Page:Alcohol, a Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine.djvu/403

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395
ALCOHOL AS A MEDICINE.


tion under discussion. I have gone into these matters chiefly because the modern theoretical study of immunity during the last few years has, in general, attracted greater attention to the blood, and shown the important role which the different parts, properties, and capacities of the blood play in defending the organism against internal and external injurious agencies. Further, the subtle methods employed in the study of immunity (such as organic reactions, and reactions between greatly attenuated organic liquids) would also seem to be available for our purpose, as they allow of the detection of the minutest differences which alcohol may produce in any part of the organism in question.

"During the course of this research, which has lasted over a period of three years, I sought to investigate the action of alcohol on the resistive power of human red blood-corpuscles. I wished to ascertain whether the resistivity of the red blood-corpuscles in a healthy man could be lowered by the consumption of alcohol. * * *

"It may be well for me here to explain that in this lecture I mean by the term 'drinker' a person who has taken alcohol in any quantity whatever. Many of these 'drinkers,' therefore, were in fact most moderate consumers of alcohol. By the term 'abstainer' I mean a person who has never taken alcohol in any quantity worth mentioning. In the course of my investigations I have examined blood from two hundred and twenty-three persons. They were of different classes and ages. There were professors of medicine and other physicians, University fellows, students of both sexes, hospital nurses, school-teachers, waiters, and other men and women belonging to the working-classes."

The rest of the lecture as given here is an abstract made by Professor Laitinen:—

"My studies have been directed to an investigation of the following points :

"1. I sought to ascertain whether the resistance of human red blood-corpuscles against a heterogeneous normal serum,