Topics in the News
Margaret Sanger, Birth Control Pioneer.
Margaret Sanger, the great pioneer of the birth control movement in the United States, declared in a 1938 article in the New Republic, "At last birth control is legal in the United States." As a nurse in New York City slums, Sanger was appalled at deaths from self-induced abortions. One of every four maternal deaths was due to abortion. In 1916 she opened a birth control clinic in Brooklyn and was arrested for creating a public nuisance. But by 1938 she could proclaim that federal law finally recognized the right to provide contraceptive information and service under medical direction. This right was legal under state laws in all but three states, Connecticut, Mississippi, and Massachusetts.
Legal and Medical Sanctions for Birth Control.
Prior to 1930 the Comstocklaws of 1873—Section 211 of the United States Penal Code—outlawed the dissemination of birth control information even by a physician and forbade any information about the subject from being sent through the mails or other carriers. Other sections criminalized the possession of any contraceptive article with fines from one thousand dollars to five thousand dollars, or imprisonment for five years, or both. Even married couples were forbidden by law from buying condoms and other contraception, especially through the mail. In 1930,...
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The Blues Blue Cross And Blue Shield
Hospitals and the Financial Crunch.
One of the effects of the Depression was to increase public interest in prepayment for medical care, Until the 1930s hospitals primarily depended on endowment income, charitable gifts, and patients' fees to function. But with the advent of the Depression, these sources dried up. The high rate of unemployment forced hospitals to provide more free hospital care than they had done in the past, and their finances were in crisis. In just one year after the 1929 stock market crash, average hospital receipts per person fell from $236.12 to $59.26. In 1931 only 62 percent of the beds in voluntary hospitals were occupied on an average day, compared to 89 percent in government hospitals where costs were covered. The financial insecurity of the nation's voluntary hospitals encouraged them to turn to insurance for a solution and led to the organization of the Blue Cross plans. Americans were already familiar with policies offered by certain commercial insurance companies that offered part payment for medical expenses, especially those in hospitals. Labor unions, industries, lodges, and fraternal orders also offered similar prepayment plans, but the number of persons covered by these programs was small and declined during the Depression years.
The Emergence of Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
In 1933 the American...
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The Cost Of Being Sick
Caught in the Middle.
In 1930 a major concern for Americans was whether or not they could afford to be sick. The wealthy could pay for their own medical expenses, and the decade of the 1920s had seen a continuation of the development of charitable organizations that helped to support the very poor. But families of moderate means were caught in the middle. A number of trends in medicine contributed to the mounting costs of medical care, including the increased use of hospitalization for patients, medical specialization, the "sliding scale," and charity work of physicians.
Costs and Trends in Medicine.
By the fourth decade of the century medicine entered an age of hospitalization. Hospitals originated as charitable institutions for the poor, with a few private rooms added for the wealthy. As health care and technology improved, medical care focused more on hospital treatment and hospitals increased in number and complexity. As this change occurred, the proportion of medical school graduates settling in large cities near large hospitals increased. With the increase in doctors and medical complexity, many general practitioners began to specialize, partly to compete and partly to solve the problem of keeping up to date in the enormous field of medicine that lay outside their particular speciality. Costs were also driven up for average...
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The Dawn Of The Sulfa Drugs
The "Sulfa" Drugs.
Infectious diseases had no truly effective agents for treatment available until the 1930s, when sulfonamides were developed as the first systemic drugs effectively used to fight the major killers of the twentieth century. The first of the sulfa drugs, Prontosil, was discovered by the German physician and chemist Gerhard Domagk. In 1932 he noticed that Prontosil, a red azo dye used in the laboratories of the dye industry, cured streptococcal infections in his laboratory mice. Domagk was awarded the 1939 Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology for his research, but the Nazis forced him to decline it. Workers at the Pasteur Institute (Paris) found that the active component of the dye was sulfanilamide, and the dawn of the modern era of antibacterial chemotherapy truly began.
