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Article
September 28, 1901

A Use for Criminals.

JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(13):846. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470390048016

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Abstract

Palmerston, Ontario, Sept. 20, 1901.

To the Editor:  —President McKinley has been laid to rest and his assassin remains to be dealt with by the law as a nuisance to society. Before he is executed might he not be used for some useful purpose? Recent investigations in tuberculosis and cancer, two of the world's greatest scourges, have shown the necessity of the use of a human subject for further research. Already a physician has offered himself as a subject to test whether bovine tuberculosis is transmissible to man. The necessary experiments would not entail any great suffering on the criminal, and public opinion generally would be thoroughly in accord. I can see no objection to this use of desperate criminals. This practice was in vogue when Jenner introduced vaccination to the world, but in the nineteenth century seems to have fallen entirely into disuse.

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