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December 8, 1906


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(23):1895-1896. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210230031001k

What is the conclusion to be drawn from the previous papers on this subject? It is, I think, twofold. First, as regards those who assume the rôle of protectors of innocence: let them beware of their ignorance, for, unhappily, they are not all-wise. Even supposing that those who speak here to-day and who have contemplated gravely the duty of our profession to womankind are, in some degree, competent to advise and to guard the innocent, we can not serve for all; our authority must be delegated. And strange and various will, doubtless, be the doctrines taught by those whose chief qualification as protectors of innocence is their boundless enthusiasm and a superficial knowledge of what wiser men have spoken. Witness current school instruction on the effects of alcohol.

Hence our mistrust of the old-fashioned patriarchal methods of protecting innocence by enshrouding it in ignorance. Our forefathers so confused the two

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