SUSPENDED ANIMATION, ETC. 319
emotions of the surviving friends, the wail of hopeless grief, the administration of the sacraments of the Church, and, finally, the authoritative announcement of the doctor that " He is dead ! " all tend to the one result. When to these are added the ice-pack or the embalmer's fluid, it remains only for the performance of an autopsy to give the coup de grace.
I shall not attempt to apply the principles here laid down to particular cases. Those who are cognizant of the circumstances of any case, either recorded or within their own private experience, will easily recognize their significance. Nor shall I attempt to prescribe the specific course to be pursued where suspended animation is suspected, as that is the province of the physician in attendance on each particular case. My object will have been accomplished if what I have said shall be the means of directing the attention of the medical profession to the psychic aspects of catalepsy, and to a more careful study of the psychology of that science which has suffered so much at the hands of charlatanism on the one hand, and prejudice on the other, hypnotism.
Nevertheless, a few general observations regarding the proper course to be pursued may not seem impertinent. It is obvious that when catalepsy is suspected, or is possible, all allusion to or suggestion of death should be avoided, especially by the physician in attendance. It should not for a moment be forgotten that, however profoundly the objective senses may be locked in insensibility, subjectively the patient is awake and is taking cognizance of all that occurs, and appreciates with wonderful acute-ness the significance of every word that is uttered. It should be remembered that since suggestion can induce catalepsy, it can also deepen and prolong the period of its duration. Conversely, it is the most potent means of restoration. Other restoratives should rarely, if ever, be resorted to. Violent means should never be employed. The essential thing is a cheerful, confident demeanor in all present at the bedside. Time should always be given for the