The unfortunate tragedy at Buffalo
emphasizes the fact that in selecting the Medical Director for Expositions
and for other high positions, merit rather than influence should
decide the question—the place should seek the man. The Medical Director
at Buffalo is all that could be desired, but when one accepts such
a position and the Chief Executive of the nation is in town, the
surgeon should be one of his party, he should be right on hand every
moment, lest some other Doctor Mann might be called to operate for
him in his absence.
In the President’s case at Buffalo,
the value of prompt action, ability, and all necessary preparation
in advance for emergency work was clearly demonstrated to the world.
The accident, however, might have occurred at a point of some considerable
distance from hospital facilities, or transportation might have
been a question for consideration after the operation.
In either event the great value and
absolute necessity of having either hospital cars, or the hospital
compartment in one car of all through trains, should at this time
be fully realized by all. Railway employees are not the only people
who may suddenly feel the need of the hospital compartment car,
even officials, directors and stockholders are not exempt.
The Chief Executive of the nation
has been stricken and suppose it had been found necessary to transport
him by rail for any distance without delay? The people of this up-to-date
nation would have read not with pride, but with shame and just indignation,
that their President “was made as comfortable as possible under
the circumstances, by turning two seats of a day-coach together
for a couch,” or by placing him on a cot or stretcher in the mail
or baggage car. Yet this is exactly what would have taken place
had necessity required immediate railway transportation of the President,
for among the many trunk lines entering Buffalo not one has a hospital
car, or has made the least preparation in advance for the humane
transportation of the sick and injured.