"Thou shalt not kill."

Recently there has been a renewal of the proposition advanced some time ago, that it is legitimate and humane to cut short the lives of sick persons who have been pronounced incurable; and the most astonishing thing regarding this proposition is that it has found advocates in the ranks of those who have earned by their works the reputation of being humanitarians. The proposition has, of course, met with very general protest and denunciation upon moral grounds, but there is another side of the question which has not entered largely into the discussion, as it has been carried on in the newspapers, and that is, the fallibility of human judgment in the matter of disease. Who will dare say, even from the standpoint of long experience in the practice of medicine, that any disease is incurable; and what physician is there of any considerable practice who has not seen a patient get well after he had diagnosed the case as a hopeless one? Who will take the responsibility of saying that if a sick man cannot be healed by drugs or surgery he cannot be healed at all? Certainly there is no justification for such a conclusion, and this is becoming more and more apparent each day. Of the thousands who have been healed by Christian Science a very large proportion had previously been pronounced incurable by their physicians. These people are alive to-day and are healthy and useful citizens. In the light of subsequent events, would it not have been worse than a crime to "put them out of their suffering," in the manner proposed by these new-school humanitarians? A case in point is that of Mr. Ephraim D. Mann of Savannah, Ga., whose experience, as described by himself, is given in a pamphlet called "Christian Science and Legislation," recently issued by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Mr. Mann details his experience as follows:—

"Twelve years ago I was in a hopeless state of ill health. For twelve years I was afflicted with pulmonary disease, and during the above stated period, tried every remedy known to materia medica, with no permanent relief. I was twice carried to the operating-table, my uncle, Dr. Edman Fitzgerald, of Macon, Ga., being chief surgeon at these operations. After the second operation, Dr. Fitzgerald told my mother that the operation had disclosed the fact that my left lung was entirely gone, and the right lung was so badly affected by tuberculosis that it was impossible for me to recover.

"I had pneumonia four times after the last operation, and was never known to be free from a cough or cold. I was attended by six prominent physicians of the State of Georgia, each one concurring with the others in the diagnosis of my case as being hopeless. I was also informed that my kidneys were diseased.

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January 20, 1906

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