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September 1, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(9):689-690. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520090045006

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There are not a few, even of physicians, who are apt to consider that the old-time ecclesiastical regulations forbidding the marriage of blood relatives, which have become the basis for most of our modern legislation on this subject, are founded on moral rather than on good physical grounds. There is a natural feeling of repugnance against the marriage of very near relatives, but there is an impression, now altogether too general, that cousins may marry with impunity. For those who entertain any such idea the report of the United States Census Bureau on the blind and the deaf, which has recently been published by the Government Printing Office, will provide material for very serious consideration. This report is written by Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, better known popularly as the inventor of the telephone, but who has a world-wide reputation as an expert of scientific thoroughness with regard to deafness and

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