Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/23

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15
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.

practically the same as that of the A. M. A., adding: "We are of opinion that the use of alcoholic liquor as a beverage is productive of a large amount of physical disease."

The publication of these later declarations was the beginning of a marked change in the medical use of alcohol.

In England the scientific temperance movement began with Dr. B. W. Richardson, afterwards knighted by Queen Victoria for his great services to humanity as a medical philanthropist. Dr. Richardson's success in bringing before physicians the remarkable medicinal agent known as nitrite of amyl, led to a request from the British Association for the Advancement of Science that he investigate other chemical substances. The result was that several years of study, beginning with 1863, were given to the physiological effects of various alcohols, ethylic alcohol, which is the active principle in wines, beers and other intoxicating drinks, receiving special attention.

The following is taken from his "Results of Researches on Alcohol" :—

" In my hands ethylic alcohol and other bodies of the same group; viz. methylic, propylic, butylic, and amylic alcohols were tested purely from the physiological point of view. They were tested exclusively as chemical substances apart from any question as to their general use and employment, and free from all bias for or against their influence on mankind for good or for evil.