American scientists Perrin H. Long and Eleanor A. Bliss brought Prontosil to the United States and used it in clinical applications at the Johns Hopkins Hospital beginning in 1936. Their invitro experiments and experimentation on mice led them to conclude, "the careful clinical use of para-amino-benzene-sulfonamide and its derivatives in the treatment of human beings ill with infections due to beta-hemolytic streptococci is warranted." Another major contributor to the modern age of chemotherapy was E. Kennerly Marshall Jr., a...
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The Food, Drug, And Cosmetic Act Of 1938
A Terrible Mistake.
The press widely praised sulfanilamide as a miracle medicine. But in 1937 a terrible mistake was made. The chief chemist at a small pharmaceutical plant in Bristol, Tennessee, trying to create a liquid dosage form, found that the solvent diethylene glycol would dissolve sulfanilamide. With the solvent he created a liquid form of sulfanilamide called an elixir of sulfanilamide. The chemist tested the elixir for appearance, fragrance, and flavor but neglected to consult the scientific literature or make animal tests to determine the effect on the body. Nearly two thousand pints of the liquid were made, but not one named the solvent on the label. Its presence in the elixir was toxic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA; created in 1906 with the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act) began hearing a rumor that deaths were occurring from some sulfa compound. By the time the investigation was over, the "elixir," according to FDA calculations, had killed some 107 people, many of them children who suffered long and painful deaths. A victim's mother wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt, telling how her little girl of six had died in agony and begging the president to support legislation to prevent other families from suffering similar tragedies. She included a picture of her daughter with the letter. The chemist who created the elixir committed suicide, and the doctor who owned...
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The "Good Sleep"—A Ne W Era In Surgery
In 1933 Americans could ponder such news flashes from the world of "astonishing, modern surgery" as:
- A patient in a New York hospital who read a newspaper throughout his painless operation.
- A seventy-year-old surgeon who performed a major abdominal operation upon himself.
- A Long Island patient who carried on a conversation with the surgeon during a forty-five-minute operation on his brain.
Anesthesia and Medical Progress.
One of the most significant American contributions to the history of medical progress was the introduction of surgical anesthesia. In 1844 Horace Wells, a dentist from Hartford, Connecticut, began to use nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") during dental extractions. Two years later another dentist, William T. G. Morton of Boston, who had experimented with ether for pulling teeth, administered it for a surgical operation performed by John C. Warren at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Chloroform was introduced in Europe in 1848, but it was never very popular in the United States. The danger was that even a little too much in the bloodstream might paralyze the heart.
By the early 1930s ether was still the main anesthesia of choice, but it had its own problems. It caused...
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"The Great White Plague"—Tuberculosis Before The Age Of Antibiotics
A Chronic Infectious Disease.
Pulmonary tuberculosis—also known as consumption, phthisis, or the "great white plague"—was still an insidious, chronic presence in the 1930s. The disease is caused by a tubercle bacillus, or germ, contained in the sputum coughed up by patients with tuberculosis of the lungs, and it is spread from sick to well individuals by close personal contact. After the discovery of the bacillus in 1882, doctors and the public hoped that a means could be found to kill it within the body or to immunize the individual from its threats, but this did not exist in the 1930s. In 1930 the tuberculosis mortality rate was seventy per one hundred thousand population per year. It took more lives than any other contagious disease. In 1936 the U.S. Bureau of the Census estimated that one out of every twenty-one deaths was due to tuberculosis. Its greatest toll was in young people between the ages of fifteen to forty-five, and it affected proportionately more women than men.
Although deaths from tuberculosis were still high, mortality rates had declined from the two hundred tuberculosis deaths per one hundred thousand population per year in 1900. Several factors contributed to this steady decline, including the public concern raised by individuals and organizations such as the National Tuberculosis Association. By 1930...
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Health And The New Deal
Franklin Delano Roosevelt's inaugural speech on 4 March 1933 set the tone for the early months of what would come to be called the New Deal. The Depression affected the priorities of social reform in the United States. The consequences of the sudden, enormous unemployment after 1929 fell first on local governments, which, as they always had, retained primary responsibility for relief of the poor. But relief payments were pitiful, and private agencies also could not cope with the massive unemployment and suffering. By 1932 even President Hoover had to admit that Americans needed federal help. During earlier eras in U.S. history, health insurance was the top item after workmen's compensation. European countries typically developed health insurance from a system of insurance against industrial accidents. Old-age pensions were next, and unemployment insurance came last. But in America, with millions out of wwk, unemployment insurance became the leading priority. Roosevelt told the American people that "fear itself was the chief danger and proposed programs to ease the economic hardships suffered by millions with relief measures that would put jobless people to work and lead to economic recovery. Through New Deal programs, the federal government came to play such an unprecedented part in people's daily lives that its critics decried it as "socialism."
