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575 THE VENEREAL COMMISSION. evolved from the chloride of lime. HENRY’s apparatus might be attached to every fever hospital, so that convalescent patients, on resuming their own clothes, might not carry back to their homes the seeds of contagion. SINCE our last reference to the proceedings of the Venereal Commission, in which we mentioned the names of the phy- sicians and surgeons who had up to that time given the benefit of their experience and the conclusions derived from it to that Commission, the sittings have been continued without inter- ruption, and many most competent authorities have expressed their views. The list closed with Mr. SYME (April 7th), and since that date Mr. SAMUEL LANE, Mr. ACTON, Mr. BUSK, Mr. LANGSTON PABKER, Mr. JONATHAN HUTCHINSOX, Mr. JAMES R. LANE, Mr. GASCOYEN, Mr. SOLLY, and Mr. DE MÉRIC have been examined. We have reason to know that the work is making good progress in the estimation of the profession, and that many eminent men have expressed them- selves not only well satisfied with the manner in which the inquiry is conducted, but confident of a scientifically valuable and practically useful result. That the Commission is suffi- ciently alive to its duty is evidenced by the fact that as long ago as last Monday week, the 15th current, arrangements were made for the appearance before it of Professor B6cK of Sweden, the distinguished advocate of syphilization, at present on a visit to this country; and not only of Professor B6cx himself, but also of his two much-discussed cases of cure by syphilization. This is a point on which the Commission will naturally desire to receive evidence, and on which they would get very little from any British surgeon. The practice is one repugnant à priori to our feelings and prejudices; and no British surgeon has, so far as we know, attempted to carry it out. Nevertheless, Professor BÖCK has so large a practical experience in the matter, and has so much to urge in its favour, that he will command a patient hearing. We believe, moreover, that the Professor is prepared to stay in England ’’ for as much as six months to carry out this plan of treat- ment in given cases, if a ward or similar facilities be afforded to him ; and that he has the authorization and support of his Government for that purpose. ! In connexion with this subject we may notice Lord HAR- TiNGTON’S reply this week to a question in the House of Com- mons, in which he stated that the Contagious Diseases Pre- vention Act was not enforced properly at Aldershot on account of the want of suitable Lock-Hospital accommodation. This is just the rock on which that useful measure may possibly be wrecked. The one thing needed in order to carry out the important ends of that Act is, ample means of treating, and I of confining during treatment, the diseased prostitutes who haunt camps and garrisons, each of whom quickly becomes, and at present remains, often for years, a focus of loathsome disease. The same woman may, and does, go on infecting soldiers for years, when she might be cured if she could be i arrested and treated in hospital. Such a woman costs the country now hundreds of pounds by the invaliding and the loss of service to which she gives rise, not to say the permanent constitutional injury which she inflicts. It is a far more truly economical practice, therefore, to provide at once ample Lock- Hospital accommodation, than to suffer this Act to remain ineffective for the want of a certain immediate expenditure. Medical Annotations. SELF-SUPPORTING HOSPITALS. 11 Ne quid nimis." " EARNEST efforts are being made to command large sympathy for the proposal to extend the benefits of the Hospital for Women to "sufferers in a higher grade of society who can afford to pay for admission; to governesses, probably, or to such of the wives, widows, or daughters of professional men as may be unable, from circumstances, to command at home the attention or repose indispensable to their recovery." The appeal, to which was given recently very great prominence, mixes up many things false and true. It assumes, especially, a principle which we think ought not to be assumed, and which affects very nearly the essence of the scheme. "For the most part," says the writer, "heads of families can and do pay heavy doctors’ bills, but they never can ensure that those for whom they would gladly coin their blood receive that attention which their case requires. The remark has a good deal of truth in it, that poor people, if they could only stay long enough in hospital, have a better chance of recovery than the rich, because they are surrounded with every medical appliance, are under the supervision of an experienced staff, must submit to the rules of the establishment, and, should a crisis arise, there is no time lost in sending for a doctor-he is at the bedside in an instant. What an easement it would be to many a father’s, brother’s, husband’s thoughts if he could feel that one of his flock-it may be his only female companion, - instead of pining in solitude and ill-health at home, half cared for by servants, and visited by the medical man at hours suiting his own convenience, was in a private ward, comfort- ably fitted up, and rendered by payment as much her own for the time being as any furnished apartment, with the advan- tages of the best medical advice and the attendance of skilled nurses. " , Now it is a remarkable circumstance that in this enumera- tion of advantages which the wealthy "heads of families" and their nominees will ensure by admission to the new wards, that of evading payment for the best medical advice, although plainly contemplated, is not included. No doubt," says the writer, " some of the ladies in the habit of availing them- selves of the advantages of the new wing of the Female Hos- pital would be in an excellent position;" hence there would be no delicacy in mentioning the matter to governesses who fall sick, and who cause the " heads of families" the inconvenience of "illness with its disagreeable concomitant of professional visits. " Let us see how this is then. Here is a proposal for the construction of what is really a mzczi.soza de santé on a large scale, but on the basis of our hospital system. The best medical advice is to be obtained, and the general medical arrangements are to be made so excellent as to surpass those which can be made at home, even in wealthy families. It is expected that " the wives and sisters of men in respectable, even influential positions," will be accommo- dated there; and an essential attraction of the institution is to be, the readiness with which the most skilful medical advice can be commanded at need. The whole plan turns upon the provision of the best medical treatment for people not ordi- narily objects of charity, and who shall save their indepellll- ence and preserve their delicacy of feeling-by paying for everything but medical attendance. We do not quite appre- ciate the delicacy of feeling which demands that charity from the doctor which it is too proud to accept from any other source. We should be glad to see this principle applied a little generally by those who urge its application so freely to our profession. There is no body of men who give their time and , labour so largely to the poor as do medical practitioners. They have never manifested any other feeling than that of the most generous sympathy towards those persons of limited income or failing means in the higher grades of society who stund in
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Page 1: Medical Annotations

