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May 10, 1890

VOLUNTEER SANITARY ORGANIZATIONS AS AN AID TO OFFICIAL BOARDS OF HEALTH.Read in the Section of State Medicine at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1889.

JAMA. 1890;XIV(19):665-671. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410190001001

The question that I am desired to present to you has been often discussed, generally, however, from a merely abstract standpoint. Viewed from the position of public boards, voluntary assistance, even if well organized, has too often appeared interference, while upon the other hand, the private citizen is inclined to criticise the average board official as indolent and the creature of red tape, or else too zealous and inclined to magnify his office.


It will be my endeavor to avoid these extremes, and to show from a practical experience in this matter of nearly a dozen years, that in American communities there exist twodistinct fields of operation. They are side by side, and necessarily everywhere present, though in some places more markedly so than in others. With the limitation that the law provides as to the supervision of private households by civic