The spy system has never been in much favor with Anglo-Saxon...

Medical Brief

The spy system has never been in much favor with Anglo-Saxon peoples. It may be necessary, in certain cases and under certain conditions, to employ it for the detection of crimes and criminals; but it is always regarded, by right-thinking persons, as being at best a sort of necessary evil, only to be made use of when all other means fail, and in which no right-feeling man or woman cares to take an active part. It is, in short, in the mind of the decent citizen, a species of dirty work, only to be employed where absolutely necessary to circumvent equally dirty work with its own weapons.

All of which we have said before in these pages, and are led to reiterate by certain events which have recently occurred not a hundred miles from the office of this journal. The spectacle of a city health officer hiring paid decoys to induce a Christian Science practitioner to render advice to a presumably sick person for which the decoy made payment with a marked bill, as though he were entrapping a suspected embezzler or forger; thereupon dragging the practitioner—a lady—to the police stations and subjecting her to the indignities of disrobing and searching her like a common thief; such a spectacle, we say, is not calculated to inspire any great respect, either in the public or the professional mind, for organized medicine. Such a procedure is justly regarded by all right-minded persons as an outrage upon common decency, and quite naturally arouses public sympathy upon the side of the victim of such brutal methods. In the case in question, the prosecuting attorney declined to issue a warrant for the Christian Science healer, we think, very rightly. And we are sure that the entire medical profession repudiates with disgust and indignation the uncalled-for action on the part of the health officer.

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