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January 15, 1887


JAMA. 1887;VIII(3):73. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391280017006

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Many months since much interest was excited in medical circles by the prosecution of two highly esteemed physicians of New York for damages, by a lady who had been placed in the pest-house by the Health authorities on the strength of a certificate given by the physicians that she had an attack of small-pox, which she claimed was not true. It was not claimed that the physicians had intentionally or maliciously certified falsely, but simply that they had failed to make a correct diagnosis, in consequence of which she had been unjustly exposed to the atmosphere of a hospital for contagious diseases. Though the defendants showed that they had only given the certificate in obedience to the positive requirements of the law and in accordance with their best judgment; and that the Health authorities were the only parties responsible for the removal of the patient from her home, yet the

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