task, besidewhich the entrance of a rich man into the Kingdom of Heaven is easy.
The Compulsory Vaccination Act was passed in 1853; a still morestringent one followed in 1867. And between the years 1871 and 1880 there were 57,016smallpox deaths. Compare this with the small number in the present day, when considerablymore than half the population is unvaccinated, and when awful warnings are periodicallyuttered about the decimating scourge always "bound to come," which neverarrives! Between 1911 and 1920 the deaths numbered only 110.
Let us look at the most recent Annual report of the Registrar-General--theeighty-third. He states that during the last 15 years 53 vaccinated personshave died of smallpox. In addition, there were 92 other deaths of the "doubtful"class mentioned above; that is, those declared by patients or friends to have beenvaccinated, but which have been entered by medical officials as "doubtful"rather than take the slight trouble of searching the registers for verification.We may conclude, therefore, that there were 145 cases of smallpox deaths in vaccinatedpersons in this country during the last 15 years. And yet there were only 78unvaccinaed deaths during the same period. Thus, the rate of vaccinated tounvaccinated deaths is nearly two to one. This is the more remarkable seeing thatduring this same 15 years England has been largely unvaccinated, probably to theextent of about 75 per cent.
DANGERS OF VACCINATION
But the tragedy of the whole sorry business is this:
That during thc same 15-year period there is recorded by the same authority theterrible toll of 165 deaths from "cowpox and other effects of vaccination!"In short, vaccination not only failed to save 145 persons from death, but actuallykilled another 165 in addition! Hence, whereas 78 are alleged to have died becausethe "preventive" had not been resorted to, more than double that numberdied from the effects of its use. What have the scaremongers who boast of the "certainand harmless preventive" to say to this? The only way, so far as I can see,that those 165 poor little victims of the eighteenth century Gloucestershire dairymaid'ssuperstition were prevented from having smallpox (if they were ever likely to getit) was in being killed by the "preventive" before the disease could attackthem.
In some years more persons have been officially certified askilled by vaccination than by smallpox. Besides this, enormous numbers are left withsome permanent disability, a fact to which parents, at least, can testify. Meanwhile,whenever smallpox comes, it is promptly and easily dealt with, and fails to spreadbeyond a limited time and area. Sanitation has practically banished the disease,just as it banished black death, cholera, and typhus. It would appear that vaccination,so far from aiding, actually retarded the decline, for the Registrar-General reportedin 1880 that it was the only gross zymotic which showed a rise in the death-rate--thatis, after 30 years of compulsory vaccination.
THE GLOUCESTER EPIDEMIC
The advocates of vaccination are never tired of quotingthe smallpox epidemic which occurred in Gloucester in1895-6. A picture of GloucesterCemetery is often presented, apparently with the idea of impressing an ex partestatement upon the memory. Where the picture itself cannot be given, the statementalone is made--viz., that 279 unvaccinated children lie buried in that cemetery (thepicturesque detail is never by any chance omitted), together with only one out ofsome 8,000 children said to be vaccinated before or during the epidemic. The latterfigure may be correct officially, but it is incorrect actually, for I worked in Gloucesterat the time and came into personal contact with the cases, and I have the names andaddresses of 116 vaccinated children up to ten years of age attacked by the disease,of whom 27 died.
The truth is that the whole child population of Gloucester was practicallyan unvaccinated population, the vaccinated numbering only 4 per cent.; hence thegreater number of unvaccinated attacked is easily explained. Ten thousand unvaccinatedchildren passed through that epidemic unscathed. The severity of the scourge wasdue to sanitary defects, which were afterwards remedied at great cost, to the factthat the disease broke out and spread like wildfire in a large unsanitary elementaryschool, where the vaccinated teacher was the first to succumb, and to the utterlydisgraceful hospital conditions to which these little patients were removed. Outof the 1,979 total cases; about 1,750 occurred in the southern half of Gloucester,where the sanitary defects above mentioned existed, the unvaccinated children oftime northern half escaping practically unscathed. Nearly two-thirds of those attacked--viz.,1,211 out of 1,979--were vaccinated, in spite of the fact that Gloucester was an"unvaccinated city."
