Punch,  50 (1866), 125.

Provision for the Sick Poor





Class, Industry, Government, Politics, Utilitarianism, Hospitals, Medical Treatment, Disease, Health, Public Health, Veterinary Science, Religion, Morality

    Following a recent description given by Henry H M Herbert (4th Earl of Carnarvon) and the Archbishop of York, William Thomson, of the 'brutalities to which the sick poor are subject in the infirmaries of most of the London workhouses', suggests two contrasting courses of action. The first is the levying of a metropolitan rate that will make the infirmaries 'decent'. The second is 'premised' on an analogy between infirmaries for the poor and an imaginary hospital for 'diseased or worn-out dogs and horses'. Describes the filthy environment suffered by the animals, the lack of medical attention, the irregular administration of medicines, the foul air, and the neglect of paralysed animals. Concludes that such an animal infirmary would be condemned by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which would be forced to solve the problem by killing the animals. Argues that if the metropolitan rate for supporting pauper infirmaries is considered too expensive then killing paupers is the only course left open. Suggests that this course of action would be 'just as moral' as letting paupers 'die in misery' and that it cannot be considered 'repugnant to our common Christianity' when that faith has long allowed the poor to be inhumanely treated.

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