5153Re: [S-R] (cause unknown)
- Jan 4, 2002At 01:20 AM 1/4/02 -0500, you wrote:
>-------Original Message-------The cause would probably be entered by the parish priest or
>Date: Monday, December 31, 2001 11:01:51 PM
>Subject: Re: [S-R] (unknown)
>Thank you again John for the further explanation on Debilis, but I am a
>little confused about your explanation. For instance; how would they (the
>Doctors or whoever made the call of death) know the child died of Debilis (a
>cause of death primarily given to elderly death)? Since, as you say, the
>parents probably did not have the luxury of being able to see a doctor, why
>would they specify Debilis?
clerk. Debility - "This was a term descriptive of a patient's condition
and of no help in making a diagnosis." Since the cause may not have been
known, they used the condition as a cause. Elderly people did not die of
"debility" but the term was used as a cause because heart failure and other
causes may not have been diagnosed. I would guess that in some cases
socially unacceptable causes such as sexually transmitted diseases were not
entered either. I know at one time cancer was a "hush" word and people
were reluctant to mention it but, if it was obvious, I believe it was entered.
>Why not, say, using your reference again, congenital problems or anythingI'm sure it was acceptable and practiced there and in this country during
>else? This is very curious to me, and maybe I am making too much of it,
>but I find this vague explanation, on a three week old death certificate,
>disturbing and most probably acceptable at that time. My 2 cents!
that period. I recall an article in the NM Magazine from the sixties. The
article described a ranch house that had a noose hanging from one of the
beams in the house. They said the records indicated two men were hanged
there. One was Russian Bill accused of stealing a horse (found he didn't do
it - postmortem) and the other's crime was being a "damn nuisance"
(probably a habitual criminal in today's parlance). No DNA, autopsies (in
most cases), etc. back then. Death was simply accepted. "Everybody has to
die, that's life." as one comic said.
> At 07:12 PM 12/31/01 -0500, you wrote:
> >Thank you John. I am sure the web sites you sent will come in handy as I
> >continue my research.
> >I guess since the child was only 3 weeks old his death today would have
> >considered a crib death.
>Crib death to me means something sudden and difficult to explain. Child
>mortality was high in those days. Any illness or congenital problem could
>easily take the life of an infant. The child could have been sickly at
>birth and simply couldn't recover. They may have been well aware of the
>condition but very seldom did anyone have the luxury of being able to see a
>doctor. Home remedies were used to cure (or kill) the patient. I remember
>hearing of one that included cow urine as an ingredient for a pneumonia
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