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August 18, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(7):432-433. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460330036002

Opportunity for investigation along this line is scarce. In the experiments made during operations on the skull or spinal column, the results are necessarily clouded by the action of the anesthetic, and still more by the tumor, or compression of the organ for which the operation has been undertaken. In healthy normal conditions experimentation can be made only during the few moments which immediately succeed the severing of the head from the body. Permission for such investigation is almost always withheld by the authorities, and public clamor would certainly be directed against investigation. In spite of this, however, Prof. A. Hoche1 describes two such experiments made by himself upon decapitated criminals—in the one case three minutes, and in the other two minutes, following decapitation.

The effect of stimuli applied to the fast-cooling body becomes rapidly less as the hemorrhage robs the parts of their blood. The brain loses its