GERMANY AND THE PHILIPPINES
No European country has had such severe vaccination lawsas Germany. They started in 1834, and enforced continual re-vaccinations. Yet in1871-2 smallpox carried off no fewer than 124,948 in Prussia alone. In Berlin itselfthere were 17,038 vaccinated cases of smallpox, of whom 2,240 were under ten yearsof age, and of these vaccinated children 736 died.
A particularly interesting case is that of the Philippines.When these islands fell into the hands of the Americans a vast vaccination schemewas carried out, and smallpox, which had naturally been a scourge among the inhabitantsowing to the bad sanitary conditions, declined just in proportion as these were remedied.The result was, of course, put down to vaccination, though there is a certain humourin the circumstance that, while the natives were suffering less from smallpox, thevaccinated and re-vaccinated American soldiers fell victims to it, dying at a percentagethree times higher than that which obtained among the unvaccinated people they hadcome to instruct. Of course, the usual thorough system of cleansing, finding itsparallel later in the Panama region, was pursued, and for many years it was the greatboast of the disciples of Jenner that smallpox was banished from the Philippines.
They boasted too soon. Within the last few years, in spite ofthe rigorous vaccination laws, the disease has regained its old virulence, and therewere no fewer than 60,612 cases and 43,294 deaths from smallpox in the Philippinesduring 1919--an enormous toll in a population of something under 11,000,000.
Whenever laxity in sanitation occurs, it is clear that smallpoxignores vaccination, just as typhoid fever ignored inoculation during the war undersimilar conditions. The Americans, content with having once cleansed the Philippines,no doubt shut their eyes to many unhygienic practices. It is one thing to teach nativeshow to live and start them on a right path, but quite another to see that they keepto it. Vaccination, however, never suffers neglect so long as medical officials aremaintained for the performance of the rite; and it is somewhat amusing to find thatthe Filipinos, horror-stricken at the toll smallpox has been taking, have attackedvaccination itself as the originating cause which seems to them time most probable.
The Birth of the Vaccination Fraud
Editorial in "Truth" for January 10, 1923
In his article "The Fraud of Vaccination," publishedlast week in Truth, Dr. Hadwen made some remarks not altogether complimentaryto the discoverer of time reputed prophylactic against smallpox. These remarks ledone reader to denounce both Dr. Hadwen and myself--Dr. Hadwen for libelling one ofthe greatest benefactors of humanity, and myself for propagating the libel. Dr. Hadwenis well able to take care of himself. For my own part, not wishing to do any injusticeto the name and fame of the late Dr. Jenner, I asked Dr. Hadwen what he hadagainst him, and he replied by sending me a pamphlet he has written on the subject.This I have compared with the account of Jenner's life given in the Dictionaryof National Biography, and the result is so illuminating that I will now givethe salient facts as briefly as possible.
To begin with, it is clear that Jenner never possessed anythingthat would be recognised to-day as a medical qualification. At the age of 16 he wasapprenticed to a country surgeon and apothecary, and at 21 he was sent for two yearsas a pupil to Dr. John Hunter, of London, who undoubtedly was the most eminent surgeonof his day, and, like Jenner himself, a keen naturalist. At 23 Jenner returned tohis native village and started to practise as surgeon and apothecary. Here he remainedfor 17 years, just a plain unqualified country surgeon and apothecary, unknown tothe world at large, but keeping up a correspondence with Hunter on a variety of naturalhistory subjects. At the end of this period he made his first bid for fame. In 1787he sent a paper on "The Natural History of the Cuckoo" to the Royal Society,and, as a result, with Hunter's influence, he was elected F.R.S. The paper containeda number of commonplace facts and some others, which Jenner stated to be from hisown observation. The latter turned out to be purely imaginary, Jenner having acceptedthe report of a youthful nephew on the incidents he described. The coveted fellowship,therefore, appears to have been obtained by something very nearly approaching fraud.Three years later he applied to St. Andrew's University for an M.D., and as St. Andrew'sin those days was no more squeamish about granting degrees than some of the so-calledAmerican Universities are to-day, so long as the fees are forthcoming, Jenner becameDr. Jenner for the modest outlay of £15. Later on in life, after several applications,he was also granted an M.D. by the University of Oxford, though this was not untilafter his discovery had been generally adopted.
