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September 7, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLIX(10):857. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530100045010

In view of the dangers of the puerperal condition, for example, and the probably real though not so generally admitted dangers of heredity, it is easy to see that it is inadvisable for those suffering from developed tuberculosis to marry. A recent decision1 of the Supreme Court of Washington goes rather farther than has usually been the case in making consumption a legal disability. It makes the breach of promise of marriage because of the disease in the woman justifiable, even if the engagement were entered into with knowledge of her condition. This may be considered good public policy, but it is certainly a hardship to the individual. In view of the fact that the condition was known before betrothal, the award of reasonable damages would seem to most persons as just in this case as in most breach of promise suits. A natural outcome of this decision should

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