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November 15, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(20):1259. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480460037006

According to a modern school of thinkers crime is practically a disease and the criminal should not be punished but should be cured. As a converse to this we have a large portion of the general public practically making disease a crime and cutting off the possibilities of cure while applying the punishment. Not long since a consumptive made nearly the round of the numerous hospitals of Chicago—according to the newspapers—and found himself barred from all. The only resource was to go as a pauper to an attachment of an almshouse in the suburbs.

This is not a unique experience; it has occurred in other cities, and the situation seems to be becoming aggravated. The medical profession has its responsibility for the state of affairs; it has for years been teaching the contagiousness of tuberculosis; health officials have promulgated the idea and just now the public are taking it up