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August 1, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(5):273-274. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430830043006

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One of the questions of medical deontology that still remains in dispute is that of the opinion that should be given in regard to marriages between persons closely related by blood. It is true, physicians are not often consulted on this subject, but their expressed or published opinions carry weight, and are therefore of sufficient importance to deserve some consideration. As it is they are to be had on both sides of the question, both orally given, published in medical treatises, as well as exemplified in actual practice. It may be said to be still an open question, as far as medical authority goes, whether a man should marry his first cousin or not. As regards closer relationship, such as those of uncle and niece, or nephew and aunt, though not a legal barrier in some countries, they would, it may be assumed, be very generally or unanimously considered objectionable

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