OBITUARY of DR. THOMAS MACKERN, M.D.
Dr. Mackern, who died on 7th November 1874, at Eastbourne in the 56th year of his age, was a native of Limerick. He studied medicine at the Dublin Hospitals, and was admitted a Licentiate of the Irish College of Surgeons in 1842. He commenced practice in the neighbourhood of Liverpool, where he succeeded in securing the confidence of a considerable clientele. Disheartened by the uncertainties of the prevailing therapeutic doctrines, he was induced to study homoeopathy, and the result of his doing so was, that he thenceforward practiced homoeopathically.
To remain steadily at work in one locality was to him impossible, and, consequently, he every three or four years made a voyage to Australia, New Zealand, California, or the West Indies, often being absent from England for a whole year at a time. An interesting paper by him on "Our position at the Antipodes,"* which contains an account of the progress of homoeopathy in Australia, and of his efforts to place it on a firm basis in the estimation of the colonists, was the result of one of these excursions.
Dr. Mackern possessed in a very marked degree, the power of attaching patients to himself, and of inspiring them with a full confidence in his ability to be useful to them. Somewhat eccentric in character, of an anxious and restless temperament, he was withal an eminently benevolent man, ever striving to do good in many ways. He took a lively interest in the personal welfare of his patients, and was to many not only a medical adviser, but a counsellor in individual and family troubles and anxieties. His long absences from home had no influence in diminishing his practice. A week after his return, the demands upon his professional services were generally as large as ever, and whether he landed at Melbourne or Jamaica, he usually found patients waiting for him.
His death arose from double pneumonia, which had been silently gaining ground for at least ten days before he could be prevailed upon to take to his bed. He was then seen by Dr. W. Bell, who subsequently attended him, conjointly with his brother-in-law, Dr. Kidd. A post mortem examination revealed almost complete consolidation of both lungs, together with effusion into both pleura and pericardium.
* Brit. Journ. Hom., vol. xviii., p. 101.