On page 327 of this issue we copy from the news columns of the New York World an article which deals with recent criticisms of Christian Science. The reason for the statements made in the article is, as explained, that a short time ago the World compiled a list of thirty-two children who were alleged to have died under Christian Science treatment during the past thirteen years, not in New York city alone, but in the entire country.

Whether or not the list was authentic or complete we do not know, but as the article was intended to discredit Christian Science, it is probably safe to assume that all available instances were included, yet what do we find? Simply that the failure of Christian Science treatment in the cases of children, during thirteen years and in the entire country, averaged about two and one half per year, while the failures of all other kinds of practice, or no practice, in the cases of children in one year and in one city alone, were over twenty-seven thousand. It may be claimed that some percentage of these twenty-seven thousand did not receive medical treatment, and this is probably true, but we should have to concede that ninety per cent of these cases failed to receive medical treatment (which is not true) in order to bring the ratio of failures of medical practice and the failures of Christian Science practice down to a thousand to one; and even then the proportion would be on an unequal basis, because the medical failures are counted in only one city, while the failures of Christian Science practice are counted in the whole country. As a matter of fact the ratio, according to the figures of the World and the official figures quoted by Mr. Strickler, is over ten thousand in one city to one in the whole country.

It is also to be noticed that the list published in the World included ten cases of diphtheria in the whole country in thirteen years, whereas there were seventeen hundred and fifteen fatal cases of this disease in the city of New York alone in one year under medical treatment, nearly all children under fifteen. These figures do not speak well for the claimed superiority of medical treatment, neither does the fact that a few years ago in the city of St. Louis more than ten children died within a week from the effects of antitoxin administered to them by physicians. These children, so the record showed, did not have diphtheria at all, but the antitoxin treatment was given to them as "preventive medicine." It certainly prevented them from having this disease, but think of the anguish of the parents who, in some cases at least, had little if any choice in the matter of entrusting the lives of their children to supposedly skilled treatment. Yet no one, so far as we know, was arrested because "somebody blundered," nor were the parents haled into court for having employed or permitted what they or some one in authority considered the best treatment for these children. The inconsistency between this instance and the one in New York city which occasioned the compilation instituted by the World, is certainly striking.

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December 23, 1911

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