MANKIND likes to cling to its superstitions and mysteries as long as it can, and Dr. Hawes goes at the task of tearing them away from the medical profession as if he expected to be accused of sacrilege. But it is the fashion nowadays to reduce science into terms intelligible to the layman, and his tone of frankness will be appreciated by those who want to understand the causes and reasons for their ailments.
The delicate question of calling in consulting physicians with or without the consent of the attending doctor is the first to be discussed. Here Doctor Hawes is entirely on the side of the patient, and does not spare his fellow-practitioners who object to having their judgment questioned. On the other side of the picture he arraigns the excitable patients who send for their doctor at unreasonable hours on slight pretexts.
The body of the book is devoted to a very clear and systematic review of the causes of the various symptoms of illness and to distinguishing between those safe- ly self-treated and the more dangerous kind. Some current fallacies of the day are disposed of as he goes along, such as the illogic of most of the cures offered for colds and the dangers of vigorous athletics as a cure-all.
So capable and comprehensive is the book that one's only regret is that the author failed to deal with the much-debated problem of how much a patient should be told of his condition. With this exception, however, it keeps to its profession of frankness and is well worth the purchase of anyone interested in knowing the whys and where fores of the advice their doctor gives them