Comments of Physicians
“UPON learning the state of the President’s condition early Friday
morning a letter was immediately prepared and sent to the senior
surgeon in charge, Dr. McBurney. My letter related to the extreme
urgency of consulting a well-known Buffalo physician competent to
select precisely proper food, and with knowledge how to administer
it. The letter was too late to be of service to the President.
“A long experience in active practice
has taught me that at the beginning of all acute cases, medical
or surgical, accompanied with shock or injury to vital organs, as
in the case of the President, the safe method is to withhold every
form of food, so long as there is fever or other complications.
Water, and water alone, is food and drink at such times, and is
the only safe thing that may be taken by the patient. Food in any
form or of any material may not be digested. Undigested food is
the [G][H] principal factor in producing
septicæmia. The President was surely in a septic state from the
second day, as shown by the low fever and high pulse rate. At such
moments of danger even a little food, and especially if it is not
digested in the mouth, may lead to fatality. Such is, unfortunately,
the termination of the President’s case.”
S 14, 1901.
“If our President had been at your
Health Home he would have learned that he could get along nicely
for weeks without food. In this great strain upon his vitality he
would have refused food, no matter by whom ordered, and would have
dismissed any one who knew no better than to order whiskey for an
inflamed stomach, and the chances are he would have made a speedy
P. T ,
“The wisdom of the unsuccessful operation
on the late President might be questioned, as it increased the wound
inflicted, and, causing a further loss of blood, decreased his vital
energy and chance of recovery. Notwithstanding his age, the deceased
would probably have overcome this second onslaught, had he been
left entirely without food and drugs till the wound healed.
“In typhoid fever, patients can live
without food for weeks and months; and Dr. Tanner and others have
demonstrated that we can exist without nourishment for a considerable
time. This shows that the President, being rather corpulent, would
have subsisted on his own adipose tissue for several weeks. But
how was he fed? On beef juice, whiskey, strychnine and other drugs.
“From every text-book on physiology
it can be learned that beef juice contains but 1 per cent. of nourishing
life-sustaining albumen and 99 per cent. of excrementitious matter.
As a noted physician puts it:—‘If he could think of anything very
nearly approximating beef juice, it would be concentrated urine.’
The beef juice alone was sufficient to cause and explain the rapid
“If you dip a piece of red flesh into
alcohol, it turns gray and hard, the same as if it had been cooked;
this is because both the alcohol and the cooking process coagulate
the transparent albumen of the flesh. But the same as boiling kills
the life of an egg, so coagulation of flesh by alcohol deprives
it of its life. Hence, feeding the President with whiskey further
accounts for his sudden demise.
“And now as to the saline injections,
strychnine and digitalis. Do they nourish? Are they capable of forming
normal tissue? By no means. Suppose you have an old horse that is
pulling a load up a hill. Would it be wiser, when the horse shows
symptoms of exhaustion, to drive him on until he breaks down, or
to allow him to rest and thus gain the summit by easy stages? The
administration of those poisons corresponds to the whipping up of
the horse; it stimulated the heart till it could go no further.
“In my opinion, Mr. McKinley died
a victim of the routine physicians’ delusion as to the excellent
qualities of the poisons mentioned. If they had understood their
business, the President would be alive to-day and Czolgosz would
not be a murderer.”
. F. R .