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Source: Physical Culture
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “Newspapers and New Thought”
Author(s): Drake, Timothy
Date of publication: January 1902
Volume number: 6
Issue number: 4
Pagination: 174-76 (excerpt below includes only pages 174-75)

Drake, Timothy. “Newspapers and New Thought.” Physical Culture Jan. 1902 v6n4: pp. 174-76.
the press (criticism); William McKinley (medical care: compared with other cases); Ray Hecock; Peter Arp.
Named persons
Peter Arp; Ray Hecock; William McKinley.


Newspapers and New Thought [excerpt]

THE press of this country, while pretending to educate and lead the public, seldom exerts any part of its unquestioned influence in beneficial channels. Its loud voice is raised in praise of this or that politician, and, alas! too often you will find its editorial utterances exploiting some patent medicine nostrum, because the vender of the so-called “medicine” patronizes the advertising columns of the aforesaid newspaper. The readers who really support these papers are apparently considered by their editors and proprietors as proper prey for any scheming advertiser who will pay them their price for advertising space.
     Therefore, you seldom see in one of these papers an article setting forth the results of some simple cure. If medicine does anything that is claimed to be out of the ordinary, such, for instance, as killing the germs of consumption by poisoning them with their own virus, the editors will devote pages of gush to the methods and the marvelous results. When a man goes out into the wilderness and with Nature’s aid alone performs a miracle upon himself, it is dismissed with curt notice, if any; for there is no money in such methods of treatment, and the news value of such an item is proportionately small.
     Once in a while, however, a newspaper gives, in small compass, accounts of events that ought to teach a lesson of value to their readers. They emphasized such a lesson when, during the late President’s course of treatment, at Buffalo, they showed how the attendant doctors were pushing him toward eternity by constant feeding. They have clinched the conviction of those doctors since the event, by furnishing divers accounts of similar cases that have come to light all over the country wherein the treatment was different, and results not fatal.
     The following report, printed in a California paper, is worth comparing with the report of the Buffalo case:
     “Ray Hecock, shot in the abdomen, sustains twenty-eight intestinal perforations—Will probably recover.
     “On Saturday, September 14, young Hecock was accidentally shot by a 22-caliber rifle. The bullet entered the abdomen three inches below the navel, one inch to the right of the median line. The family physician, was called.
     “The lad was placed upon the operating table seven hours after the infliction of the wound.
     “The small intestine was found to be pierced in twenty-eight places. One piece thirteen inches in length contained thirteen punctures. This section was removed entirely and the ends of the intestine joined by a Murphy button. The remainder of the twenty-eight punctures were sewed up in the usual manner. The bullet was not found, and is still lodged somewhere in the boy’s back.
     “The operation lasted two hours. Absolutely no food of any kind was given the patient by the mouth until after the eighth day. On that day six teaspoonfuls of hot water were given in divided doses. Between the eighth and thirteenth days small quantities of beef juice and [174][175] hot water were administered. The Murphy button passed on the tenth day.
     “Gradually the patient’s condition improved, until now his temperature and pulse are normal, and he is eating freely of solid food.”
     The following excerpt from the Chicago Daily News touches upon a similar case reported from Chicago:


     “What is known as the ‘McKinley case’ is in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital—a patient suffering from gunshot wounds identical with those inflicted upon the late President McKinley. The case is that of Peter Arp, a laborer, 41 years of age, who on September 21 attempted to commit suicide. He shot himself through the left lung and both walls of his stomach.
     “Determined to die, Arp made his case worse two days after he was operated on by tearing open his wounds and racing through the halls of the hospital in another effort to kill himself.
     “No solid food has yet been given the man, although he has been there nearly two weeks.
     “When the man was brought to the hospital on the Saturday he shot himself he was in a state of utter collapse and almost pulseless. An examination revealed two bullet wounds at the sixth rib. One had passed into the body, as in the case of McKinley, and the other had flattened and glanced, making a mere flesh wound. The patient was operated upon at once.
     “Instead of closing the wounds made by the operation, as was done in the President’s case, the surgeons left them open to prevent the formation of gangrene or pus.
     “Arp’s only complaint is, that he is hungry and wants some meat to eat.”
     A few months ago you would not have seen an article of this kind in a public newspaper, but they are trying to catch up with the procession. Generally they stick such news items away down at the bottom of a column, almost out of sight, where their big patent medicine advertisers cannot complain about its prominence. Such items are cropping up thick, as the results of this magazine’s mission broaden, and more and more people take up the practice of the simple rules of hygiene, that insure recovery from diseased conditions, and act as safeguards against weakness and disease.



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