As for the discovery itself, it appears to have been foundedupon what Dr. Hadwen calls a "superstition among the dairymaids of Gloucestershirethat a person who had suffered from cowpox would never have smallpox." I hardlythink anyone would to-day regard this as more than superstition. Smallpox was thenone of time commonest, most dreaded diseases in all ranks of society, and it wasalready the custom to inoculate people with it in order that they should get thedisease under the most favourable circumstances. Jenner appears to have bethoughthimself of testing the Dairymaid's superstition, and with this object he inoculateda boy named James Phipps with lymph from a vesicle on the hand of a dairymaid sufferingfrom cowpox in May, 1796. In July of the same year he inoculated the same boy withsmallpox by what Dr. Hadwen calls the "bogus Suttonian method," which "affordedno evidence as to protection." Yet it was upon the strength of this solitaryexperiment that Jenner had launched his discovery upon the world, claiming that cowpoxwas a prophylactic against smallpox, while to give some sort of scientific colourto the claim he labeled cowpox with the name "Variolae Vaccinae"(smallpox of the cow).
On the later developments and time exploitation of vaccinationthere is no need to dwell at any length. Jenner obtained both cash and credit. Hereceived £30,000 in grants from Parliament for his wonderful discovery, andall classes, medical and lay, tumbled over themselves in their desire to do him honour,though even then there existed a few sceptics who asked for better proof of the claimsmade for time new prophylactic. That those claims could not be fully substantiatedwas proved when he was called upon to attend the son of Earl Grosvenor, who was sufferingfrom confluent smallpox, although vaccinated in infancy by Jenner himself. He thereuponmodified his claims for the protective powers of his cowpox vaccine, and he was contentto assert that vaccination had modified the disease so that his patient's life waspreserved.
What strikes me as most remarkable about the whole story isthe ease with which Jenner got his theory accepted. It is true that medical researchwas a very different thing in the early days of the nineteenth century from whatit is to-day ; but even then the picture of the whole of time Colleges of Physiciansand Surgeons swallowing the theory of an unqualified country apothecary, based onone totally unreliable experiment, seems scarcely credible. Jenner's personal bonafides is a different matter. It is unquestionable that he obtained his Fellowshipof the Royal Society by humbugging that learned body with his yarn about a cuckoo;but that he deliberately set himself to humbug the whole of the public as well asthe medical profession 'with his "Variolae Vaccinae," I hesitateto believe. I should imagine that he was one of those unscientific researchers who,like the spiritualists, are on the look out for facts to fit their theories, insteadof first making sure of their facts. His methods were those of the quack, but ofthe self-deluded quack. But how any real scientist can accept his theories to-dayseems astounding, except under the supposition that they have been supported by laterand more conclusive experiments.
From "Truth," January 17, 1923
SANITATION v. VACCINATION
THE ORIGIN OF SMALLPOX
By following the superstitious impulses of Edward Jenner andthe ancient tradition of time Gloucestershire dairymaids, the medical professionhas lost sight of the vital question, what is the origin of smallpox? The facultyof reasoning upon time subject appears to have become almost extinct; in its placethere has arisen a demand for obedience to authority. Fashion has usurped the placeof scientific thought, and arbitrary Acts of Parliament and the policeman's truncheonhave supplanted logical consistency.
