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Our people, moreover, are just as moral as any other, notwithstanding the old apprehensions that we would run to licentiousness, infidelity, and everything that is tentative and revolutionary. We have more churches than any country in Europe, and the people take a greater interest in religion. In fact, it has been often remarked by foreigners, that we are the most religious nation in the world, and this, notwithstanding we have no state religion or religious laws. The benevolence of our people, and their care for the poor and unfortunate, are quite as great as in any other land, and our benevolent institutions quite as numerous and well supported. Crime is no more common than in other lands, the greater part of our criminals being foreigners. In short, our history abundantly illustrates the fact, that a republic, without any state church or army, or great body of police, can develop and maintain as moral a class of citizens as any other.
With regard to education, our people are, as a whole, as intelligent as any other. If Prussia has men more learned than we, we have a greater number of learned men.
Our common school system is quite as good as any in Europe, and is, perhaps, better calculated than any other to substantially elevate the whole people. Our colleges are more numerous than in any other country, and the number of students greater, and the best of the colleges are fast taking rank in wealth and facilities for culture with the best European universities which have stood for centuries. The education of our women, in particular, is of a higher grade than that of any other land; and, in general, there are not so many who cannot read and write, or who are ignorant of the common branches as in other countries. The North-German states alone are our rival in universal elementary education.
While, moreover, our institutions of whatever kind, and for whatever purpose, are in general of the best, showing that republican government is compatible with the best social and political appliances that have hitherto been known, we have also developed some new ones of special excellence, which were hitherto unknown, or else existed as mere doubtful problems in the heads of impractical theorists. One of these is the
tion of church and state, without detriment either to the state, or to religion. Another is the absolute freedom of all religions and anti-religions without any deleterious effect on our customs or morals. Another is the complete secularization of the schools, with similar harmlessness to both religion and education. Another is dispensing with a standing army without exposing ourselves to either internal or external assaults. And another is the equality of the people, which refuses to recognize any ranks, titles or special privileges, without detriment to anybody. In short, our republic has introduced additional guarantees for intellectual, religious and personal freedom. There is now scarcely any degree of liberty or equality conceivable, even in the most extravagant ideas, that we have not embodied in our system, and proven to be henceforth possible.
And finally, as a general result, our people are, on the whole, as comfortable as any in the world, which is, after all, the most adequate test of il government's success. More of them are wealthy and living in good houses with plenty to do and to eat thirn in any other country. They more generally marry and live in families thran elsewhere, everybody having : home, and every family, as a rule, a whole house to itself. The people are thrifty and liopeful, nearly every one expecting that either he himself or his children will one day be rich or influential.
On the whole, therefore, we think that we can safely conclude that our history and our present condition abundantly prove the success of our government, and that the old prejudices and uncertainties as to the practicability of a republic may be set atsiile is forever exploded. It can no longer be said that republicanism has no experience in its favor. Side by side with the most successful monarchies that have ever existed, and in the most successful period of their existence, it has established its superiority by the most exact and minute tests that are possible. And now after one century, in which our free experiment has been sich it trancendent success, and in no respect a failure, we live as good a prospect for the next hundred years is any nation in the world.
'Department of Medical Jurisprudence.
At the meeting of the Medico-Legal Society of Chicago, held December 1st, 1888, the attention of the society was given to the consideration of a suit for malpractice in which one of the members of the society bad recently been a successful defendant.
We do not care to report the meeting, nor the case considered; but the following extracts will be of interest :
Dr. F. C. Hotz said: “From a medical point of view I think we may disagree with some applications Dr. G. made, but I am sure on the whole the case was managed well. We ili have our individual views in regard to treating a case: I may use one medicine and another person another medicine for the same purpose, but that does not make the other treatment unjustifiable. We are none of us infallible: one may use corrosive sublimate and another something else, for conjunctivitis; and if one makes il mila iupplication of nitrate of silver (5 grains to the ounce), and my views are opposed to the use of nitrate of silver, I should not be justified to condemn the treatment of the other as long as the majority of oculists consider it a valuable. remedy
. But this meeting. I believe, was called for the purpose of bringing out the medico-legal inspects of the case.
There was one point that interested me. I was surprised by being informed by the court that whatever occurs at a consultation is
not a privileged commanication; that we are obliged to give a full statement of whatever the doctor who has called us in consultation said, and what our answer was. That was surprising to me as I thought such matters were confidential.
“I should like to hear from legal lights present how it is that the statements of the client to the lawyer are considered privileged, while those of a patient to his physician or of one physician to another are not, and the physician may be forced on the stand to give away that confidential statement if he is called as a witness. This may place the consultant in an awkward position. For, as I said before, medical men may disagrec in regard to a certain application and so express themselves to each other without intending to condemn the treatment of the brother physician or to make it appear in any way wrong; while the same remarks repeated on the stand before a jury of laymen may prejudice the case considerably against the defendant.
“Another medico-legal point is this: I became thoroughly convinced of the utter uselessness of expert testimony. All it can do is to muddle the heads of the jury. The expert is not allowed to give his opinion upon the merits of the case, from a medical point of view. Oh, no, that is for the jury to decide. He is given a hypothetical case. Those of you who have been there and heard all that was put in a hypothetical case by the one side first, and then by the other side, will certainly agree that it is the easiest thing in the world to prove anything with these hypothetical cases. The prosecution will put it in the strongest way against the defense. They make it appear that the doctor has been is cruel is a butcher at the stockyards, handling the poor woman worse than an animal, and showing ignorance in everything; they put all this into a hypothetical case to the expert, and of course he has to anstrer that such treatment is all wrong. Then comes the defense and puts another hypothetical case. In the light of their evidence of course the expert will say, he could not treat it any differently: that was elegantly done.' And there sit the twelve wise men, unfamiliar with mclical technicalities, and they are to form an opinion out of this chaos of hypothétical cases!
“I am sure no jury has ever gone into the jury room and paid any attention to the expert evidence in the case. The best illustration of the uselessness of expert evidence was furnished by the case of Dr. B. two years ago, where the prosecution was smart enough not to call any experts at all, and the doctor made the mistake of calling in a great many. The prosecuting lawyer', pointing to the mountain of expert evidence said: • What does it amount to; the doctors all stick together;' and 'made it clear to the jury that every doctor went on the stand for the express purpose of perjuring himself in order to protect the defendant; and that made such a deep impression on the jury that in spite of all the expert evidence brought forward for the defense, the jury gave a verdict of $4,500 against Dr. B. I think expert evidence is of no use before a jury."
Judge Oliver H. Horton: “I had not the slightest idea of participating in the discussion this eyening. I came to learn. As the case is presented here, I sce very little in the nature of law points; it was simply a question of fact. Was the Doctor's treatment proper or improper? Almost absolutely a question of fact. The mode of handling it is a question of the capacity, ability and experience of the lawyer. The mode of presenting these facts, whether admitted upon one side or exaggerated upon the other, is not a question of loww but of the practice of particular attorneys.
"With regard to the question of privileged communications: It is not a privilege that applies to the lawyer but to the client, and the lawyer cannot claim the privilege. That is upon the theory, as I understand it, as distinguished from the rule :plied to medical men and religions confessors, that if it were otherwise the client could not present to the lawyer, fully and fairly not only the strength but the weak points of his case if his statement of them was to be brought as evidence against him; otherwise he could not go fairly into the case; he could not have full consultation with his counsel. But in the colse of the physician it is not that he is consulted with regard to it particular lawsuit, where he has to state the things that are agunst bim as well as for him-if he is a julicious client he will it wily's state the things against him so the lawyer can pre