Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Dr John Elliotson

From volume VIII of the work.
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ELLIOTSON, Dr John, was born at, Southwark,

London, towards the end of the last century. He studied medicine first at Edinburgh and then at Cambridge, in both which places he took the degree of M.D., and sub- sequently at the Borough Hospitals in London. In 1817 he obtained the post of assistant physician, and six years later that of physician at St Thomas’s Hospital. He there introduced clinical lecturing, a practice which, except at the London Hospital, was at the time nowhere in vogue in the metropolis. In 1831 he ceased lecturing at St Thomas’s, and was elected professor of the principles and practice of physio in London University; in 1834 he resigned the physicianship of the former institution, and accepted a similar post at the North London Hospital. In 1837 he eSpoused the cause of mesmerism, and thus eventually brought himself into collision with the medical committee of the hospital, a circumstance which led him, on December 28, 1835, to resign the odices held by him there and at the university. In spite of the discourage- i‘aents he had received, he continued the practice of mesmerism, and became in 1849 physician of a mesmeric infirmary. He (lied July 29, 1868. Dr Elliotson was the discoverer of the communicability of glauders to the human subject, the treatment of neuralgia by acupuncture, and the fact that pain does not necessarily continue till death in cases of perforation or rupture of the stomach 3 he was the first to prove the value of quinine as an antiperiodic, of strong solution of silver nitrate in erysipelas, of prussic acid in gastrodynia and vomiting (Lancet, 1827, xi. p. 671), and as a means of preparing the stomach for other medicines, of cupric sulphate in chronic diarrhoea, and of creasote, potassium iodide, and ferrous carbonate in other diseases; and he was moreover one of the earliest among British physicians to advocate the employment of

the stethoscope.

He wrote a translation of Blumenbaeh's Institutionc's Physio- logiczr, 1817; Cases of the Hydrocyanic or Prussia Acid, 18:20; Let-lures on Diseases of the Heart, 1830 ; Principles and Practice of zlfr'tlicinc, 1839 (2nd ed. 1842), a work which has been translated into Several languages; Human Physiology, 1840; and Surgical (yierations in the chsmeric State without Pain, 1843. He was the author of numerous papers in the Transactions of the Medic-o- ('hirurgieal Society, of which he was at one time president; and he also edited a mesmeric journal, The Zoist. He was a fellow both of the Royal College of Physicians and Royal Society, and the founder and presirlcnt of the Phrcnologieal Society.