Source: Alkaloidal Clinic
Source type: journal
Document type: book review
Document title: none
Date of publication: March 1902
Volume number: 9
Issue number: 3
|Rev. of Medical Aspects of the Czolgosz Case, by Charles Hamilton Hughes. Alkaloidal Clinic Mar. 1902 v9n3: pp. 275-76.|
|book reviews (Medical Aspects of the Czolgosz Case).|
|Charles Hamilton Hughes; Edward A. Spitzka.|
Medical Aspects of the Czolgosz
Case, is a special number of the Alienist and Neurolgist [sic],
St. Louis, Jan., 1902. No. I., pages 13. It is an essay by Charles Hamilton
Hughes, M. D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuriatry, Barnes Medical College.
Is there an anarchist printer, or proofreader in the office of this paucipaginate and multiloquus periodical? For on page 3, in the middle of it, we read about the execution of that wretch, that: “At 7:17 a. m., after satisfactory pulse and respiration tests on the part of the attending physicians, the prison warden pronounced the criminal deed.” (Italics ours.) Was that execution a criminal deed? What a criminal publishing neglect! Prof. H. finds fault with the autopsy verdict, that no disease of brain was found, for, contends he, there must have been such from at least the elec-  tric shock. Is this not acute? Spitzka, where are you?
Prof. H.’s rhetorical taste is sui generis, for complaining that the press of this country had no code of ethics, he brings in grotesque juxtaposition the President’s character and handling of crime by the press, without even a mitigating “neither” between these. Then he speaks in the same clause of “oblivion” and “obliquy” (the spelling is not mine) demanded for that criminal. Now you can’t forget a thing when you are “loquiing” about it. Prof. H. wants a code of ethics for the press. Who is to make it? Any one else but the people?
The Professor complains that the criminal’s brain was not given to science, he means of course scientific men, in order that they might find out the cause of that crime. Now supposing that they had had it and found out that some cells were abnormal materially, then there would be proof that there was no psychic crime at all. The Prof.’s ethical creed betrays itself on page 7, line 2, top, where he speaks of the “criminal brain.”
What is the gist of it? The Prof.’s whole argument is crassly materialistic, and the total absence of religious emotion in that wretch forms no item in the Prof.’s search for the etiologic moment of his crime. It must be assumed that the Prof. regards such absence as normal. A few millions of humanity will differ from such a view. Crime is on the increase, religion on the decrease; is there a causal nexus here? Ah, me! Psychiaters ought to be psychologists too, for as one has well said: “Other coins than those of materialism have also currency.”