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December 2, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(23):1431. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450750051012

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A physician has been put under arrest in an eastern city on the charge of being accessory after the fact to a criminal operation. We are not fully informed as to the facts, but the charge as reported suggests some possibilities that may occur in the practice of any physician. In some states the physician can not lawfully reveal any data obtained by him in his professional capacity, but what may be a legal obligation to him on one side of an imaginary line may, it seems possible, be a crime on the other. In some localities it may come to be perilous to treat cases as they occur without reporting all suspicious appearing facts to the authorities, while a mile or two distant such revelation would bring liability to heavy damages if not a criminal prosecution. The Massachusetts physician referred to may or may not have been cognizant of

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