Very many physicians at one time or another are asked for advice in cases of illegitimate child-bearing; the importance of this matter to the several parties concerned is so great that unusually grave social responsibility is thrown upon the adviser. A high, but not impracticable ideal for guidance in such a case is set forth by H. H. Hart1 in a paper on "The Physician and the Illegitimate Child." The physician practically controls the policy of the community, especially in disposing of the child, Hart thinks, and therefore it behooves him to carefully weigh his counsel. From large experience as the superintendent of a children's home and aid society, Hart formulates some important generalizations which are by no means obvious and which every one who deals with this difficult problem should have well in mind.
The first party entitled to consideration is certainly the child. It is innocent, and
ILLEGITIMACY AND THE PHYSICIAN.. JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(8):434–435. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480340028005
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