575THE VENEREAL COMMISSION.

evolved from the chloride of lime. HENRY’s apparatus mightbe attached to every fever hospital, so that convalescent

patients, on resuming their own clothes, might not carry backto their homes the seeds of contagion.

SINCE our last reference to the proceedings of the VenerealCommission, in which we mentioned the names of the phy-sicians and surgeons who had up to that time given the benefitof their experience and the conclusions derived from it to thatCommission, the sittings have been continued without inter-

ruption, and many most competent authorities have expressedtheir views. The list closed with Mr. SYME (April 7th), andsince that date Mr. SAMUEL LANE, Mr. ACTON, Mr. BUSK,Mr. LANGSTON PABKER, Mr. JONATHAN HUTCHINSOX, Mr.JAMES R. LANE, Mr. GASCOYEN, Mr. SOLLY, and Mr.

DE MÉRIC have been examined. We have reason to know

that the work is making good progress in the estimation of theprofession, and that many eminent men have expressed them-selves not only well satisfied with the manner in which the

inquiry is conducted, but confident of a scientifically valuableand practically useful result. That the Commission is suffi-

ciently alive to its duty is evidenced by the fact that as longago as last Monday week, the 15th current, arrangementswere made for the appearance before it of Professor B6cK of

Sweden, the distinguished advocate of syphilization, at presenton a visit to this country; and not only of Professor B6cxhimself, but also of his two much-discussed cases of cure bysyphilization. This is a point on which the Commission willnaturally desire to receive evidence, and on which they would

get very little from any British surgeon. The practice is one

repugnant à priori to our feelings and prejudices; and noBritish surgeon has, so far as we know, attempted to carry itout. Nevertheless, Professor BÖCK has so large a practicalexperience in the matter, and has so much to urge in its

favour, that he will command a patient hearing. We believe,moreover, that the Professor is prepared to stay in England ’’

for as much as six months to carry out this plan of treat-ment in given cases, if a ward or similar facilities be affordedto him ; and that he has the authorization and support of hisGovernment for that purpose. !In connexion with this subject we may notice Lord HAR-

TiNGTON’S reply this week to a question in the House of Com-mons, in which he stated that the Contagious Diseases Pre-vention Act was not enforced properly at Aldershot on accountof the want of suitable Lock-Hospital accommodation. This

is just the rock on which that useful measure may possibly bewrecked. The one thing needed in order to carry out the

important ends of that Act is, ample means of treating, and Iof confining during treatment, the diseased prostitutes whohaunt camps and garrisons, each of whom quickly becomes,and at present remains, often for years, a focus of loathsomedisease. The same woman may, and does, go on infectingsoldiers for years, when she might be cured if she could be iarrested and treated in hospital. Such a woman costs thecountry now hundreds of pounds by the invaliding and the lossof service to which she gives rise, not to say the permanentconstitutional injury which she inflicts. It is a far more trulyeconomical practice, therefore, to provide at once ample Lock-Hospital accommodation, than to suffer this Act to remain

ineffective for the want of a certain immediate expenditure.

