Page images
PDF
EPUB

with a very few exceptions, been to have kept up a constant source remarkably mild, as if the small- of contagion, which has been the pox had been depriver, by the pre- means of increasing the number of vious vaccine disease, of all its usual deaths by what is called the natural malignity.

disease. It cannot be doubted that The testimonies before the col- this mischief has been extended vy lege of physicians are very decided the inconsiderate manner in wbich in declaring, that vaccination does great numbers of persons, even less mischiet to the constitution, and since the introduction of vaccination, less frequently gives rise to other are still every year inoculated with diseases, than the small-pos, either the small-por, and afterwards renatural or inoculated.

quired to attend two or three times The college teel themselves call- a week at the places of inoculaed upon to state this strongly, be- tion, through every stage of their cause it has been objected to vac

illness. cination, that it provuces new, un- From this, then, the public are to heard-ot, and monstrous diseases. expect the great and uncontroverted Of such assertions no proofs have superiority of vaccination, that it been produced ; and, after diligent communicates no casual infection, inquiry, the college believe them to and, while it is a protection to the have been either the inventions of individual, it is not prejudicial to designing, or the mistakes of igno- the public. rant men. In these respects, then, M. The college of physicians, in in its mildness, its safety, and its reporting their observations and opiconsequeuces, the individual may mions on the evidence adduced in look for the peculiar advantages of support of vaccination, feel themvaccination. The benefits which selves authorized to state that a flow from it to society are infinitely body of evidence so large, so temmore considerable; it spreads no perate, and so consistent, was perinfection, and can be communicated haps never before collected upon only by inoculation. It is from a any medical question. A discovery consideration of the pernicious effects so novel, and to which there was of the small-pox, that the real value nothing analogous known in nature, of vaccination is to be estimated. thoughi resting on the experimental The natural small pox has been observations of the inventor, was at supposed to destroy a sixth part of tirst received wiib withidence: it was all whom it attacks; and that even not, however, ifficult for others to by inoculation, where that has been repeat his experiments, by which general in parishes and towns, about the truth of his observations was one in three hundred has usually confirmed, and the doubis of the died. It is not sufficiently known, cautions were gradually dispelled by or not adverted to, that nearly one- extensive experience.

At the comtenth, soine years more than one- mencement of the practice, almost tenth, of the whole mortality in all that were vaccinated were atierLondon is occasioned by the smalie warsis submitted to the juoculation pox; and however beneficial the of the small-pox; many underwent inoculation of the small-joox may this operation a second, and even have been to individuals, it appears a third time, and the uniform sure cess of these trials quickly bred and, upon investigating the facts confidence in the new discovery. which they advanced, they found But the evidence of the security them to be either misapprehended derived from vaccination against the or imisrepresented; or that they fell 3, all-pox does not rest alone upon under the description of cases of those who afterwards underwent va- imperfect small-pox, before noticed, rious inoculation, although amount- and which the college bave endeaing to many thousands; for it ap- voured fairly to appreciate. pears, from numerous observations The practice of vaccination is but communicated to the college, that of eight years standing, and its prothose who have been vaccinated are moters, as well as opponents, must equally secure againt the contagion keep in mind that a period so short of epidemic small-pex. Towns is too limited to ascertain every indeed, and districts of the country, point, or to bring the art to that in which vaccination had been ge- perfection of which it may be capaneral, liave afterwards had the small. ble. The truth o: this will readils pox prevaleut on all sides of them be admitted by those acquainted without suffering froin the conta- with the history of inoculation for giou. There are also in the evi- the small-pox. Vaccination is now, dence a few examples of epidemic however, well understood, and small-pox having been subuned by its character accurately described. & general vaccination. It will not, Some deviations from the usual therefore, appear extraordinary that course have occasionally occurred, inany who have

communicated wbich the author of the practice has their observations should state, called spurious cow-pox; by which that, though at first they thought the public have been misleid, as if unfavourably of the practice, ex- there were a true and a false cowperience had now removed all their pox; but it appears, that nothing doubts.

