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DOCTORS' BILLS.

WHEN a young gentleman who has no
incapacity for the enjoyment of baked meats
and pastry, being tried with beef can eat
none, being tried with turkey turns against
poultry, chokes in the struggle to get
pudding down, and even lets a strawberry lie
whole in his month because he cannot
make up his mind to swallow it, there is a
question that may reasonably occur to his
friends,— Can he be hungry? We are good
friends of the medical profession, and we
have now at our elbow a pile of Parliamentary
bills that have been introduced by one at
a time or two at a timejust now trial is
being made with two at a timeunder the
belief that each may be the bill beginning,
"Whereas it is expedient to amend the laws
relating to the medical profession," which
the medical profession says it wants. The
profession cries, or is said to cry, "Beef!"
gets beef, and declares it too tough or too
tender, too dry or too juicy. Away it goes.
The profession criesor is said to cry
"Pudding!" and is offered a great choice of
puddings, but eats none. The profession
only wants a bit of cheese, but there is no
cheese that is the cheese. Yet the profession,
though it can eat nothing, really seems
to feel uneasy in the stomach. As friends,
we suggest that, perhaps the sense is one, not
of a void to be filled, but of a weight to be
thrown off. The similitude is less agreeable
than apt. We take another.

A young lady, tending to be buxom, feels
a difficulty in getting on, complains of
cold at the extremities, looks blue in the
face, and calls in a variety of surgeons and
physicians. The young lady's name is Miss
Hygeia. One adviser prescribes blisters to
the right leg, another prescribes blisters to
the left leg; various cunning surgeons even
suggest odd morsels of amputation here and
there, and there is no potion that is not to be
found in the prescriptions laid upon the
table for her benefit,—upon the table of
the House of Commons. The young lady is
the medical profession. Some very ordinary
persons, who are not cunning at all, don't see
any use in blistering her legscauterising
by law the medical corporationsor in
shaving her head, and cupping her behind
the braintaking the strength, by law, out
of the universities; and think it a wise
instinct that keeps her from the swallowing
of any legal potion. It is, they say, a pure
case of tight lacing. Cut her stays.

While we write, two rival dockets of
opinion and advice upon her casemedical
billsare before the public. In each, the
advice is to put her in some sort of irons,
dose, and bandage her; in neither is it
recommended that her chest be cut loose, and
allowed to work as it can work if left to
nature. A woman can live without being
fixed in a machine that shall inflate her
lungs for her, push up her diaphragm, and
regulate the rise and fall of every rib. So
can a profession; though the legislators for
physician, surgeon, and apothecary don't
appear to think so. Of the two courses of
treatment proposed in the case of Hygeia
(the one by Mr. Headlam, the other by Lord
Elcho), one involves more cramping and
dosing than the other, and is, therefore, by so
much worse than the other. If either be
adopted, we shall presently have reason to
show why one should be taken and the other
left. But we have, in the first place, our
own counsel to give. Undoubtedly Hygeia
is blue in the face; she does find some difficulty
in getting on, she is very much starved
at the extremities, and is weaker than she
ought to be about the head. Something must
be done for her; but what? We say, do
not dose, bleed, blister, amputate, or bandage:
simply, Cut her stays.

Setting aside metaphor, let us ask what is
the main thing proposed by the law-makers?
or the bill-makers: they never get so far as
to the making of a law. "For the good of the
public," one bill declares itself to be. "For
the good of the profession, I am," says
another.

Here is one that was introduced by Mr.
Warburton, Mr. Wakley, and Mr. Hawes, in
the year eighteen hundred and forty,—whereas
and because it was "expedient that all male
persons practising medicine in the United
Kingdom should be registered; and that
all properly educated medical practitioners
should be encouraged to exercise their
profession, in all or any of its branches in
whatsoever parts of the British,"—et c√¶tera. The
bill set up a machinery of registrars and