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December 13, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(24):1529. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480500035007

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The movement to abolish the office of coroner in New York seems to be one that ought to receive the general support of the profession. The office is an antiquated one that has survived its usefulness and really only exists as a political plum; its judicial functions could be better exercised by other officials provided for by law, and its medical duties would be much more satisfactorily attended to by medical men without interference by laymen or subordination to politicians. The name of the office is itself an anomaly in a republican government, and it is a little remarkable that it has been so long endured, when its imperfections were a matter of satire and ridicule even in Shakespeare's day. The experience of Massachusetts has shown the needlessness of the office, and it is the more surprising that the common sense of other commonwealths has not before this induced them

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