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The March Of Dimes And The National Foundation For Infantile Paralysis
President Roosevelt and Polio.
Of all the major ills that still plagued Americans in the 1930s, polio became a community rallying point and an urgent subject for medical research. Polio was an enemy that struck the nation's young in a vicious manner, often paralyzing or crippling victims for life, if it was not fatal. The nation's first citizen was its foremost victim. In 1938 not all Americans knew that their president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a paraplegic, a crippled victim of poliomyelitis. Roosevelt disguised his paralysis with strong steel braces on his paralyzed legs when he had to stand and often appeared seated in open-topped automobiles where the crowds could not see his disability. He was only photographed in a wheelchair once during his entire political career. But the story of his apparent "victory" over the disease was common knowledge. He made frequent therapy visits to Warm Springs, Georgia, to the Warm Springs Foundation, which ran a treatment center for polio victims. In 1934 the foundation needed financial support, and the decision was made to ask the public for contributions. President Roosevelt lent his name to the fund-raising campaign, which was based on a series of annual balls held in various cities on Roosevelt's birthday, 30 January.
The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and the March of Dimes.
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Maternal Mortality—Why Mothers Died
A Cause for Concern.
A major health concern of the decade was the high rate of mothers who died giving birth. In 1936 the Federal Children's Bureau called attention to an "alarmingly high" maternal mortality rate of 59 mothers per 10,000 live births in 1934, the highest among the industrialized nations. More women in the reproductive period of life from ages fifteen to twenty-four died from diseases and complications of pregnancy and childbirth than from any other cause except tuberculosis. The specific reasons recorded on death certificates for these 12,859 deaths included septicemia or puerperal fever, a contagious infection responsible for about 40 percent of the deaths. Twenty-three percent of maternal mortalities were due to albuminuria with eclampsia, a condition of protein in the urine which can lead to coma and convulsions. "Other causes," a blanket group of emergencies, abnormalities, operative procedures, etc., accounted for about 37 percent of the mothers' deaths.
Poverty and Rural Isolation.
Although unlisted on death certificates, poverty and rural isolation from prenatal and obstetrical care were major causes of maternal deaths. Prenatal care meant visits to the doctor, and visits to the doctor, when there was one available, cost money. The comparison of maternal mortality rates for white and African American women was an...
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The Nation'S Health
The Science and Status of Medicine.
By the late 1930s medicine was well established as a science. The modern age of chemotherapy had arrived with the sulfa drugs, and the age of antibiotics was to come in the next decade. Hormones, insulin, and vitamins were used in daily life. Blood transfusion was one of the most common hospital procedures, together with a bewildering variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including X-ray procedures, electrocardiographs, and basal metabolism techniques. In the first thirty years of the century public health measures had alleviated much human misery. Diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, and diphtheria were rapidly disappearing. Other diseases, previously unknown, were taking their place: allergies, diabetes, arthritis, and diseases of the peripheral blood vessels. There were still epidemics and some diseases, which, as one doctor put it, "many a research man would literally give his right arm if he could just find a clue as to how [it got] around." Infantile paralysis, or polio, was still a mystery disease, and so were spinal meningitis and sleeping sickness. German measles and the common cold were acknowledged threats, and tuberculosis, or the "white plague/' still was mainly being treated by sunshine, fresh air, and rest.
A Report on the Nation's Health.
In 1938 Surgeon General Thomas...
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The New Deal, Health Insurance, And The Ama
Physicians' Autonomy versus the Great Depression.
