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April 8, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXII(14):771. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450410035012

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The indictment of Drs. Souchon and Kohnke, of the Louisiana State and New Orleans boards of health, for manslaughter (vide Journal, p. 621) appears to have been the result of one of those periodic fits of insanity that now and then seize the lay public or officials in regard to health matters. It may be estimated as about on a par with the murderous shotgun quarantines that public panic and cowardice sometimes institute in certain regions. How far political or personal spite may or may not have influenced the evidence is of little moment; an intelligent grand jury ought never to have seriously considered it. That it did so does not speak well for its insight, since the crime charged was two weeks old when one of the accused first took the official position by virtue of which he was made responsible for it. If absurd charges like this are

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