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August 31, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(9):584. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470350040010

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If every death occurring under treatment by mental healers, "christian scientists," and other delusions and forms of quackery, was made a matter for a coroner's inquest and properly investigated, there would be fewer patrons of these humbugs. Too many physicians are sometimes good-natured and careless enough to give a postmortem diagnosis and death certificate in such cases, thereby directly aiding humbugs and frauds. A physician can not well refuse a call for help while life lasts, but this writing of death certificates upon the work of quacks is another matter. While such is sometimes unavoidable, there is no reason why any physician should step in and deliberately help out of his difficulties one who is not only hostile to rational medicine, but who is also in this regard a public enemy. An inquest is an unpleasant thing and trying to the feelings of an afflicted family, but if it would

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