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July 30, 1938


JAMA. 1938;111(5):430-431. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790310052016

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Health1 a distinguished group of British health officials has recently studied the effectiveness of antivenereal measures in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands. The first three countries provide for notification and compulsory treatment of infected persons; the Netherlands has neither notification nor compulsory treatment and therefore serves as a control. In Denmark the first regulations dealing with venereal disease were issued in 1788 but were applied at first to only a limited part of the country. These regulations, although framed a century and a half ago, incorporate two of the guiding principles which still form the basis of the Danish system, namely free treatment and compulsory treatment. The regulations were revised at intervals until 1906, at which time previous laws were replaced by "The Law to Combat Professional Immorality and Venereal Contagion." This law apparently was designed primarily to check immoral practices but

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