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October 3, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(14):767-768. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430920043005

The incidence of mortality in the first years of life is a well-known showing of all tables of vital statistics, but its preventable factors are not so clearly recognized, while far behind lags the resolution to make theoretic knowledge a realized fact. Talk as we may about the disadvantages of "grandmotherly government" and "socialistic legislation," no one can affirm that in matters of preventive medicine and hygiene there can be too much governmental oversight. The wisdom and morality of the few must become that of the many, and it can only become so by stringently penal legislation and executive control. Human nature is at least not yet sufficiently ethical to be allowed indiscriminate and unscrutinized control over the young life that comes to it.

Take the matter of child life-insurance as an example. Is it not evident that parents too poor to bury a child should be held too poor

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