Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/15

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PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.

When the first edition of this book was published in 1900, there were only a few leading physicians either in Europe or America who were ready to condemn the medical use of alcohol. Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson, Sims Woodhead, and a few others in England; Forel, Kassowitz and one or two more on the Continent, and Nathan S. Davis, T. D. Crothers and J. H. Kellogg, in America, were about all that could be quoted largely as opposed to alcoholic liquors as remedies in disease. Whisky was then looked upon as necessary in the treatment of consumption and diphtheria. Ten years have brought about a .great change. There are many American physicians now willing to admit that they have very little or no use for alcoholic liquors as remedial agents, and now, instead of recommending whisky for consumption anti-tuberculosis literature almost everywhere warns against the use of intoxicating drinks. The use of antitoxin in diphtheria has driven out whisky treatment in that disease with markedly favorable results. Under the whisky treatment death-rates ran up to fifty-five and sixty per cent.; now the diphtheria death-rate is very low. Ten years ago many good authorities still ranked alcohol as a stimulant ; now, almost all rank it as a depressant. In England, leading physicians and surgeons have spoken so strongly against alcohol in the last few years that the London Times, England's leading newspaper, said: "According to recent developments of scientific opinion, it is not impossible that a belief in the strengthening and supporting qualities of alcohol will eventually become as obsolete as a belief in witchcraft."

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