The Missouri Bill

WE have carefully read the Act to regulate the practice of medicine, surgery, and midwifery, recently passed by the Missouri legislature, and which has now become a law. We do not see that it affects Christian Scientists or Christian Science practice at all. It relates solely to the practice of medicine, surgery, and midwifery, as those terms are defined and understood. Christian Scientists use no medicines or material or physical means whatever, nor do they use any surgical apparatus or appliances of any kind or nature. They heal through prayer, that is, through a knowledge and realization of the all-power and allpresence of the Divine Mind—God—to heal all diseases to which humanity is subject. Therefore, in no possible sense of the terms medicine, surgery, or midwifery, do they come within the provisions of said Act.

There is only one clause of the Bill which by the most extreme construction possible to language could be held to relate in any way to Christian Science practice; it is as follows: "Any person, except physicians now registered, practising medicine or surgery in this state, and any person attempting to treat the sick or others afflicted with bodily or mental infirmities without first obtaining a license from the State Board of Health, as provided in this Act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor," etc. The words "and any person attempting to treat the sick or others afflicted with bodily or mental infirmities" would have to be taken out of the context and out of the force and effect of the Bill as a whole, in order to make them applicable to Christian Science practice in any view of the question; but we do not hesitate to say that, even standing alone and disconnected from the words medicine and surgery, they would bear no construction which would make them applicable to Christian Science healing.

April 11, 1901
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