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March 25, 1939

SYPHILIS AND THE LAW: WITH A DISCUSSION OF THE FALSE POSITIVE BLOOD SEROLOGIC TEST

Author Affiliations

PHILADELPHIA

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Institute for the Control of Syphilis, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, state department of health cooperating.

JAMA. 1939;112(12):1133-1143. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800120019006
Abstract

The United States, following its well known predilection, is on the edge if not actually near the crest of a wave of legislative enactment in a newly discovered though very old public health field, that of venereal disease control. It therefore behooves the physician who wishes to understand, influence and cooperate to be informed on many as yet little appreciated aspects of the problem.

THE LAW IN ENACTMENT AND IMPLICATION  Law on the question of the transmission of infectious disease rests fundamentally on police powers conveyed by the legal enactments establishing state boards of health and supported by favorable decisions in the courts on issues involving quarantine and the protection of the public against the dissemination of infection. On this broad legal base rests a structure of local ordinances varied occasionally by legislative supplements from higher sources, so to speak, as in more sweeping types of laws governing groups such

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