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June 10, 1939

LAWS REQUIRING PREMARITAL AND PREGNANCY TESTS FOR SYPHILISREASONS FOR AND AGAINST

Author Affiliations

Professor of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine; Director of the Research Institute of Cutaneous Medicine PHILADELPHIA

JAMA. 1939;112(23):2385-2391. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800230009004
Abstract

Offhand it would appear that the laws enacted by nine states1 and pending in several more which require blood tests for syphilis before the issuance of a marriage license are highly desirable as part of the present program for the control and eradication of the disease. The same is undoubtedly true in relation to pregnancy, three states2 requiring blood tests of pregnant women, with similar bills now under consideration by several additional states. But a number of important questions both pro and con are involved in such legislation, which it is my purpose to discuss briefly, since physicians are frequently and properly consulted by legislators and other interested lay persons seeking information on the issues involved.

REASONS FOR THE LEGAL REQUIREMENT OF PREMARITAL BLOOD TESTS FOR SYPHILIS  1. Because marriage inevitably involves syphilitic men and women in view of the high incidence of the disease.No one knows

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