Report of the Physicians Who Attended President
THE official report of the President’s medical and surgical staff,
printed elsewhere, presents many points of interest, though most
of the facts it contains already have been published in the J
One of the striking features of the case which its reading accentuates
was the low vitality of the President,—a factor of great import
in determining the fatal issue.
President McKinley had been in public
life for 40 years, the last decade of which it will be remembered
was a period of continual strain. While he was in comparative health
when stricken down, and was able to meet the every-day demands upon
his physical resources, yet he was unprepared to withstand the enormous
drain and strain that the last seven days of his life required.
It early became necessary to resort to cardiac stimulants and these
were but poorly or at most only temporarily responded to. The reparative
force was not there in sufficient volume to meet the requirements
of such a sudden and awful exaction. The solar plexus undoubtedly
received a shock both from the wound and the necessary surgical
manipulations that contributed to the complications of the case.
The autopsy report in all its details
is of special interest and throws much light upon points heretofore
not clearly comprehended by the profession or the public. The bacteriological
investigation was most complete and the report of it contributes
to the general fund of information in a very satisfactory manner.
The minute and painstaking character of the two latter—anatomical
and bacteriological—will attract attention, and the 
entire report in its several parts will convince the world, lay
as well as professional, that the President of the United States
in his grievous affliction received the very best medical and surgical
care, that nothing was left undone which could have contributed
to his comfort or safety, and that his wound was one in its very
nature which no skill in surgery could cure, it being absolutely
mortal in its effects, and beyond all but temporary relief.
The entire conduct of the case was
upon modern scientific medical and surgical principles, and no intelligent
observer can gainsay this fact, which is a comforting reflection
in view of the awfulness of a calamity that plunged the whole world
into the deepest gloom. These are some of the reflections we are
led into after reading this report, which is a becoming final chapter
to a history that saddens the hearts of our people more universally
than any other event since the foundation of the republic.