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April 26, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(17):1083-1084. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480170037005

In a recent issue a legal publication1 takes up the question of the right of the state to compel citizens to undergo medical treatment in case of sickness in order to prevent their wilfully sacrificing their own lives or endangering those of others. It admits that the state can interfere for a child whose parents do not supply due medical care and whose welfare is thus compromised, but says that no court has as yet to its knowledge ruled on the question whether or not it can thus act for an adult. It is not a question of suicide, for, as it says, the Dowieite or Eddyite has no desire to die but does not believe in medical treatment, and the right of the state to prevent him seems to be in doubt in the legal mind. The fact that there are different schools of treatment legally recognized complicates

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