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November 21, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(21):1787. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02540210043010

Several states have laws forbidding the marriage of epileptics, and it would be of interest to ascertain how thoroughly such laws are enforced. Kansas seems to be one of the states with such a law, but, judging from the report2 of Dr. M. L. Perry, superintendent of the State Hospital for Epileptics, it appears that the law is practically a dead letter. He finds that in the institutions under his charge 30 per cent, of the male epileptics over 21 years old are married and 25 per cent. were married after the disease had developed. Of the female epileptics over 18 years of age, 56.8 per cent. were married and 40 per cent. had married since they became epileptic. In Perry's opinion the disease is largely hereditary, and the children of these marriages are particularly liable to inherit their parents' disease. He makes a plea, therefore, that the existing

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