CYCLOPEDIA OF NZ 1897
MacCARTHY, Dr. Charles Delacey
MEDICAL: MacCarthy, Charles DeLacey, B.A., M.B., M.Ch., [Trinity College, Dublin],
Physician and Surgeon, Rangitikei Line, Palmerston North. Dr. MacCarthy is a son of the late
Dean MacCarthy, Rector of St. Werburgh's Parish, Dublin. He is a cousin of Justin MacCarthy,
M.P., the great writer, etc. He was educated at the Rev. Doctor Stackpoole's School, of
Kingstown, near Dublin, where he studied for his entrance examination for Trinity College, Dublin.
As a student he was prominent in rowing and athletics of every description. He was successful in a
very large number of competitions in carrying off medals and prizes in connection with the colleges
of that ancient city. In his studies, too, he made rapid progress, and about 1870 received his first
degree, that of B.A. His degrees in medicine, M.B., and M.Ch,. were conferred upon him in 1873.
He was medical and classical scholar, and passed his examinations with honours. Dr. MacCarthy
was apprenticed to Sir Phillip Crampton Smyly, surgeon to the Meath Hospital, Dublin. Dr.
MacCarthy was subsequently dresser to the great Richard Butcher, surgeon of Sir Patrick's Dunn's
Hospital, Dublin. The doctor was also clinique to Sir William Stokes, of Meath Hospital, Dublin.
He also occupied the position of resident surgeon under Sir William Wylde, the great opthalmic
specialist in St. Mark's Hospital. Subsequently he was for nine months physician to the Children's
Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London. Dr. MacCarthy also held the position of resident
physician at the Consumption Hospital; and later on he was resident physician
at St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester. For some years after this Dr. MacCarthy had a large practice
in Bolton, Lancashire.
Determining to see something of the world outside of Great Britain, Dr. MacCarthy went out to China and Japan, and saw a good deal of life in the East. He accepted the position of resident surgeon at the Yeddo Hospital, Japan, and was there at the time of the great rebellion, known as Saigo's. At this time demands were made upon him to turn out a large number of medical men, and during the time of Dr. MacCarthy's residence in the Yeddo Hospital, he trained over 200 Japanese as doctors, and have them their diplomas. About this time Dr. MacCarthy visited San Francisco, and spent about eleven months travelling through America, and visiting the hospitals in that large continent, whereby his experience was largely increased. At the end of his visit to America, Dr. MacCarthy went back to Yokohama and Hong Kong. He was port doctor at the latter place for some time, but unfortunately was seized with the epidemic which often rages there, the terrible cholera, and when convalescent he found it was necessary to leave that part of the world if he would save his life. He thereupon travelled to Australia, and for a short time remained in Sydney, New South Wales, and when completely recovered, he accepted a position as one of the examining officers to the Australian Mutual Provident Society in New Zealand. Dr. MacCarthy has resided and practised in Rangiora, Lawrence, Dunedin, Hokitika, Ross, Greymouth, Westport, Wellington and Marton. He established the present practice in Palmerston North in 1896.
Dr. MacCarthy is an all-round man, and believes not only in Allopathy, but also in Hydropathy, Electricity, Massage, and, for children, in Homeopathy. Unlike a great many members of his profession, Dr. MacCarthy does not scout the value of the Turkish bath. He realizes that it may be useful as a remedial agent for many of the ills which flesh is heir to, and while at Marton he erected excellent baths, including Turkish, plunge, electrical, shower and other baths at his house. At the invitation of the doctor, the writer undertook to test the efficacy of the Turkish bath. This consists of a large box, in which the bather seats himself comfortably, the head being the only part exposed to the view of the attendant. One of the great advantages of this kind of Turkish bath is that the bather breathes fresh cool air all the time he remains in the bath. The ill effects which arise in the ordinary Turkish baths from the heated air being breathed are thus avoided. The heat is supplied by two fine Aurora lamps, placed under the seat so that it is impossible for the bather to disturb them, or to be injured by them. A current of air passes freely into the bath, there being an aperture at the side to admit of ingress and egress, as well as a flue at the top. The bather has two small trap doors, which he can open at will in order to put his arms out when required. The writer found the hot air bath most comfortable and enjoyable. It was a great advantage to have a qualified medical man in constant attendance, and most refreshing to have one's forehead plentifully sprayed with refreshing lavender water. A sponge wrung out of cold water is used to cool the head of the patient, and refreshing cool drinks are supplied as may be necessary. The patient may use soap for the purpose of softening the skin as he sits in this ingenious hot air bath. The doctor has constructed a large boiler, which holds thirty gallons of water, and is supplied with a ball cock, so that it is kept filled constantly. There is a nine-feet flue, and the furnace will boil the water in twenty-three minutes: once boiled the water retains its heat for many hours. It is laid on to the plunge bath, into which the patient steps on leaving the hot air bath. The temperature of the water in the plunge bath is about ninety degrees. The bather is then treated by means of electricity. The doctor uses a splendid dry battery, which generates a large amount of the electrical fluid. One kheaphone is placed in the water, and the other is taken in the hands alternately, from right to left and vice versa, so as to cause a current to pass through every part of the body. After the administration of the needful amount of electricity, the patient is duly shampooed or massaged, and then follows one of the pleasantest parts of the bath, the administration of the cold shower to various parts of the body, so as to cool down the patient ready for dressing. It is a mistake which many people make when they imagine that the Turkish bath will cause people to take a cold. The outer pores of the skin are closed by means of the cold shower, and it is quite impossible for any evil effects to follow. The baths are not weakening at all; on the contrary, they relieve the system of a great deal of foreign matter, and are strengthening and invigorating, curing rheumatism, asthma, all skin affections, and dyspepsia. Dr. MacCarthy has been most successful in his treatment of many patients by these various processes, and many who are strong and well to-day would have been in their graves, but for the care and attention they have received at his hands. The doctor believes that he has a cure for consumption, and is quite certain that if those who are afflicted with the disorder in its early stages would apply proper remedies, they might be completely cured. The doctor has also a cure for dipsomania, which it will be well for many in New Zealand to avail themselves of Dr. MacCarthy is also a capital musician, and a splendid humourist. The writer spent a most interesting evening in the doctor's company, when the latter entertained his visitors with recitations on `Irish Wit and Humour,' interspersed with songs so suggestive of the Emerald Isle.
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