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Source: Outlook
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Attempt at Assassination”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 69
Issue number: 2
Pagination: 95

“The Attempt at Assassination.” Outlook 14 Sept. 1901 v69n2: p. 95.
full text
William McKinley (recovery); William McKinley (medical condition).
Named persons
James A. Garfield; William McKinley.


The Attempt at Assassination

By Monday of this week the deep suspense of the country over its President hanging between life and death at Buffalo was changed to a strong and reasonable hope. The bulletins from the surgeons in attendance became more and more favorable as Sunday passed by and no unfavorable symptoms developed, and the wounded President began to take nourishment and to have natural sleep. That complications may arise from blood-poisoning is always possible in cases like this, and it has been evident from the first that the wound was of a severe and dangerous character. At this writing, however, the people of the United States, who on Sunday had been, without regard to party or opinions, anxiously and fearfully awaiting possible ill news, and through the churches and in all possible private ways expressing their sympathy for the President and detestation of the crime, begin to feel that the strain of doubt may be relieved within a very few days, and that there will not be a repetition of the long and sickening vibration between hope and fear which marked the suffering of President Garfield. Mr. McKinley, for a man fifty-eight years old, has a fine constitution, and the soldier-like calmness and strength which his clear mind and strong nerve brought to bear on the situation have made him almost an ideal patient. Another most happy circumstance has been the celerity with which highly skilled medical and surgical assistance was placed at his disposal, and the promptness of the important operation. Unlike President Garfield’s case, the presence of the bullet is not likely to be a dangerous condition, and President McKinley has already gained some strength to enable him to meet the dangers of peritonitis should that occur, of which there is as we write no sign. The advances in surgical science make it possible to treat a wound like this—a double perforation of the stomach but not of the intestines—with a directness that would have seemed marvelous to the surgeons of twenty years ago. All things considered, even the not improbable occurrence of less favorable symptoms would not be necessarily fatal, and every day’s absence of such symptoms increases the likelihood of ultimate recovery. The testimony of medical experts is that at least half of the cases of this general character recover, and where the immediate shock and strain of the operation are withstood as well as they have been here the chances are increased immensely.



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