more was meant, than to express It lias been already mentioned, irregularity or difference from trat that the evidence is not universally common form and progress of the favourable, although it is in truth vaccine pustule from which its effiDearly so, for there are a few who cacy is inferred. Those who pero entertain sentiments differing wide-' form vaccination ought therefore to ly from those of the great majority be well instructed, and sliould have of their brethren. The college, watched with the greatest care the therefore, deemed it their duty, in regular progress of the pustule, and a particular manner, to enquire upon learnt the njost proper time for what grounds and evidence the op,, taking the matter. There is little posers of vaccination rested their doubt that some of the failures are opinions. From personal examina- to be imputed to the inexperience tion, as well as from their writings, of the early vacciuators, and it is not they endeavoured to learn the full unreasonable to expect that farther exient and weight of their objec observation will yet suggest many tions. They found them witliout improvements that will reduce the experience in vaccination, supporting number of anomalous cases, and their opinions by hearsay informa- furnish the means of determining, tion; and hypothetical reasoning; with greater precision, when the

vaccine

accine disease has been effectually of frightful and monstrous apeceived.

pearance. Though the college of physicians Representations of some of these rave confined then selves, in estima- have been exbibited in prints in a Ling the evidence, to such facts as way to alarm the feelings of parents, lave occurred in their own country, and to infuse dread and apprebecause the accuracy of them could hensions into the minds of the unbest be ascertained, they cannot be informed. Publications with such insensible to the confirmation these representations have been widely receive from the reports of the circulated; and though they origi. successful introduction of vaccina- nate either in gross ignorance, or wil. tion, not only into every part of ful misrepresentation, yet have they Europe, but throughout the vast lessened the confidence of many, continents of Asia and America. particularly of the lower classes, in

IV. Several causes have had a vaccination: no permanent effects, partial operation in retarding the however, in retarding the progress general adoption of vaccination; of vaccination, deed be apprehended some writers have greatly underva- from such causes ; for as soon as the lued the security it affords, while public shall view them coolly, and others have considered it to be of without surprize, they will excite a temporary nature only; but coutempt, and not fear. if any reliauce is to be placed Though the college of physicians on the siatements which have been are of opinion, that the progress of laid before the college, its power vaccination has been retarded in a of protecting the human body from few places by the above causes; yet the small-pox, though not perfect they conceive that its general adopindeed, is abundantly sufficient to tion has been prevented by causes recommend it to the prudent and far niore powerful, and of a nature dispassionate, especially as the small- wholly different. The lower brders pox, in the few justances where it of society can bardly be induced to has subsequently occurred, has been adopt precautions against evils which generally mild and transient. The may be at a distance; nor can it be opinion that vaccination affords but expected from them, if these prea temporary security, is supported cautious are attended with expence. by no analogy in nature, nor by Unless, therefore, from the immedithe facts which have hitherto oc- ate dread of epidemic small-pox, eurred. Although the experience peither vaccination nor inoculation of vaccine inoculation be only of appear at any time to have been a few years, yet the same disease, general; and when the cause of contracted by the milkers of cows, terror has passed by, the public in some districts, has been long have relapsed again into a state of enough known, to ascertain that in indifference and apatby, and the them at least the misusceptibility of salutary practice has come to a the small-pos-contagion does not stand. It is not easy to suggest a wear out by time. Another cause remedy for an evil so deeply imis, the charge against vaccination printed in human nature. To in of producing various new diseases form and instruct the public mind