When the question is asked, "Why does smallpox break outat all?" the twentieth century scientist answers, "Because time populacehave not been 'protected' against it by vaccination." This reply only begs thequestion. It pre-supposes that smallpox is a natural visitation of Providence whichmay strike anybody at any moment, and that the only way by which this presumed inevitableevil can be met, is to compel every human being in this world to undergo a processof "protection," which is to render the system "immune" to attack.This is a negative form of reasoning. It leaves unanswered the crucial question,what is the origin of smallpox? Why are we to suppose, as was believed in the eighteenthcentury, that a smallpox attack is the probable lot of every member of the race?Why must everybody be diseased to protect him against disease, especially if thatdisease is one from which, owing to altered conditions, lie is never likely to suffer?Surely, if a disease breaks out there must be a cause for it.
THE SOURCE OF ALL "OUTBREAKS"
Now one fact stands out pre-eminently in every part oftime world where smallpox has appeared--namely, it has been invariably associatedwith insanitary and unhygienic conditions. From time immemorial it has been calledin Austria "The Beggar's Disease." It has followed in the wake of filth,poverty, wars, pestilences, famines, and general insanitation, in all ages. It accompaniedthe clash of arms of the American armies in their struggle for independence, andin their Civil and Spanish wars; it claimed more victims than the battlefield inthe ravages of the Crimea; it formed the dark background to the triumphant marchesof the German army in 1870; it increased tenfold the horrors of the siege of Paris;and plagued our warriors at Tel-el-Kebir. Even during the late Great War no inconsiderableamount of smallpox occurred amongst all the armies involved wherever conditions ofunsanitation triumphed over the scrupulous efforts made to circumvent them. Smallpoxoutbreaks and epidemics have invariably been the call of Nature to responsible authoritiesat home: "Put your house in order"; personal municipal, and civic cleanlinesshas been her unvarying demand, a demand which was couched in one striking injunctionby the prophet of old: "Wash and be clean."
I remember 26 years ago there was an outbreak of smallpoxat Redruth, in Cornwall. The Press in all parts of the United Kingdom was immediatelysupplied with exaggerated reports, and scares were created by public vaccinatorshundreds of miles away. I went down to investigate the affair on my own account.There were altogether 44 cases; 84 per cent. occurred in vaccinated persons. One-fourthof the cases was located in "Trestrails Row," consisting of seven houses,each containing only two small low-roofed rooms, and with no water connections. Onemidden privy, in the most disgusting condition, accommodated the seven houses. Oneof these hovels was occupied by no fewer than seven persons, all of whom contractedsmallpox, and out of the total of seven deaths three occurred in this house. Nearlyanother fourth of the cases was confined to Adelaide Road and Raymond Road, wheresmallpox first appeared, the houses of which were supplied with uncovered cesspits.Three cases occurred in Falmouth Road, with one death which took place in a houseclosely hedged in by foul middens, a manure heap, and a piggery. Three more casesand one death occurred in the midst of similar unsanitary conditions at Hockin'sCourt. Midden privies were the order of the day, and the ultimate disposal of thesewage was primitive to a degree. The smallpox rapidly played itself out, and thenthe municipality corrected the conditions that had been the cause of time outbreak.
I remember, too, the epidemic in Gloucester in 1895-6.I was in and out of the smallpox houses throughout that visitation of nearly 2,000cases. The echo of it is still heard among time ranks of Jennerian followers, andalways with time tragic whisper, "Gloucester was an unvaccinated city!"Never in all time history of professional scaremongering was such a determined effortmade to boost vaccination, and never a word was uttered as to the shocking insanitaryconditions which produced the tragedy. In fact, those conditions were persistentlydenied by time officials who were responsible for them.
