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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 12, 2004


JAMA. 2004;291(18):2264. doi:10.1001/jama.291.18.2264-b

The mayor of Greater New York has exercised his prerogative in vetoing the Eisberg bill abolishing the coroner in that city. He objects to an innovation on a time-honored system, and claims that an institution which is the growth of a thousand years should not be destroyed unless it is proven that its substitute is more useful and will stand the test of time as well. There is a little fallacy in this that the mayor does not seem to want to recognize. His remarks would apply to any time-honored abuse that has been kept up through interested motives from time immemorial. The fact, moreover, that the medical examiner's plan is working satisfactorily, except, perhaps, to the politicians, in other states and cities is ignored. We have held a rather high opinion of Mayor McClellan's intelligence, and the belief to which we are forced is that his veto of the bill is to please a corrupt political element backing the opposition to the measure. This is not so complimentary a belief as it would be to presume that he was mislead, but we regret to have to adopt it.

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