The traditional forms of medical practice in the United States evolved during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Individual doctors cared for the sick and regulated their fees according to their patients' ability to pay. There were few group practices and fewer prepaid medical plans. This individualized fee-for-service system did not always provide economic security for the physician since it also rested on his ability to charge and to collect his fees. But it did mean that physicians had full control over their profession, with no other organization able to dictate their income and conditions of practice. This was a powerful tradition for the medical profession and one that they feared losing. American health insurance had been a political issue ever since World War I, after nearly all the major European countries had adopted programs. In the United States, what prepaid health insurance or third-party payments that existed came mainly from labor unions, and even these came from the local rather than the national organizations. There was some commercial health insurance, but it was little developed. Blue Cross and Blue Shield originated during the 1930s to provide some relief, but the Great Depression brought about calls for the greater reforms, as private physicians and private charities could no longer afford to meet the demand...
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Psychoanalysis In America And The Impact Of The European Intellectual Migration
The Nazis Ban Psychoanalysis.
In October 1933 Nazi Germany labeled psychoanalysis a "Jewish science" and banned it from the Congress of Psychology in Leipzig. The Nazis burned psychoanalytic literature, and practicing psychoanalysts, mostly from Berlin, first joined Sigmund Freud for a brief stint in Vienna or left directly for the United States to save their lives and their practices. Their contributions made a profound impact on American psychology and contributed to the growth of a more influential psychiatric profession in the United States.
The Psychoanalytic Diaspora.
Freud is honored as the genius of psychoanalysis, but not all American academicians or medical psychiatrists were ready to accept his ideas wholeheartedly. In the first third of the century there was a great deal of ambivalence to his ideas in the United States. Other schools of thought, such as behaviorism and experimental psychology, were more popular. The European psychoanalysts were accustomed to the lukewarm embrace of psychoanalysis. Analysts were to a large extent outsiders in their own countries and subject to the hostile climate of opinion that surrounded Freud's European psychoanalytic movement. But they brought certain strengths to the United States, They already knew their American colleagues from the international congresses of the psychoanalytic...
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Sex, Disease, And The New Deal
The Conquest of Infectious Disease.
The most important health change during the century was the successful conquest of many infectious diseases through both public health measures and scientific medical advances. Diphtheria, typhoid, and dysentery no longer threatened Americans with terrible epidemics, yet venereal diseases remained uncontrolled. Modern antibiotic treatments for them were not available in the 1930s; but control was also defeated by a conspiracy of silence that prevailed in the country over issues of sexual morality. During World War I, newspapers and magazines dramatically publicized the problem, but in the years after the war the antivenereal campaign began to fail. If all conditions due to syphilis had been reported as such, it was believed that syphilis would have been found to be the leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for 10 percent of all insanity, 18 percent of all diseases of the heart and blood vessels, and many of the stillbirths and deaths of babies in the first weeks of life. In 1935 the disease attacked and disabled more than half a million people. There was more of it than measles, twice as much as tuberculosis, a hundred times as much as polio. The spirochete organism that causes syphilis was identified in 1905, and the following year August Wassermann and his colleagues developed a diagnostic test for the disease. In 1910 Paul...
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Specialization Versus General Practice
Planning and the Structure of the Medical Profession.
During the 1920s the growing complexity of medicine led to a bewildering range of new information for a physician to assimilate. Hospitals and climes grew in number, and medical costs ranged upward to pay for them. Resources, both in medicine and for the public, were maldistributed, with physicians forced to make compromises in the treatment of patients between what was medically desirable and what the patient could afford to pay. All these issues affected the way medicine was organized and the quality and distribution of the service offered. Such problems were brought to a head by the social turbulence of the early 1930s. One of the most important issues facing medicine concerned the organization of the profession. The Depression cut doctors' profits, raised hospital costs, and strained medical services. As they did in other industries, New Dealers advocated economic planning, the imposition of codes and practices, and general federal regulation of the health profession. But health professionals mobilized to oppose federal regulation, national health insurance, and governmental oversight of their profession. In the process the health industry became more specialized, more professionalized, and more able to protect itself from outside regulation.
Life, Death, and Medicine.
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Carrel, Alexis 1873-1944
AMERICA'S FIRST NOBEL PRIZE WINNER IN MEDICINE-SCIENTIST AND ECCENTRIC PHILOSOPHER
The Threads of Life.