Medical Annotations.

SELF-SUPPORTING HOSPITALS.

11 Ne quid nimis." "

EARNEST efforts are being made to command large sympathyfor the proposal to extend the benefits of the Hospital forWomen to "sufferers in a higher grade of society who canafford to pay for admission; to governesses, probably, or tosuch of the wives, widows, or daughters of professional menas may be unable, from circumstances, to command at homethe attention or repose indispensable to their recovery." The

appeal, to which was given recently very great prominence,mixes up many things false and true. It assumes, especially,a principle which we think ought not to be assumed, andwhich affects very nearly the essence of the scheme."For the most part," says the writer, "heads of families

can and do pay heavy doctors’ bills, but they never can ensurethat those for whom they would gladly coin their blood receivethat attention which their case requires. The remark has agood deal of truth in it, that poor people, if they could onlystay long enough in hospital, have a better chance of recoverythan the rich, because they are surrounded with every medicalappliance, are under the supervision of an experienced staff,

must submit to the rules of the establishment, and, should acrisis arise, there is no time lost in sending for a doctor-he isat the bedside in an instant. What an easement it would beto many a father’s, brother’s, husband’s thoughts if he couldfeel that one of his flock-it may be his only female companion,- instead of pining in solitude and ill-health at home, halfcared for by servants, and visited by the medical man at hourssuiting his own convenience, was in a private ward, comfort-ably fitted up, and rendered by payment as much her own forthe time being as any furnished apartment, with the advan-tages of the best medical advice and the attendance of skillednurses. ", Now it is a remarkable circumstance that in this enumera-

tion of advantages which the wealthy "heads of families" andtheir nominees will ensure by admission to the new wards,that of evading payment for the best medical advice, althoughplainly contemplated, is not included. No doubt," saysthe writer, " some of the ladies in the habit of availing them-selves of the advantages of the new wing of the Female Hos-pital would be in an excellent position;" hence there would beno delicacy in mentioning the matter to governesses who fallsick, and who cause the " heads of families" the inconvenienceof "illness with its disagreeable concomitant of professionalvisits. " Let us see how this is then. Here is a proposalfor the construction of what is really a mzczi.soza de santé

on a large scale, but on the basis of our hospital system.The best medical advice is to be obtained, and the generalmedical arrangements are to be made so excellent as to

surpass those which can be made at home, even in wealthyfamilies. It is expected that " the wives and sisters of menin respectable, even influential positions," will be accommo-dated there; and an essential attraction of the institution isto be, the readiness with which the most skilful medical advicecan be commanded at need. The whole plan turns upon theprovision of the best medical treatment for people not ordi-narily objects of charity, and who shall save their indepellll-ence and preserve their delicacy of feeling-by paying foreverything but medical attendance. We do not quite appre-ciate the delicacy of feeling which demands that charity fromthe doctor which it is too proud to accept from any othersource. We should be glad to see this principle applied a littlegenerally by those who urge its application so freely to ourprofession. There is no body of men who give their time and ,labour so largely to the poor as do medical practitioners. Theyhave never manifested any other feeling than that of the mostgenerous sympathy towards those persons of limited incomeor failing means in the higher grades of society who stund in

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need of medical attendance. It is unnecessary to urge thisdeclaration by adding special evidence : its truth will be uni-versally admitted. The curate, the struggling artist, the iin-endowed widoiv, the governess, the proud but poor soldier,are all admitted by our brethren to privileges such as are notconceded to them by lawyers and others whose assistance theymay claim. The noble charity of our profession is one of its

highest attributes : one to be dearly cherished, but not wan-tonly abused. The appeal made on behalf of this Hospital forLadies asserts broadly that medical advice is the one thingwhich no one-not even " the wives and sisters of men in in-fluential and respectable situations," or "ladies of good posi-tion"-need object to ask for and accept as a gratuity. Wedo not admit the principle; and, while conceding that there isa sphere of utility for such wards if carefully managed andrestricted to proper occupants, we are of opinion that the prin-ciples set forth in this appeal are not such as to deserve theinfluential support which is claimed for them, and that theyeven contain fallacies which ought to be met by somethinglike a general protest..

