JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
One distressing feature of the tuberculosis problem is that patients bring hardship on themselves and others by seeking climatic treatment without full knowledge of conditions that await them. Thousands are leaving home without adequate means of support and are becoming burdens on communities which do not deserve the responsibility. We have referred to this several times and we now repeat the warning because of a protest, published in Charities, from C. H. Gilchrist, superintendent of associated charities, Phoenix, Arizona. Indigent consumptives are still pouring into Arizona and New Mexico to such an extent that Mr. Gilchrist says the conditions force the necessity, either of excluding all tuberculous persons or of denying all assistance to the indigent who come. Neither course, he says, is righteous. . . but relief must be had from the present conditions. Phoenix receives yearly tubercular tourists to the number of one-fourth of its population, and a large proportion of these are either indigent or speedily becoming so. All possible avenues of employment are overcrowded. Charities thinks that physicians are chiefly to blame for this state of affairs and suggests that they should not recommend removal to other climates without warning patients of the stern conditions that will face them if they are without means of support. Physicians can not be held responsible for the action of persons who have simply received the general advice to go to the southwest, but economic conditions demand that physicians spread this warning whenever occasion arises.
ABUSE OF THE TUBERCULOUS.. JAMA. 2006;296(15):1912. doi:10.1001/jama.296.15.1912-b