Alexis Carrel was born in Lyons, France, on 28 June 1873. He became a physician in Lyons, began his experimental work in surgery in 1902, and then immigrated to the United States in 1904, When the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research opened its doors in New York in 1906, it included Carrel among its outstanding investigators. In 1912 the Nobel Prize Committee awarded him the first Nobel Prize in medicine given to an American in recognition of his work on the suturing together of blood vessels and the transplantation of blood vessels and organs. The development of this technique laid the foundation for vascular surgery, heart surgery, and transplantation of organs.
In the 1930s Carrel became one of the first medical scientists in America to attract widespread public attention. In 1935, late in his career as a laboratory scientist, he wrote a nonmedical book, Man, the Unknown, which became a best-seller. In this work he presented his social views and his ideas for an institute...
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Fishbein, Morris 1889-1976
AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION SPOKESMAN
A "Socialized Medicine" Opponent.
One of the strongest opponents of "socialized medicine" in any form was Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association and of Hygeia. When the Group Health Association (GHA) of Washington formed a medical cooperative in November 1937, Fishbein led the battle to oppose them. For years the American Medical Association and most of its state and county medical societies were guided by the principle that a corporation could not practice medicine, and Fishbein was its primary spokesman. The idea behind a medical cooperative such as the GHA was to give patients financial relief with prepaid health insurance "premiums" and to improve the incomes of physicians by paying them fixed salaries from these premiums. In less than a year this medical corporation had nearly twenty-five hundred members. The Medical Society of Washington, D.C. (a branch of the AMA), threatened the doctors who worked for the group plan with loss of membership in the AMA and in August 1938 expelled one. It also applied pressure upon Washington hospitals to exclude GHA doctors. Most American physicians were very attached to their traditional patterns of professional autonomy and saw any form of "socialized medicine" as outside intervention that could interfere with their longstanding...
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Horney, Karen 1885-1952
From Germany to the United States.
On 22 September 1932 a German psychoanalyst who was to influence American psycho-therapy and personality theory greatly arrived in the United States. Dr. Karen Horney accepted a job offer from her former student, Hungarian analyst Franz Alexander, as assistant director of his newly established Psychoanalytic Institute in Chicago. Horney received her M.D. degree at the University of Freiburg in 1913 and underwent psychoanalytic training with Karl Abraham, a friend and close associate of Sigmund Freud. She enjoyed her life in the Weimar Republic in the 1920s, but the 1929 Wall Street crash with its resulting economic hardship and the growth of Nazism encouraged her to accept Alexander's offer. Horney worked briefly at the Chicago institute and then moved to New York City, where she joined the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. The New School for Social Research had set up a University of Exile for German academics threatened by Hitler's 1933 rise...
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Landsteiner, Karl 1868-1943
THE FATHER OF IMMUNOLOGY
America's Second Winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Karl Landsteiner devoted years of his life to classifying the different types of human blood. A "modest, reticent man with a drooping moustache," Landsteiner became the United States' second winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1930. The Austrian-born physician received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Vienna in 1891 and was a pathologist at the university from 1909-1919. Poor working conditions forced him to leave Vienna in 1919, but facilities in The Hague were no better. He accepted an offer from the Rockefeller Institute in New York City and went to the United States in 1922, becoming an American citizen in 1929. His 1909 classification of the four main types of human blood (A, B, AB, and O) made possible the safe transfusion of blood from one person to another, although several years passed before the knowledge was put to practical use.
Man and the Apes.
Landsteiner had a wide range of research interests. He was also known for his studies of poliomyelitis and was the first to infect monkeys with the poliovirus, which gave bacteriologists a means of studying the disease in animals and for experimenting in attempts at human immunization. He dealt with therapeutic blood transfusions, serological...
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Menninger, Karl 1893-1990
POPULARIZER AND PUBLICIZER OF PSYCHIATRY
The Human Mind.
