President William McKinley
date the tragic death scenes of P
W M K
have passed from view. The last public utterance, the kindly smile,
the murderous assault, the struggle for life, the last breath, all
are now events of the past, and yet they are still fresh in our
minds as if of yesterday, and their impress remains on our hearts.
Today as we remember his last counsel, his solicitude for the dependent
wife, his hopeful spirit and submissive will, we feel the presence
of a great and good man. We are loth to think him dead, and yet
his lips move not, nor will his hand be lifted in kindly service.
The details of the assassination of
our late President are too well known and too vividly remembered
to need repetition here. The daily bulletins also were as promptly
and zealously posted as the eager throngs could wish. The story
has all been told. This is an occasion only for reflection, consolation
and thought for the future.
Afterward is a favorite time for some
people to indulge in carping criticism and “I-told-you-so.” It is
also sometimes the only time to make any remark. It is so with us,
but we do not feel critical with regard to the medical aspect of
this case. It was as if the supreme efforts of their lives were
required of those employed in supplying the needs of that awful
occasion, and we are content to believe that they were expended
to the limit. Surgical attention was prompt, courageous, dignified
and careful. The only regret is that such service did not end in
The bulletins were as a rule satisfactory.
They reflected the best judgment of the medical attendants. It seemed
provoking, however, that he, who would naturally be supposed to
know least about the real conditions of things, not having assisted
or been present at the operation, should nevertheless prognosticate
with the most assurance. It is possible, however, that that bulletin
was incorrectly reported.
The regret has been publicly expressed
that a specialist in internal medicine was not called into the case
at the first, and the occasion is made use of to insist that in
surgical cases generally specialists in internal medicine as well
as surgeons should be consulted. In this instance it is perhaps
unfortunate that the physician was not called in earlier, as, had
he been, that regret would not have been felt. We are not willing
to admit,  however, that
such a rule should be established. It is our opinion, and everyone
is entitled to hold an opinion, that, except when the attending
physician or surgeon feels the need of other or more experienced
counsel, an undivided responsibility will insure the best results.