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February 19, 1968

The Reporting of Venereal Disease

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich

JAMA. 1968;203(8):607. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140080067029

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To the Editor:—  I am deeply disturbed by the article and the editorial concerning the reporting of venereal disease in The Journal (202:941, 1967).Cleere and associates begin by establishing that reporting is required by law in each of the 50 states of America. They proceed to cite data which indicate there is considerable noncompliance with these laws, and conclude that most physicians comply some of the time. They then suggest this is due to lack of information, understanding and trust. The recommended solution is for public health workers to provide information about the reasons for reporting and demonstrations of trustworthiness.The point that disturbs me is that both the article and the editorial suggest that physicians should be allowed to decide when and under what circumstances they will comply with a law which requires reporting of venereal disease. If this is accepted, to what extent can the principle