The Assassination of the President
The whole country was inexpressibly shocked by the news of the
shooting of the President by an anarchist. Mr. McKinley’s irreproachable
private character and his kindly nature had made him honored even
by his political enemies. The crime that caused his death was as
senseless as it was horrible.
The course of the second bullet, as
shown by the autopsy, was through both walls of the stomach, the
pancreas, the top of the left kidney and on into the muscles of
the back. The careful and skillful operation performed by Dr. Mann,
the Buffalo surgeon, appeared for several days to have met every
requirement, and the President seemed on the high road to recovery.
His sudden relapse and gradual final collapse were, therefore, almost
as much a shock to the nation as was the first intelligence of the
The negative character of the signs
and symptoms involved the case at this period in considerable mystery,
at least to the great body of physicians who had no access to the
real information possessed on the subject by those in attendance.
The autopsy, however, cleared up the diagnosis by revealing that
the tract of  the bullet
was gangrenous throughout, and death was, therefore, unavoidable
and certain from gradual asthenia, due to septicemia.
As a general rule very eminent men
who need medical and especially surgical attention, while they have
too many doctors, often get little enough real service, for fear
most likely of adverse criticism in the event of untoward accidents,
such as that of dying on the operating table. Viewed from what we
may know at this distance, however, it seems very probable that
Mr. McKinley received the best possible care in every way; and this
despite the asseverations of the omniscient reporter, who claimed
that the President died of toxemia from the intestinal tract, owing
to the premature administration of solid food. This, by the way,
is the same wise scribe who stated that Mr. McKinley was kept under
the “deadening influences” of the “narcotics” strychnine and digitalis.
All of which shows that it is simply impossible for the daily press
to represent medical matters fairly or correctly.