February 21, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXII(8):616. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560330034017

It is scarcely necessary to explain to those engaged in the practice of medicine wherein the importance of ascertaining the precise cause of every death lies. Even if it were of no serious value to medical science (though in fact the contrary is unquestionably true), the legal aspects alone of the incidence of death present a strong plea for accurate, detailed and decisive knowledge regarding the demise of every member of the community. In the United States deaths from freezing form at most a very small proportion of the losses of life which require classification. As a rule circumstantial evidence must assist to make the determination of this mode of death comparatively easy, though alcohol and the rigor of climate are doubtless interwoven in many a case so as to render it difficult if not impossible to place the burden of immediate cause on the real factor. Death from freezing

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