ENFORCEMENT OF THE BRITISH PHARMACOPŒIA.

WE understand that, in pursuance of resolutions of theGeneral Medical Council, it is proposed to introduce into theMedical Acts Amendment Bill a clause rendering compulsory theuse of the British Pharmacopœia in making up physicians’ pre-scriptions. We shall not object to such a clause in principle,although we think if the Pharmacopœia had been more nearlyperfect than it was such a measure would have been quite un-necessary, as chemists and druggists would have been but tooglad to adopt such a uniform standard, for which all parties have elong been asking. The fact is that only the multitude of itsfaults and the obvious necessity for its revision prevented itfrom meeting with universal acceptance. The attempt to giveto it parliamentary authority will not increase its accuracy oradd to its merits ; and until it be acceptable as a whole to theprofession and dispensing chemists as a convenient and autho-ritative book of reference, Acts of Parliament will not enlargeits use. What an Act of Parliament cannot do in such a case

may easily be effected by the publication of the revised edition.In the proposed clause, as we understand, the use of the BritishPharmacopoeia is to be enforced by law after the 1st of January,1866. We object to the fixing of so early a date; and ourobjections are founded upon the declarations and proceedingsof the Council itself. On the 6th of April they received andadopted a report from the Pharmacopœia Committee to theeffect that a new and revised edition should be carried to com-

pletion " on the basis of" the existing volume ; but with thecollaboration of two paid editors-Professors Redwood andWarrington, three paid referees-Professors Farre (England),Moore (Ireland), and Christison (Scotland), and a committee,consisting of Drs. Burrows, Sharpey, and Quain, and Mr. Ar-nott. Then, again, on the 15th of April they agreed that it isdesirable to have a proof copy of the new Pharmacopoeia in thehands of the members of the General Medical Council at leastone month before the meeting of the Council next year, atwhich the opinion of the Council is to be given relative to itsbeing published, in order to afford to each member of Councilthe opportunity of making such suggestions to the committeeas may appear desirable. A sum of £300 was further orderedto be placed to the credit of the Pharmacopoeia Committee to-wards carrying out the editorial revision. Thus it is perfectlyevident that the improved and revised edition of the Phar-macopœia cannot be issued until next summer ; and, in viewof these important alterations and additions, to declare the ex-isting volume-which on the date fixed (January, 1866) willhave only a few months’ vitality left in it-a standard requiringlegislative enforcement, is a palpable absurdity. If we are tohave a Pharmacopoeia by Act of Parliament, let us wait tillwe have one which is intrinsically standard.

THE MERCANTILE MARINE AND GREENWICHHOSPITAL.

IT is now well known to our readers that Greenwich Hos-

pital will shortly be tenantless, and that the old pensioner,spinning his yarn to the visitor, or dozing under the trees ofthe park, will soon be a thing of the past. But it is notso generally known that, though no plan is proposed as tothe utilization of this noble pile of buildings, the Seamen’sHospital Society, having determined to abandon the Dread-nought, have actually purchased a site for their future edificefrom the Greenwich Hospital Commissioners close to the walls ofthe so-called " College." The injustice which necessitates sucha proceeding is sufficiently apparent, when we consider howvery strong are the claims of merchant seamen to a participa-tion in the benefits of Greenwich Hospital. It is a patentfact that, since the foundation of the latter, the mercantilemarine of Great Britain have, by the "monthly sixpences,"contributed many thousands of pounds to the funds of thisinstitution, for which they have received no equivalent what-ever. The Seamen’s Hospital Society, indeed, derived, from1845 to 1854, financial aid from Government by means of a