The smallpox was practically confined to the southern half ofthe city, where there was no fall for the sewage. The pipes had been hurriedly laidin this new district without concrete base or cemented joints. There was a droughtthat lasted months; time water supply ran short; flushing of the sewers had to bediscontinued, and time sewerage pipes became choked. When, after time epidemic wasover, investigation was made, the pipes were found to be broken in all directions;in fact, the whole district of--for the most part--crowded houses, many of them back-to-backwith no through ventilation, lay over what was nothing more nor less than a hugecesspit. The outlets for the sewer-gas consisted of street manholes, which belchedtheir poison into time atmosphere. I traced the first case of smallpox in every streetto the house nearest to a manhole. Wooden stoppers were made to close them down,but they had to be used sparingly lest the sewer-gas should be driven into the houses.Hundreds of the houses were drawing their water supply from shallow wells, liableto contamination by constant leakage into them from house drains; and the sewage-pipesin numerous instances ran under the floors of the houses from the closets at theback to the street in front. Some of the houses had their w.c.s in the back kitchen.In one street of 114 houses the latter were supplied with water declared by the citysurveyor to be contaminated with sewage from its source to its delivery, and as ithad not force enough to fill the flushing tanks, the w.c.s were never flushed andalways choked, the contents being emptied periodically on to the small garden groundattached.
In some of these tiny houses there were seven, nine, and eventwelve cases of smallpox. A sixth part of the whole epidemic occurred in three streets.In one street the sewage entered the cellars of the houses, and the choked-up streetsewer had to be opened up in the midst of the epidemic. Nearly half the houses inthis street had smallpox cases. Then the epidemic caught on in two disgracefullyinsanitary and overcrowded, ill-ventilated elementary schools. Forty-five childrenwere struck down suddenly in one of them and 31 in the other. The patients were removedto what was called an isolation hospital. It was congregation, not isolation.A woman employed in the early part of the epidemic as solitary night nurse told methat time sight and screaming of these poor children at night as they ran about thewards in delirium so completely unnerved her that she was obliged to leave. Theywere allowed no water for their fevered skins, time baths were choked with dirtylinen, and never used. The little ones were packed three, four, and even five ina bed; vermin was crawling everywhere; no oil was used for the faces, and the poorchildren scratched themselves till they bled. Of every two taken in to the StroudRoad Hospital one was carried out a corpse; when the mortuary became choked withdead bodies, the bathroom was utilised for this purpose. One child lay for two weeksand two days with her eyes scabbed and not a single drop of water was given to relieveher. When one hospital became full, another one was opened which had been used asa cholera hospital many years before. It was built on stakes in a rough, boggy field;it had no sewerage connections, nor any drainage whatever, and water had to be carriedin water-carts over a quarter of a mile of bog to reach it.
The panic became fearful, and a wild, despairing cry went upfrom the plague-stricken city as the destroying angel sped from house to house inthese awful slums. And what was the answer the terror-stricken inhabitants receivedfrom the Guardians of Public Health? Still the same mad reply: "These be thygods, O Israel!" as they pointed to the vaccine lancets, dripping with theirfilthy venom; in helplessness and fear they implored the people, in a unanimouslysigned medical manifesto, to bow down and worship at the shrine.
At last the rain came. It washed the atmosphere, it flushedthe sewers and drains; it filled the vacuoles of sewer gas in the sandy soil, andthe epidemic died down. The councillors who put up at the next municipal contestwere one and all indignantly swept away at the polls by the enraged voters, and anti-vaccinationiststook their place; a new sewerage system was laid throughout the whole smallpox districtat a cost of some £30,000; 20,000 sanitary defects in the houses were rectified,and no smallpox has occurred since, although nearly 90 per cent, of the populationis unvaccinated. But even in that awful epidemic, smallpox picked out the vaccinatedfor attack; two-thirds of the sufferers had been "protected" by time filthysuperstitious rite.
