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October 20, 1900


Author Affiliations

Secretary of the State Board of Health of Pennsylvania. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1900;XXXV(16):989-991. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24620420003001a

The only ground on which state charities can be justified is that of self-protection. In the case of the dependent classes, such as the insane, the deaf-mutes and the blind, protection against injury to life and property, or against the loss to society arising from enforced idleness and lack of education on the part of the sufferers, furnishes the excuse. In the case of infectious diseases, the danger to health and life from the extension of such disease justifies the erection of contagious-disease hospitals of all kinds and the expenditure of large amounts of money in the establishment and maintenance of quarantine stations. The foundation and support of hospitals simply for the relief of suffering and healing of diseases is, from the standpoint of strict political economy and true statesmanship, a flagrant misuse of public funds, and leads to serious abuses.

In the year 1898, the legislature of Pennsylvania appropriated

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