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JAMA 100 Years Ago
December 15, 2004


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(23):2926. doi:10.1001/jama.292.23.2926-b

That a physician should take an interest in public affairs and should do his duty as a citizen interested in the maintenance of good government and public morals, has always been advocated by THE JOURNAL. Under normal conditions he is honored for so doing. The public appreciates good service of this kind, and he does not lose, either professionally or financially, on account of his public spirit. Occasionally, however, in abnormal communities, one may suffer for well-doing, and virtue be its own and only reward. Hurley, Wisconsin, appears to be such a place. Chiefly owing to the efforts of a public-spirited physician, an appalling state of official moral rottenness was exposed, resulting in the interference by the highest state authority, and in the removal from office of certain of the offending officials. Public sentiment, however, was strongly with the offenders. The physician was removed from his position as health officer, was reproved publicly by the common council, and was boycotted by the public to such an extent that he found it advisable to remove to another locality. There was nothing, so far as known, alleged against his character nor against his competency as a physician. It was simply his well-doing that was his undoing in that community. On the whole, we feel like congratulating him for being thus persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and we trust that he will receive his reward in this life as well as hereafter. As for the community where such things can be done, the best that can be said is that it is a good place to leave.

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