Punch,  38 (1860), 145.

Pillgrinders for Paupers





Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Class, Morality, Commerce

    Characterising poor law guardians as 'guardians of the pockets of the rate-payers against the poor', praises them for their 'economical dealings with Medical Officers' who, in keeping with their notorious reputation of being leeches, are now seeking greater financial reward from those who regulate workhouse expenditure. Assessing the rate of pay of poor law medical officers for twenty-eight day's duration, considers such a rate to be 'too much', especially considering the extortionate fees charged by physicians for only five minutes' advice. Presents a table of the salaries of poor law doctors illustrating the large salaries which they enjoy. Suggests that medical officers' fee should be commensurate with that of the executioner Jack Ketch, and points out that their real task is to 'help paupers out of existence'. Concludes that medical officers who forget their own interests and cure paupers instead of dispatching them, will 'take that eccentric line at their own cost', and since their salaries 'were never meant to pay them', their calls for increased wages should be ridiculed.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]