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August 6, 1892


JAMA. 1892;XIX(6):172. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420060026010

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In the report of the punishment of Private Iams, at Homestead, as it appeared in the daily press, it seems that the colonel ordered him triced up by the thumbs, and the surgeons to stand by and see that no harm befell him.

In executing this order the surgeons took turns at standing on a chair, and counting the pulse of the man, and when it reached 120 ordered him to be cut down.

It is not the province of this Journal to discuss the action of the colonel in ordering the punishment which he did. Whether he exceeded his powers or not, is the duty and privilege of others to determine. But the action of the surgeons becomes a fit subject for discussion by the medical profession. It is generally admitted that medicine is the healing art, and that the great duty of the physician is to relieve pain,

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