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July 9, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(2):114-115. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690020038013

Interference with the usual routine of life and activities of individuals is seldom popular in modern democratic governments. This is true in relation to the physical and mental health of persons as well as with respect to their working schemes and political doings. Consequently it is not easy to institute plans for human betterment of either a physiologic or a social character on any wholesale basis involving large or fixed groups of the population. The history of attempts at universal vaccination illustrates this. It crops out also in efforts at widespread physical examination. If these are made compulsory, they are likely to be regarded as an insult to personal liberty. Nothing short of education can overcome these inborn feelings; nor is it wise in a democracy to tolerate the subjugation of the individual except under circumstances that have a nearly universal appeal of wisdom and justice.

The relation of a