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February 5, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(6):404. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680320040012

The New York legislature enacted, in 1926, a law requiring physicians and superintendents of hospitals and similar institutions to report to the police all cases coming under their care of gunshot wounds and other injuries due to firearms.1 The police commissioner of Boston has now recommended to the Massachusetts legislature the enactment of similar legislation.2 The enactment in any state of a law of a given type suggests and tends to promote the enactment of similar legislation in other states. Because a law of the type now under consideration seems to be calculated to facilitate the detection of crime, efforts will probably be made to procure such legislation in other jurisdictions. Physicians may well consider what policy they should adopt with respect to laws of this character.

Ordinarily, medical or surgical skill is not required to determine when a person is suffering from a gunshot wound or other

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