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The Mental State of the Dying.

Under the above heading the current number of the ‘ Revue Rose ’ publishes an interesting summary of an account recently communicated to the Sociutd de Biologie by M, Fere, and in which are embodied some of his experiences of the effect of ether on persons at the point of death. It is a wellknown fact that the dying are often able to see the principal events of their lives, which otherwise have been forgotten for many years, clearly and accurately before them. The reason for this clairvoyance M, Fore ascribes to a sudden modification of the cerebral circulation, which can also be brought about by artificial means. Thus ho tells of a case of a patient who was dying of consumption. He had already lost consciousness, _ when, having been revived by two successive injections of one gramme of ether, the dying man slowly raised his head and rapidly pronounced a string of words, which no ono near him was able to understand, as they were in Flemish. After some movements indicating impatience, he made a sign that ho wished to write. A pencil and paper were then handed to him, and he wrote rapidly three or four lines, also in Flemish. This man, who was a native of Antwerp, had lived at Paris for many years, and never wrote or spoke anything but French, but when dying he seemed to be unable to recollect that language. Afterwards it was found that his pencil note was about a debt of 15fr, which he had borrowed from somebody at Brussels in 18G8, and which had never been paid. In another case the patient was dying of lung disease. He bad fainted several times, and no longer replied to any questions put to him ; his pulse was all but gone, but after an injection of ether he turned his head towards his wife, saying rapidly : “ You will not find that pin, for all the floor has been_ remade,” which was an illusion to an incident of eighteen years ago. After uttering these words breathing ceased.

“ What’s the matter, Smithcrs, don’t your books balance ? ” “No. The expense side, thanks to my wife’s dressmaker’s bills, completely outweighs the income side. I tell you, Jones, marriage isn’t exactly a failure, but it comes mighty near bankruptcy.”

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The Mental State of the Dying., Issue 7930, 11 June 1889

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The Mental State of the Dying. Issue 7930, 11 June 1889

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