Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/503

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.



used it certainly is a valuable agent for this purpose. In many diseases it may prove to be of service, though, aside from its use in myxœdematous conditions, exactly what place in the materia medica should be assigned to it, it is as yet impossible to say. The gland is obtained chiefly from the sheep, and is usually administered in the form of a dried powder or in tablets. Alarming symptoms may occur as a result of overdosage; such symptoms consist in too rapid loss of weight, or feeble heart action, or lowering of the temperature; they usually subside when the remedy is stopped. It should be remembered, however, that it is a mysterious and powerful agent, by no means destined for indiscriminate use.

In conclusion, it may be said that the introduction into medicine of the thyroid gland is a logical conclusion from adequate premises. It resulted from scientific experimental and chemical study by trained and skillful workers, and it has nothing in common with the largely advertised "organic extracts," which are false in theory and worthless in practice.

Animal thyroid is by no means a cure-all, and even in myxœdematous conditions which have existed for many years it may be unable to repair the ravages of the disease; but it has shown itself, when appropriately applied, to be among the most unfailing therapeutic agents in our possession.


" WHATEVER crushes individuality," says John Stuart Mill, describing the essential feature of all political governments, "is despotism, by whatever name it be called, and whether it professes to enforce the will of God or the injunctions of men."[1] Be the government autocratic, aristocratic, or democratic, the power it wields in restraint of natural rights, or of equal freedom, puts it under the ban. Decked though it be with motives worthy of the noblest philanthropy, aim though it may to fill the world with saints, it is vitiated by the love of power and by the check it puts upon the natural growth of character. It would make all men, not like the diversity of Nature, but like the figures of Egyptian art. If democracy as well as autocracy and aristocracy has sought to accomplish this task; if the former as well as the latter, in the pursuit of an enterprise that has always ended and must inevitably end in disaster, has put shackles on the individual in the form of laws and seized his property under the guise of

  1. On Liberty. Ticknor & Fields edition, pp. 122, 123.