STEROID HORMONES AND BEHAVIOUR

STEROID HORMONES AND BEHAVIOUR

508 reference to the nature of the post, duration of employment, or date on which the applicant was to take up duty, these particulars not being the c...

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508 reference to the nature of the post, duration of employment, or date on which the applicant was to take up duty, these particulars not being the concern of the registrar. It was understood, however, that licensing bodies and schools would desire to receive such information, and the committee believed that it would be convenient if a certificate in common form were devised. Sir Henry Wade said that everyone was enthusiastic about the compulsory house-appointment scheme. They also knew that the time of graduation varied, and there might be a gap of some months between graduation and the hospital appointment. Was the young graduate to be given any opportunity to do something useful in medicine in this period ? Dr. J. G. McCrie raised the question of whether the posts would be filled by applicants in the provisional registration category. He understood that the Ministry of Health were considering confining appointments to such persons. The posts might be available, but who was to compel hospital management committees to

appoint

a

provisionally registered person ?

The President remarked that he thought might be put in the House of Commons.

a

question

Medical Disciplinary Committee The President was in the chair at the meeting of the Medical Disciplinary Committee. APPEALS

It was reported that Arthur James Daly, whose name’the committee had directed in November, 1951, to be erased from the Register, had lodged a petition of appeal. It was also stated that on Jan. 30, 1952, His Majesty approved an Order in Council granting leave to Jack Michael Sinclair to withdraw the appeal brought by him against the determination of the committee in July, 1951, that his name should be erased from the Register. The erasure thereupon took effect on Jan. 30, 1952. APPEAL FOR FREE PARDON

Mr. Stuart Horner, counsel, applied for an adjournment in the case of Sumatapalage Reginald Gunewardene, registered East Dulwich Road, London, S.E.22, L.M.S.S.A. who had been summoned to appear on a charge of having been convicted at the Central Criminal Court in March, 1951, of unlawfully killing Grace MacLean, for which he was ordered to be imprisoned for three years. Mr. Horner stated that an application for Her Majesty’s free pardon had been drawn up, but there had been some difficulty in getting it signed at Maidstone Jail. The application for adjournment as

of

53,

(1942),

was

granted.

ADJOURNED

CASE

Committee considered the Groves, registered as of The Poplars, The

case

of Harold

Stanley

LittleIn May, 1951, the committee found him to have been convicted in 1949 of driving a motorcar while under the influence of drugs, and in 1951 of being under the influence of drink so as to be incapable of having proper control of a motor-car. Dr. Groves was then represented by a solicitor but did not appear. The President, announcing that judgment would be postponed until the sitting in November, 1951, said that the committee would wish to see Dr. Groves. In the November session the committee, having regard to the illness of the practitioner, postponed judgment until the present sitting. Dr. Groves was not present, but his wife attended. The President said that the rules provided that a practitioner could be represented by a member of his family. The committee postponed judgment until their session in May. over,

Derby,

M.R.C.s.

Blagreaves Lane,

(1915).

ALLEGED

ABORTION

Charle8 Locksley Bikitsha, registered C.P., South Africa, M.B. Edin. ( 1941 ),

of

Butterworth, charged with having been convicted at Birmingham Assizes on July 9, 1951, of unlawfully using in April, 1951, an instrument or other unknown means and administering a poison or other as

was

noxious thing to procure the miscarriage of a woman named Margaret Malone, and of administering a poison or other noxious thing to Joan Ali with intent to procure,a miscarriage, for which he had been sentenced to two months’ imprisonment.

Mr. A. P. Marshall, Q.c., for Dr. Bikitsha, applied for the hearing to be in camera. He said that Dr. BikitBha was heirapparent to a paramount chieftainship in South Africa, and there might be repercussions beyond the circumstances of the case if it were taken in public. In answer to the President, Mr. Marshall said that the trial was not in camera; there was no power to hear it in camera at the assize, but the Committee had the power and discretion, and he asked them to use this in Dr. Bikitsha’s favour. The committee decided to hear the case in public. After hearing evidence the committee directed the Registrar to erase from the Register the name of Charles Locksley Bikitsha. This is subject to notice of appeal.

STEROID HORMONES AND BEHAVIOUR SPEAKING at Edinburgh University on Feb. 25, Prof. MARC KLEIN appealed for closer harmony between clinicians and workers in the fundamental sciences. He described his team in Strasbourg as comprising a surgeon, a psychologist, a biochemist, and a biologist. Without accepting the philosophical implications of the idea of behaviourism originated by J. B. Watson, Professor Klein defined behaviour as the observable and overt activities of animals under controlled conditions. Specific behaviour patterns can be seen in rodents and other animals over periods of months and years, particularly with reference to nesting, feeding, and sexual activities. Once such patterns have been consistently observed in the laboratory, factors which modify them may be studied. , He described experiments, begun twenty years ago, suggesting that the nesting behaviour of rats, which normally starts before the birth of the young, is not determined by the presence or size of the uterus as was once supposed. Similar behaviour may be seen in animals from which the foetuses and uterus have been removed ; and in both the behaviour is apparently determined by hormonal changes, which are reflected in alterations in the rate of follicle maturation and in the disintegration of the corpus luteum. More recently Professor Klein has carried out experiments designed to evaluate factors involved in sexual behaviour patterns in the rabbit. Spayed and hysterectomised females are known not to be receptive to males. If injected with oestradiol benzoate or testosterone, these animals accept the male repeatedly on any day, and continue to do so as long as injections are given. Similar results were obtained by implanting these hormones under the skin of the ear. From these observations it appears that such compounds are potent determinants of sexual behaviour, and that testosterone However, can initiate a typically female behaviour. when spayed female rabbits into which testosterone has been injected or implanted are brought in contact with normal female rabbits, the former exhibit a typically male attitude to the normal females. From this it may be concluded that environment has a dominant role in reversing the hormone effect. Professor Klein recalled well-known endocrine disorders in man which are associated with psychological and behaviour abnormalities. These include Cushing’s syn drome, precocious puberty, and the adrenogenital syndrome. Some of these conditions are cured by surgical removal of the causal tumour, after which behaviour reverts to normal. In other cases the abnormal behaviour pattern is fixed and is not altered by such therapy; in such cases environmental factors are apparently still operating and maintaining the abnormal social attitudes and habits. Professor Klein drew no firm conclusions on the respective importance of hormonal and environmental determinants in behaviour, and advised caution in interpreting human behaviour on the basis of animal experiments ; and he appealed for systematic study of individual cases of this type, with a view to elucidating the sources of human attitudes and habits.