per-centage on the Merchant Seamen’s Fund, and afterwardsby a share of the unclaimed wages and effects of deceasedsailors. This aid was, however, withdrawn in the latter year,the Society thereby losing an income of £1500, since whichtime no help from Government has been given, although therevenue gains by the unclaimed wages and effects of deceased

merchant seamen a sum of no less than £9000 annually. Part

of this could well-nigh be claimed as a right, and ought surelyto be granted for the benefit of the only hospital in Londonthat affords exclusively relief to a class on which the com-mercial prosperity of this country so vitally depends. But, ifa grant of money cannot be obtained, an opportunity is now

afforded of restoring Greenwich Hospital to the uses for whichit was originally founded. In so doing the navy, as a service,would gain in popularity with merchant seamen, and weshould then possess a really healthy hospital and a nobleinstitution for our sick sailors.

THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE DEAD.

A CASE of singular interest has recently occurred at Alta, inCalifornia, in which the process of Dr. Richardson for restoringthe features of a dead body that has undergone putrefaction,described in THE LANCET two years ago, was applied with themost satisfactory results. It appears that on Tuesday evening,March 14th of the present year, a dead body was discoveredburied a little way underground. The earth over the bodywas only six inches deep at the head and twenty inches at thefeet of the corpse ; and, as the ground had been disturbed bydogs or by boys passing over it, portions of the dress of thedead were exposed. A person named M’Glone first made the

discovery, and communicated it to the police, who shortlyafterwards disinterred and conveyed to the dead-house a deadman, who, from the marks of injury inflicted on him, hadevidently been murdered. The skull was crushed, and therope by which he had been dragged to the grave was leftround the body. At this time the process of decompositionwas so far advanced that recognition or identification was im-possible. In the difficulty that arose, Dr. J. L. Henry sug-gested to the coroner that he should use the method of restora-tion which had been previously carried out by Dr. Richardson.The suggestion was assented to. The body was placed in waterin a water-tight shell; twenty pounds of common salt and onepound of hydrochloric acid were added to the water, and theimmersion was sustained three hours. The body was thenremoved; the face was washed with simple water, and after-wards with chlorine water; and finally a current of chlorinegas was passed freely over the face. The restoration of the

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features was thus rendered so perfect that the body was posi-tively identified as that of Charles T. Hill, a man twenty-seven years of age, and a native of the State of New York.The report before us from the Alta California says that assoon as the body had been changed in appearance by the che-micals it was recognised by a young gentleman connected withthe press, who was cognisant of the fact that, several weeksbefore, the deceased had arrived at Alta in company with afemale whose acquaintance he had made in New York, andwho was then residing in the town. The girl was soon found,and deposed that she had not seen Hill for some time, but thatshe knew he had been residing at what was called the MansionHouse. Inquiries at the Mansion House (evidently an inn orboarding-house) led to the statement by the landlady thatHill had left on the 20th of February, and had never returned;but that on the 24th a young man came for the trunks of Hill,saying he had been deputed by their owner to remove them ;the landlady, however, refused to let them go. Further re-search proved that this man was a person called Byrne, a manof very bad character, and who had already been tried forburglary. He was at once arrested; his lodgings were exa-mined, and some keys and an imitation diamond pin, withother articles belonging to the murdered man Hill, were dis-closed. Pressed on all sides by the evidence against him, andbrought face to face with the murdered man, Byrne confessedthat he had been out for a drive with Hill on the 20th,and accounted for his own possession of the property in amanner that only tended to implicate himself the more seri-ously. He was forthwith committed for trial on the chargeof murder. Whether or not the true murderer has been de-

tected, the case is one which shows in a remarkable mannerthe important aid which science may render to justice by thisprocedure, for it is clear that without it the man who wasmurdered would never have been known, and that all inquirywould have been stopped at the outset. Our readers will re-member that Dr. Richardson, in his original description of hisprocess in these columns, stated that his plan admitted ofmuch improvement; it may be so, but in the case related theprocess was nevertheless so effective that the object for whichit was performed was fully realized.

TREATMENT OF THE POOR IN WORKHOUSEHOSPITALS.

