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December 30, 1944

"PUNISHMENT FOR VENEREAL DISEASE IN THE ARMED FORCES"

JAMA. 1944;126(18):1167. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850530045020

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  In the editorial in The Journal, October 28, entitled "Punishment for Venereal Disease in the Armed Forces Ended by Congress," the editor is under a misconception and leaves a wrong impression on his readers.The law S. 1250 provides two essential features:

  1. Repeal of the law providing forfeiture of pay due to venereal disease due to misconduct, and

  2. Amending the veterans regulations defining line of duty and misconduct for pension and compensation purposes.

The editorial purported to show that all punishment for the acquisition of venereal disease, except under special circumstances (without leave, desertion status, and so on), has been rescinded and that venereal disease is now "in line of duty" and not "misconduct." This is incorrect. The new law does not change the misconduct status for members of the armed forces but does eliminate loss of pay due to misconduct due to venereal disease.

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