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June 11, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXX(24):1416-1417. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02440760044006

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The tendency of modern civilization is to more humanitarian methods even in war, but at the most it is only a tendency. The edicts of the Geneva Convention, while they should have the force of law, are like other laws, full of holes and possibilities of evasion. In civilized warfare no doubt they are expected to be observed, but a state of war is more or less a suspension of all laws, international and otherwise, and it is not probable that in all cases and under all conditions the considerations of humanity, or even the dicta of an international convention, will overrule the passions of excited warriors. As the state of the participants approaches to barbarism, this neglect of the dictates of humanity will be the more prominent, and the comparatively recent behavior of the Japanese at Port Arthur is a case in point. After all that is said, it

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