Dr. Eugene W. Higgins, 73, a Washington physician for about 40 years, died of cardiac arrest Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital.

He specialized in otolaryngology, the treatment of diseases of the ear, nose and throat, and also was an allergist.

Dr. Higgins was a native of Washington. He attended George Washington University, earned his doctor's degree at Georgetown University in 1936, and later received a certificate in otolaryngology from the University of Pennsylvania's medical school. He interned at the old Garfield Hospital in Washington.

His professional memberships included the American College of Allergists, the American Council of Otolaryngology, and Allergy Society of Washington and the Medical Society of the District of Columbia. $ $&(WORD ILLEGIBLE $&)He was a master Mason and a member of Theodore Roosevelt Lodge No. 44, and the Chevy Chase chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. He also was a member of the Friendship chapter of the Lions Club.

Survivors include his wife, Sybil B., of the home in Washington; two sons, Eugene W. Jr. and Thomas P., both of Washington; three brothers, Richard W., of Churchton, Md., John S., of Julian, N.C., and Ernst J., of Washington, and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Theta Delta Chi Educational Foundation, 135 Bay State Rd., Boston, Mass. CAPTION: Picture, DR. EUGENE W. HIGGINS