The social evil as an immoral abstraction does not concern the physician except in his capacity as an individual and citizen. The social evil as conducive to disease forms a territory peculiarly his own as a privileged guardian of the public welfare!
At the present moment, however, there is little need of the sign "no trespassing" to guard from approach the pathway across a field deserted alike by the lay and medical traveler as soon as it is determined how near the dread territory of personal embarrassment and distaste it leads. For formality's sake, though no answer is necessary, I ask the question, Why is it that physicians and laymen alike avoid this topic, one of such vital interest from the standpoint both of preventive and curative medicine? Why is it that, when its direct outcome is the dissolution of the home, almost certain disease for the individual, and by
WILLSON RN. THE RELATION OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION TO THE SOCIAL EVIL.. JAMA. 1906;XLVII(1):29-32. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210010029001i