1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hart, Ernest Abraham

HART, ERNEST ABRAHAM (1835–1898), English medical journalist, was born in London on the 26th of June 1835, the son of a Jewish dentist. He was educated at the City of London school, and became a student at St George’s hospital. In 1856 he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, making a specialty of diseases of the eye. He was appointed ophthalmic surgeon at St Mary’s hospital at the age of 28, and occupied various other posts, introducing into ophthalmic practice some modifications since widely adopted. His name, too, is associated with a method of treating popliteal aneurism, which he was the first to use in Great Britain. His real life-work, however, was as a medical journalist, beginning with the Lancet in 1857. He was appointed editor of the British Medical Journal in 1866. He took a leading part in the exposures which led to the inquiry into the state of London workhouse infirmaries, and to the reform of the treatment of sick poor throughout England, and the Infant Life Protection Act of 1872, aimed at the evils of baby-farming, was largely due to his efforts. The record of his public work covers nearly the whole field of sanitary legislation during the last thrirty years of his life. He had a hand in the amendments of the Public Health and of the Medical Acts; in the measures relating to notification of infectious disease, to vaccination, to the registration of plumbers; in the improvement of factory legislation; in the remedy of legitimate grievances of Army and Navy medical officers; in the removal of abuses and deficiencies in crowded barrack schools; in denouncing the sanitary shortcomings of the Indian government, particularly in regard to the prevention of cholera. His work on behalf of the British Medical Association is shown by the increase from 2000 to 19,000 in the number of members, and the growth of the British Medical Journal from 20 to 64 pages, during his editorship. From 1872 to 1897 he was chairman of the Association’s Parliamentary Bill Committee. He died on the 7th of January 1898. For his second wife he married Alice Marion Rowland, who had herself studied medicine in London and Paris, and was no less interested than her husband in philanthropic reform. She was most active in her encouragement of Irish cottage industries, and was the founder of the Donegal Industrial Fund.