Under the caption "A Foolish Prosecution" the Philadelphia Public Ledger says editorially,—

Whoever instigated the prosecution of Edwin N. Watson and his wife, at Mount Holly, on the charge of causing the death of their child, was ill-advised, whether the purpose was merely to enforce parental responsibility or to bring discredit upon what is known as Christian Science. ...

The jury's "recommendation to mercy" implies that they doubted the justice of their own verdict, which they apparently supposed to be in compliance with the law. But any law relating to a subject of this kind must be construed in the light of reason, else it is made ridiculous. There are certain statutes made for the common protection, such as those relating to contagious diseases and the like, which are strictly to be enforced; but there is no law which prescribes any particular course of treatment for any given disease that puts any narrower definition upon the attention due to the sick than is established by reason and common sense and the circumstances of the case, or that assumes criminal intent if the treatment given prove unsuccessful. Many children die under the care of the most scientific physicians. In this particular case it is doubtful if any physician could have saved the child's life, even had he been called in due time, though he might have made a more effective effort than was made, in accordance with his knowledge and experience.

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October 19, 1907

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