In 1930 the American psychiatrist Karl Menninger published his best-seller, The Human Mind, a book that gave the psychopathology of everyday life and the workings of the mind a new meaning to many Americans. The psychiatrist in The Human Mind took the reader into his practice and let him see how the world looked when viewed through a psychiatrist's eyes. Menninger openly discussed the everyday problems of mental illness, and, in doing so, the reading population of the country developed new insights into both mental illness and the psychiatric specialty. Menninger's name appeared widely in newspapers and magazines as he also published articles and reached the public in the Nation, the New Republic, and the Ladies' Home Journal, In many minds Menninger's name and psychiatry became indivisible. Psychiatry had found a spokesman, and the Menninger family became the family psychiatrists of America.
A Medical Dynasty.
Menninger was born in Topeka, Kansas, on 22 July 1893 to a medical dynasty. His...
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Parran, Thomas 1892-1968
THE NATIONS FAMILY DOCTOR AND CRUSADER
AGAINST THE LAST GREAT PLAGUE
A Censored Broadcast.
In November 1934 the Columbia Broadcasting Company scheduled a radio address by New York State Health Commissioner Thomas Parran Jr. on future goals for public health. But he never delivered his talk. Listeners who tuned in heard piano melodies instead. Moments before he was scheduled to go on the air, CBS told him that he could not mention syphilis and gonorrhea by name. In response, Parran refused to go on and complained in a press release that his speech should have been considered more acceptable than "the veiled obscenity permitted by Columbia in the vaudeville acts of some of their commercial programs." During Roosevelt's New Deal, Parran, as the surgeon general of the United States, committed the nation to the eradication of venereal disease by dramatically bringing these infections to the center of public consciousness. Barred from the radio in 1934, he found his picture on the cover of Time in 1936, as he embarked on a major campaign to take the prudery out of the war against social diseases and eradicate syphilis from the country.
United States Surgeon General.
Parran entered the health service of the United States in 1917 when he was twenty-five years old and two years out of Georgetown University...
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Townsend, Francis Everett 1867-196O
THE "STEPFATHER" OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT OF 1935
A Generous Man with a Tender Heart.
According to the story promoted by his loyal followers, one morning Francis Everett Townsend, an elderly retired assistant medical officer in Long Beach, California, was startled to see three old women rummaging for food in some garbage cans outside his window. He let forth a shocked bellow that brought his wife, who cautioned him that he should not shout because the neighbors would hear. "I want all the neighbors to hear me!" he defiantly shouted. "I want God Almighty to hear me! I'm going to shout till the whole country hears!" And thus Townsend became identified as the champion of old people, credited by many with the creation of state-supported pensions—social security.
Although a form of national health insurance had been one of the top concerns during the Progressive Era, the Depression sidetracked it in favor of other priorities. With millions out of work, unemployment insurance became the leading priority. Old-age benefits were a second and often unaddressed issue. A generous man with a tender heart, Townsend was outraged by the lack of public concern for the elderly victims of the Depression. In 1933 he suggested that all retirees over the age of sixty should receive two hundred dollars a month (in...
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People in the News
In 1937 Dr. L. B. Alford, Saint Louis, stated that brain operations indicated that a small section of the left side of the posterior brain in right-handed persons controlled the functioning of the mind.
Dr. C. W. Alvarez of the Mayo Clinic found disease of the gallbladder to be the most frequent cause of indigestion or abdominal distress in 1930.
Drs. Charles Armstrong and W. T. Harrison, National Institute of Health, reported in 1935, that a solution of alum used as a spray enabled 74 percent of the animals so treated to survive infantile paralysis. In 1936 the doctors announced their nasal spray of picric acid-sodium alum offered hope of a successful preventive for infantile paralysis; the drugs used in the spray could be purchased at any pharmacy
Working independently in 1937, Dr. Charles Armstrong, National Institute of Health, and Drs. E. W. Schultz and L. P. Gebhardt, Stanford University, found that inoculation with a zinc sulphate or with picric acid and alum solution successfully immunized monkeys against infantile paralysis.
Autopsy reports studied by Drs. D. L. Augustine and W. W. Spink, Harvard University, revealed in 1936 that 20 percent of the individuals had suffered from trichinosis, the disease caused by worm-infested pork.
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NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS IN MEDICINE
Karl Landsteiner (Austrian-born American) for the identification of human blood into the major groups A, B, AB, and O.
Otto Warburg (Germany) for his discovery of the nature and mode of action of the respiratory enzyme.
