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January 11, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVI(2):89-90. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430540041008

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The chief medical officer of the Cook County Lunatic Asylum has just been under trial before the County Civil Service Board for insubordination to the lay head of the institution. It appears that he made arrangements for a post-mortem of a patient whose death he could not otherwise certify without consulting his superior.

It is a strange condition of affairs when a medical chief of a medical institution can not decide medical questions without the interference of a non-medical official and must be tried for insubordination if he attempts so to do. Not long since the profession in this country was profoundly stirred in behalf of a naval surgeon who was court-martialed for not obeying an order of his superior in a matter that his medical conscience would not permit him to act as he was commanded. He, however, was simply a subordinate in a war ship—a fighting machine—where according

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