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REMARKS ON THE IMPUNITY OF MURDER
IN SOME CASES OF
THOMAS MAYO, M.D. F.R.S.
FELLOW OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS;
LATE FELLOW OF ORIEL COLLEGE, OXFORD;
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS,
THE detached and unconnected nature of this work is attributable to a large portion of it having been published at different times, and in separate contributions, through the London Medical Gazette. Of the concluding remarks, on a medico-legal subject, I could have wished that the occasion had been so ephemeral as to make a return to the subject obviously unnecessary. Subsequent events have, however, proved that a remedy has not yet been found to the evil for which I endeavour to provide one.
But in republishing detached cases, I confess that I may appear to give them a value, in which the taste of the present time may not concur. The generalisations of statistical inquiry are at present absorbing attention, and medical works partake largely of this spirit. The quantity of new truth which may be contained in a fact honestly reported, and the quantity of error which may be disseminated through a very honest statistical
inquiry, when its subject matter is not susceptible of definition, is inadequately appreciated. Supposing a parity of good intentions on the part of reporters, while single facts possess truth as far as they go, a statistical arrangement, with all its appearance of precision, will often give us an extensive prospect through the medium of a fog.
56, WIMPOLE STREET,
Dec. 11, 1846.