The need of national legislation for the protection of human life is based upon the knowledge of the transmissibility of epidemic diseases by commerce.
This need obtains to a larger degree for the United States than for any other country in the world, because while the States severally have many inherent rights and obligations of their own, and among those rights certainly that of self-protection against dangers to human life, the nation alone has the power to regulate commerce; and because, related to this commerce, the United States greatly exceeds any other country in the world as the collective centre of all nationalities and habits of life, more or less at variance with the conditions promotive of or in conflict with their own health or of the public health in this country.
Commerce, as hitherto conducted in the United States, in default of national legislation to prohibit the introduction of
BELL AN. THE NEED OF NATIONAL LEGISLATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN LIFE.Read in the Section of State Medicine, at the Forty-third Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at Detroit, Mich.. June, 1892.. JAMA. 1892;XIX(15):424–429. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420150008001c
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