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July 16, 1887

SYPHILIS, MARRIAGE, AND DIVORCE.Read before the Section of Practice of Medicine, Materia Medica and Physiology, at the Thirty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1887.

JAMA. 1887;IX(3):79-80. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400020015002c

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Abstract

The relation of syphilis to marriage is one of irreconcilable antagonism, and if the old maxim of "once syphilitic, always syphilitic," were true, the conscientious physician would be compelled to forever forbid matrimony to those who have been contaminated by the virus of syphilis. Fortunately, however, syphilis is usually a curable, and in some cases a self-limited disease, and when the system is no longer under its influence marriage is permissible, and even advisable.

When can a person who has had syphilis marry without running the risk of transmitting the disease to his wife and children? Not until he is completely cured. This is, of course, an indefinite reply, but no absolute rule can be made which will meet the indications of every case. Each case must be studied by itself. The age, habits and general conoition of the patient, the character and duration of every case. Each case must

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