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Since the introduction of compulsory vaccination by federal enactment back in the seventies of last century, there has been constant agitation in favor of either repealing or modifying the law. Some of the opponents hold that the law is superfluous and useless; others think that vaccination should be compulsory only when an epidemic is threatened. Both parties make use of the plea that they are conscientious objectors, especially since in England conscientious scruples are recognized as an excuse for noncompliance with the law. According to this principle, every lawful guardian of a child shall have the right to demand that the child shall be exempt from vaccination if the guardian declares that he has conscientious objections to the procedure. In view of the lack of knowledge displayed by the masses in matters of public health, it is evident that the admission of such a plea is a mere
BERLIN. JAMA. 1926;86(5):364. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670310046023
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