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January 18, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(3):179. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480030037005

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The Journal has always opposed the exaggerated estimates of the dangerous communicability of tuberculosis and especially such panicky legislation or regulations as would needlessly increase the hardships of its victims. What has been foreseen and deprecated has come to pass; the agitation and persistent reiteration of its contagiousness have had their effect in the recent ruling of the Treasury Department excluding consumptives, and such regulations as those just enacted in certain New York towns where to entertain a consumptive guest is made a finable misdemeanor. This phthisiophobia, as it has been designated by Knopf, seems to be spreading, and he relates instances of gross inhumanity due to the abject cowardice that has been so largely induced among the laity by the inconsiderate exaggerations of medical writers, who too often in their zeal have let their words overstate the facts. Consumption is not a virulently contagious or infectious disease and we

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