may

may do much ; and it will probably mits: so that the college of phos. be found, that the progress of vacci- cians conceive, that the public may nation in different parts of the United reasonably look forward, with some Kingdom will be in proportion to degree of hope, to the time when all that instruction. Were encourage- opposition shall cease, and the geo ment given to vaccination, by ofier- neral concurrence of mankiud st2!! ing it to the poorer classes without at length be able to put an end to expence, there is little doubt but it the ravages at least, if not to the es. would in time supersede the inocu- istence, of the small-pox. laiion for the small-pos ; and there- LUCAS PEPYS, President. by various sources of variolous in- 10th April, 1807. fection would be cut off; but till vaccination becomes general, it will be inipossible to prevent the constant Small- Por Inoculation. recurrence of the natural small-pox by means of those who are inocu- It is lamentable to observe, that lated ; except it should appear pro- the small-pox is still suffered to be per to the legislature to adopt, in propagated by inoculation, which its wisdom, some measure by which tends to disseminate the disease by those who still, from terror or pre- casual infection; so that at present, judice, prefer the small-pox to the in London alone, twenty-tire persons vaccine disease, may, in thus con- a week die of that disease ; and the sulting the gratification of their own usual amount of deaths, according 10 feelings, be prevented from doing the London bills of mortality, is mischief to their neighbours.

2,000 at least. From the whole of the above con- There are no means of ascertaissiderations, the college of physicians ing exactly the bumber of deplorable feel it their duty strongly to recom- sufferers, i ho, though not quite demend the practice of vaccination. stroyed by the small-pox, are neverThey have been led to this conclu- theless grievously atflicted for hle sion by no preconceived opinion, from that loathsome disease; but but by the most unbiasseci judgment the number rendered bliud, lame, forineri from an irresistible weight scrofulous, deformed, and distigured, of evidence which has been laid be- is immense, and is estimated much fore them. For when the number, below the truth at three times the the respectability, the disinterested- amount of the deaths. ness, and the extensive experience The account then may be fairly of its advocates, is compared with stated thus :the feeble and imperfect testimonies Deaths in London alone in of its few opposers; and when it is ove year from the smallconsidered that many, who were

... 2000 once adverse to vaccination, have Rendered blind, maimed, or been convinced by further trials, otherwise diseased, from the and are now to be ranked among same complaint ........ 6000 its warmest supporters, the truth seems to be established as firmly as Total sufferers from the small

8000 the nature of such a question ad- pox in one year ....

Now,

pox...

po k.

Now, , according to the most Founding of Downing College, authentic documents that can be

Cambridge. procured, and those documents furnished by men who do not appear Sir George Downing, bart. of to be by any means prejudiced in Gamlingay Park, in the county of tavour of vaccination, tamely, the Cambridge, in the year 1717, devised returns of 164,381 persous vacci- all his valuable estates in the counties paiest, made to the royal college of of Cambridge, Bedford, and Suttoik, surgeons: it appears,

to bis nearest relatious, being first

cousins, &c. to each for life, with reThat 24 persons, or 1 in 6,819 maider in their issue in succession ; have had iuflamed arms.

and in case they all died without isThat 3 persons, or 1 in 54,793 sue, he devised those estates to trushave died of such inflamed arnis. lees, who, with the consent and ap

That 66 persons, or 1 in 2,477 probation of the archbishops of Canhave had eruptions after the cow- terbury and York, and the masters of

St. Jolm's and Clare Hall, should And that 56 persons, or 1 in found a college within the university 2,917 have had the small-pox aiter- of Cambridge, which should be called war.S.

Downing College.

Sir George died in 1749; and, Thus, instead of two thousand upon the death of sir Jacob Garrat persons killed by the small-pox, Downing, in 1764, without issue, and six thousand rendered miserable the resi of sir George's relations for life, not a single death would named in his will being also then have happened, and only six per- dead without issue, the estates devised sons could in any respect have been were claimed by the university for the rendlered, uneasy or dissatistied; and use of the intenderi college. it is universally acknowledged, that The validity of sir George Downsuch accivients are less likely to oc- ing's will, atter many years in igation, cur now thau formerly, on account was at lengthe established: and the of the improved method of vaccinat- charter for the incorporation of ing generally adopted.

Downing College bavin2 been fully It appears then, that in a given examined and considered by the number of cases the advantages of lords of the privy council, and their the cow-pock over the small-pox is recommendation of it bemg conas 8000 to 6; consequently, those firmed by his majesty's express apwho submit to the process of vacci- probation, the great seal was attixed nation have upwards of thirteen to it by lord chancellor Longhhundred chances to one in their fa- borough, on the 22d of September,

1800,

vour.

Ceremonial

« EelmineJätka »