Recent experiences resulting from medical examinations...

Boston (Mass.) Times

Recent experiences resulting from medical examinations in our public schools call for a protest on the part of the liberty-loving people of Boston. In times of epidemics or threatening epidemics there might be some excuse for this sort of practice, but the infringement upon personal liberty which has been in vogue here recently is almost pernicious. Nothing has happened to call for such unsolicited attention as is being devoted to the school children in the vicinity, and the effect is anything but healthful. If this sort of practice is continued, the dread of the schoolboy and schoolgirl will be the visits of the school physicians. We see no reason why the innocence and tenderness of childhood should be demoralized by this sort of practice. It will be a wonder if all the children do not turn into adenoids. If they do not, it will not be the fault of the treatment to which they are subjected. We doubt if it is ever necessary that well folks should undergo physical examinations, and if it ever becomes necessary there is no reason why it should not be done in the homes of the children in the presence of their parents or guardians, and under the supervision of the dear old family physician who is kind enough and Christian enough to have already won the confidence of the children.

Any one who knows anything at all about human nature understands that disease is largely occasioned by fear, and that a knowledge of the horrors of disease and deformities peculiar to the child is the direct opposite to that which is conducive of health, and for that reason should not be permitted. There is no reason why children should not be taught to be clean in the extreme, there is no reason why they should not be taught good morals. We believe it should be early impressed upon the child mind that purity is the foundation of health, while filth both of mind and body breeds discord; but to go into a description of disease and to subject the child to practices which emphasize the unpleasantness and horrors of disease and create a fear of it, seems to us to be entirely wrong. Besides, this intrusion upon the schools, which are really intended for educational purposes, is also an offense against the community.

As we contemplate the evils which are resulting from the medical influence which is already being exercised in the community, we wonder what might be expected if we had a federal health department. It is high time that the people of this commonwealth were waking up to a realization of the situation.

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January 6, 1912

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