Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Premature interment

Dealings With The Dead
Vol 2  Project Gutenburg
"In 1777, Dr. William Hawes, the founder of the Humane Society in London, published an address, on premature interment. This is a curious and valuable performance. I cannot here withhold the statement, that this excellent man, before the formation of the Humane Society, for several years, offered rewards, and paid them from his own purse, for the rescue of persons from drowning, between Westminster and London bridge. Dr. Hawes remarks, that the appearance of death has often been mistaken for the reality, in apoplectic, and fainting fits, and those, arising from any violent agitation of the mind, and from the free use of opium and spirituous liquors. Children, he observes, have often been restored, who have apparently died in convulsions. In case of fevers, in weak habits, or when the cure has been chiefly attempted, by means of depletion, the patient often sinks into a state, resembling death; and the friends, in the opinion of Dr. Hawes, have been fatally deceived. In small pox, he remarks, when the pustules sink, and death apparently ensues, means of restoration should by no means be neglected".

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