Punch,  53 (1867), 17.

Anodynes in the Workhouse





Utilitarianism, Government, Health, Narcotics, Medical Treatment

    Begins by sarcastically noting that a 'fortunate omission' in Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy's Poor Law Amendment Act will allow the guardians of the St Pancras Poor Law Union to continue controlling the 'medical arrangements' of their workhouse instead of forcing the guardians to defer to the authority of 'unreasonable and unparochial medical officers'. Proceeds to discuss the guardians' criticism of the 'unlimited' quantity of opium made available for treating paupers, the criticism of this practice by a medical practitioner, and the fear that the acquisition of so much opium would raise its price. Concludes by agreeing with the guardians' decision to reduce the quantity of opium, pointing out that excess consumption of this drug would prove costly to ratepayers and undermine the view of the workhouse as a 'penal institution'.

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