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In these days when the functions of the State are somewhat rapidly increasing, so that we hear without amazement proposals that the State shall undertake to manage railroads and telegraphs, and the municipality shall furnish gas and electric lights and manage street railways, we may ask if this extension of governmental activity can effect the medical profession. The right of the State to interfere in the preservation of public health is now recognized. Quarantine laws, laws regulating medical and dental education and practice, building of hospitals and asylums, etc., shows that the State assumes certain medical functions. How far they ought to extend may well be a legitimate subject of inquiry.
I will omit that logically important portion of the discussion concerning the sphere of the State and assume that when anything can be better done by the State than in any other way, and that the greatest good to
BACON CS. SHOULD MEDICINE AND DENTISTRY BECOME A FUNCTION OF THE STATE? JAMA. 1893;XX(12):331–335. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420390013001b
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