IT is gratifying to know that the inquiry which we are insti-tuting on this important subject is awakening much interest,and is likely to procure valuable information. Those philan-thropic persons who have so long, under so many discourage-ments, given their personal care, time, and attention to thevisiting of the sick poor in workhouses are best aware howmuch a broad and independent public inquiry is needed. Theyare themselves fully alive to the existence of evils inherent inthe present system, of which they have, by individual exer-tion, done much to alleviate the incidence, and which theyhave long been anxious to see removed. A valuable step inthis direction is now being taken by the Workhouse VisitingCommittee, who have recently, in conjunction with severalmembers of the House of Commons and other influential

persons, resolved to press upon the Government the necessityfor a medical element in the Poor-law inspection of work-houses. We entirely approve of this step, of which, indeed,our inquiries, so far as they have been conducted, already in-dicate the desirability. The state of the beds; the personalcondition of female and other patients; the dispensary anddrug arrangements; the details of nursing in disease; the con-dition and arrangement of puerperal patients; the dietaries;and the general sanitary management, urgently require sys-tematic medical inspection.

THE ROYAL ISLE OF WIGHT INFIRMARY is about tobe enlarged. The estimated cost is about £1000.

Correspondence.

CHEMISTS AND DRUGGISTS BILL.

"Audi alteram partem."

To the Editor of THE LANCET.

SIR,-This Bill is designed to improve the scientific edu-cation of chemists and druggists, a matter of considerable

public importance if physicians and surgeons are to write theirprescriptions in English instead of Latin, as seems to be thewish of the General Medical Council. But, as prescriptionsare at present written, I doubt whether the " grosslyignorant" and inexperienced ever attempt to compound them.I have known mistakes to be made in dispensing by surgeons’pupils and assistants, but never by a chemist. It may beasked, whence the necessity then for legislation on the subject?Probably the design of the Medical Council in recommendingit was to promote the study of botany, materia medica, andpharmaceutical chemistry, a study which is as much neededby doctors as by chemists. Unfortunately those registered aslicensed chemists and druggists will be strongly tempted topractise medicine. In fact, members of Parliament say thatthey are favourable to the Bill because it will constitute a

species of doctors who are competent to treat "trifling ail-ments." In order to arrest this danger of having anothergrade of practitioners, and another licensing body in the pro-fession, the Parliamentary Committee of the MetropolitanCounties Branch of the British Medical Association are en-

deavouring to get clauses inserted in the Bill, and with thisview have presented the subjoined petition to the House ofCommons. If medical corporations and individual prac-titioners will make their views known to the House, I amsanguine that some amendments may be introduced into theBill. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

SEPTIMUS GIBBON, M.B.,Hon. Sec. to the Parliamentary Committee.

Finsbury-square, May, 1865.

To the Honourable Commons of the United Kingdom of GrecttBritain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled,

The humble petition of the Metropolitan CountiesBranch of the British Medical Association,

Sheweth-That two Bills entitled " Bills to regulate thequalifications of chemists and druggists," are now dependingin your honourable House.That chemists and druggists are neither qualified by law,

nor competent by education, to practise medicine.That injury to health, and not unfrequently loss of life,

result from chemists and druggists undertaking the duties ofmedical practitioners.That the sale of patent, quack, and other secret medicines,

has an injurious influence on the health of the community,more especially on the infantile portion of it.That the traffic in secret remedies, which is repudiated by

the qualified practitioner, enables the unqualified pretender,and the uneducated quack, to victimise her Majesty’s subjectsto an incredible extent, as well in person as in purse.Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that in the said Bill

adequate provision may be made-1st. For preventing the registered chemists and druggists

from practising medicine and surgery.2nd. For preventing the sale of any patent, quack, or other

medicine, unless a sworn certificate of its composition belodged with the registrar appointed under the Bill., or be other-wise made accessible to the public.And your petitioners will ever pray, &c.

(Signed on behalf of the Branch Association)CHARLES F. J. LORD, President.A. P. STEWART, M. D.ALEXANDER HENRY, M.D.SEPTIMUS GIBBON, A.B. and M.B.

Hon. Sees.

THE DELIRIUM OF NERVOUS EXHAUSTION.To the Editor of THE LANCET.

SIR,—Will you allow me space to assure Dr. Weber that 1had not the slightest intention, in my letter concerning his paper,to impute to him that he had brought forward familiar facts as


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