Edgar D. Adrian and Charles S. Sherrington (United Kingdom) for their discovery regarding the functions of the neurons.
Thomas Hunt Morgan (United States) for his discovery of the heredity transmission functions of chromosomes.
George R. Minot, William P. Murphy, and George H. Whipple (United States) for their work on liver extract therapy to overcome anemia.
Hans Spemann (Germany), embryologist, for discovering the organizer effect in embryonic growth.
Henry H. Dale (United Kingdom) and Otto Loewi (Austria) for their discovery of the chemical transmission of nerve impulses.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (Hungarian-born American), biochemist, for his identification and isolation of vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
Corneille Heymans (Belgium) for his discovery of the role played by the sinus and...
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Herman Morris Adler, 59, psychiatrist and criminologist who perfected a lie detector for use in criminal investigation and whose work dealt primarily with the personality and behavioral difficulties and mental factors in criminology, in Boston, 7 December 1935.
Freeman Allen, 59, anesthesia expert and grandson of Harriet Beecher Stowe, in Boston, 3 May 1930.
Frank Allport, 78, ophthalmologist and otologist who advocated the examination of schoolchildren's eyes and ears and was reportedly the first to cure vernal conjunctivitis, in Nice, France, 3 August 1935.
James Meschter Anders, 82, physician whose particular areas of interest were medical diagnosis, clinical medicine, and the function of transpiration; at the Medico-Chirurgical College in Philadelphia he served as professor of forestry, specializing in the relationship of plant life to health, and chaired the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medicine; among his writings was House Plants as Sanitary Agents (1887), in Blue Hills, Maine, 29 August 1936.
Bailey Kelly Ashford, 61, surgeon who determined that hookworm was responsible for widespread anemia in Puerto Rico and organized a government campaign for the eradication of the hookworm disease with the use of the drug thymol; in...
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American Academy of Political and Social Science, The Medical Profession and the Public: Currents and Counter-Currents (Philadelphia: American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1934);
American Medical Association, Bureau of Medical Economics, Economics and the Ethics of Medicine (Chicago: American Medical Association, 1935);
L. F. Barker, Live Long and Be Happy; How to Prolong Your Life and Enjoy It (New York: Appleton-Century, 1936);
Bertram M. Bernheim, Medicine at the Crossroads (New York: Morrow, 1939);
Esther Lucile Brown, Physicians and Medical Care (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1937);
P, Brown, American Martyrs to Science through Roentge?i Rays (Springfield, 111.: Charles C. Thomas, 1936);
Alexis Carrel, Man, the Unknown (New York: Harper, 1935);
Carrel and Charles A. Lindbergh, The Culture of Organs (New York: Paul B. Hoeber, 1938);
Elizabeth M. Chesser, Vitality; a Book on the Health of Women and Children (New York: Oxford University Press, 1935);
Logan Clendening, Behind the Doctor: The Romance of Medicine (New York: Knopf, 1933);
Committee on the Costs of Medical Care, Medical Care for the...
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Important Events in Medicine and Health, 1930–1939
- Anesthesia is advanced with the increased use of Avertin, originally developed in Germany.
- Tincture of merthiolate gains widespread popularity for painting cuts and scratches after adding alcohol to sanitize the cut and vegetable dye to make it show on the skin.
- Spleen X rays are accomplished by injecting emulsions of iodized nutrient oils into the bloodstream.
- The Human Mind by Menninger Clinic psychiatrist Karl Menninger popularizes psychiatry as a source of help for the mentally ill.
- On January 28, Prohibition reaches its tenth anniversary as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company reports that deaths from alcoholism are soaring.
- In February, scientists at the U.S. Public Health Service begin growing the rickettsia bacterium as a prelude to developing a typhus vaccine.
- On April 8, Congress creates the National Institutes of Health.
- In April, isolation of the hormone cortin from the cortex of the suprarenal glands proves useful in the treatment of Addison's disease.
- In May, Harvard Medical School scientists find a lack of vitamin B in the diet causes a paralysis in animals similar to that of humans suffering from pernicious anemia.
- On May 24, a Reader's Digest poll shows the...
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