SHEFFIELD AND OTHER CASES
I remember Sheffield and its epidemic in 1887-8. Noless than 98 per cent of the population had been vaccinated; it was the best vaccinatedtown in the kingdom the public vaccinators had reaped a richer harvest of bonusesfor "successful vaccination" than those of any other town, and yet theyhad 7,000 cases of smallpox. It originated and clung to an unsanitary area of 175acres covered with cesspits--which was called The Croft. The medical profession helplesslycried "vaccinate" and "re-vaccinate"--as if the pubic had notalready had enough of it. At last the flood-gates of heaven were mercifully opened,and the bountiful rains suddenly accomplished what 56,000 vaccinations had failedto effect.
I went to Middlesbrough in the great epidemic of 1898. I visitedevery smallpox hospital ward, and investigated the conditions of the houses, andtheir environment, from whence the smallpox came. As everybody knows, the housesat that time had been run up at an enormous rate, much too fast for the sanitaryofficials to keep pace with them. The part where the smallpox raged was situatedchiefly over a swamp where it was difficult to find foundations for the houses; manyof them were raised on piles driven through the soil. The only method of house sanitationin all that district was that of pails in the backyards. But whatever else had beenneglected, vaccination had been sedulously attended to--the inhabitants were vaccinatedup to 98.4 per cent, of the population. Nevertheless the vaccinated and re-vaccinatedhospital officials fell before the disease side by side with the vaccinated and re-vaccinatedinhabitants. Nine hospital ward-maids, one trained nurse, one medical man and threepolicemen fell victims to the disease. Outraged Nature laughed outright at the Jennerianfetish and declared in plain and unmistaken language that if smallpox was to be preventedthe conditions which caused it must be remedied. Poisoning human bodies with theproducts of a foul eruption on a cow's udder could only add fuel to the fire by reducingthe vital resisting powers of the sufferers.
I call to mind the case of one adult male I interviewed in oneof the smallpox hospital wards at that time. He was vaccinated in infancy, had smallpoxwhen eight years old, and was subsequently re-vaccinated three times. That man diedof smallpox. I took a particular interest in that case, and was staggered to findwhen the official report was published that, owing to his having had the eruptionso badly as to cover his vaccination marks, he was actually declared to be "unvaccinated"!
I have visited Glasgow in two of its smallpox epidemics. Theslums in which they occurred; the overcrowded and unsanitary condition of the tenementstold, the same tale as elsewhere. Nothing but sweeping away, the rookeries, wheresmallpox invariably, takes hold, can ever save those parts of the city from periodicalvisitations. Space forbids further reminiscences but it is the same story everywhere.Go back to the records of Old London and we find insanitation and smallpox keepingcompany throughout.
THE LESSON OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH ACT
Before the passing of the Public Health Act of l875 inthis country, every succeeding epidemic of smallpox was worse than its predecessorin spite of more and more compulsory vaccination; but with less and less vaccinationand more and more sanitation smallpox has become a comparative curiosity. It is onlyin unsanitary quarters it can gain a hold. Sir Edwin-Chadwick, the veteran sanitarian,has well said:
Smallpox, typhus, and other fevers occur in common conditions of foul air, stagnant putrefaction, bad house drainage, sewers of deposit, excrement sodden sites, filthy street surfaces, impure water, and overcrowding, and the entire removal of such conditions is the effectual preventive of diseases of those species, whether in ordinary or extraordinary visitations.
When will the medical profession arouse itself to ask the question:"What is the origin of sma1lpox?" When will a Ministry of Health ceaseto bring discredit upon itself by the advocacy of a disgusting fetish that has proved,itself a failure as a preventive of the disease in every part of the world in whichit has been adopted for the last century and a quarter? When will a British Governmentthat boasts of its progress and civilisation cease to ally itself with a filthy,uncivilised, unscientific practice that has done nothing but spread disease and deathamongst the populace for generation and which is opposed to the common-sense viewsof the majority of thinking men and women in the realm?
HOME HYGIENELIBRARY CATALOG HADWIN'SRALLY TALK