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July 27, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLIX(4):333. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530040045011

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The enforcement of idleness among the inmates of charitable institutions will be the result of a recent decision barring the inmates of Illinois state charitable institutions from manufacturing articles to be used by these institutions. It should be remembered that the employment of such persons is not so much of economic value as it is a necessary remedy for their diseases. The danger of a slight disturbance of the market or competition with free labor should not be allowed to interfere with the proper treatment of disease. As Cooperation2 remarks, the same logic would prevent the culture of vegetables, which furnishes opportunity for health-giving out-of-door work. Our contemporary very pertinently says: "It seems a pity that a legal technicality must make us overlook the mountain of benefit, to see only the tiny molehill of harm in the system. If it is the law, the law should be changed."

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