Review of Reviews,  6 (1892), 318–25.

The Progress of the World



Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary


Disease, Sanitation, Public Health, Medical Practitioners, Government

    Reports that during the outbreak of cholera, London was 'placed, as it were, in a sanitary state of siege': the city was divided into 'twenty districts' each of which was commanded by a 'medical officer'. It was ordered that the 'moment a man was down with the cholera the police were to be notified, and as soon as the notification was received a telephonic message to the [sanitary] headquarters brought the sanitary column to the house. The patient was whisked off to hospital, all moveables were carried off to the disinfecting station, and the sanitary column washed and scrubbed the room and covered it with disinfectants'. At times when 'life is at stake and you are at close grips with death, the social organism ignores everything but the promptings of self-preservation'. Even 'personal liberty' must be temporarily given up, and 'the despotism of doctors, like drumhead court martials, is sometimes an inevitable and indispensable evil'. (319)

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