Inasmuch as legislation is now proposed to compel every...

Albany (N. Y.) Journal

Inasmuch as legislation is now proposed to compel every poor devil to have a doctor when he falls ill, I suppose the next step will be to compel us to have a clergyman. Surely the axiom that the condition and future of one's soul is more important than the condition and future of one's body will not be antagonized. If, then, we are about to have a law enforcing attendance by a physician whenever any of us feels a pain in his stomach or his chest, why not prescribe that a doctor of divinity must make a visitation when we are inclined to smash any of the Ten Commandments?

Now I would like to inquire if people are not to be allowed to die, even if they happen to be members of the sect known under the title to which I continue to take vigorous exception? I have never heard that the Christian Scientists, so called, pretend that they can prevent death absolutely. When they do set up any dogma of that character, it will be time for them to receive rebuke and legislation at the hands of our distinguished coroner and his coadjutors in the Legislature—not before. Some people take quinine and regard it as a panacea. Other people hate quinine and would not touch it under any circumstances. Personally, I look upon that drug as most injurious, and I would not touch it, even if ordered to do so by a doctor. If I have a right to decline to touch quinine, and I have rejoiced certainly in the thought that I enjoy that liberty, why have I not an equal right to refuse to touch asafedita or "Carter's Little Pills"? What the Christian Scientist maintains, as I understand the matter, is that disease is a fiction of the imagination. In that he goes too far, according to my judgment; but if he does, remedial legislation can go too far also, and it is dangerous.

July 6, 1907

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