It has probably been a very great asset of Christian Science...

Holyoke (Mass.) Daily Transcript

It has probably been a very great asset of Christian Science that the medical world assailed it so far as to try to prevent its practice for the healing of disease. Physicians have had to fight for every advance they made, from the assertion of the circulation of the blood to the use of vaccines for small-pox and for typhoid prevention. But that is no reason why they should fight the other fellow, even in defense of the sacredness of their profession—and be it said right here that no professiohn in the world cherishes itself as a profession to compare with the profession of medicine. The various schools of medicine have had hard times getting on their feet. The attacks on homeopathy by the allopathists are still remembered by laymen. But these schools have now assimilated each other fairly well and dwell in peace.

When Christian Science came along with its refusal of medicine and its practice of healing, accepting money in return just as physicians do, the medical world denounced it so vigorously that the attack actually helped the new idea. It was not enough to denounce the Christian Scientists as fakers; they were opposed to the extent of taking their cases into court. A great many people have the feeling that in America a man can cure himself or fail to cure himself in any way he likes, so long as the public health is not menaced; so the opposition only served to help Christian Science.

A decision in the New York Court of Appeals yesterday sends back to re-treat a famous case by which Willis Vernon Cole, a New York Christian Science practitioner, was convicted for the illegal practice of medicine. The case against him was brought by an agent of the New York County Medical Society. The judge who presided when it was tried charged the jury thus: "If you find from the evidence in this case that this defendant did engage in the practice of medicine as alleged in the indictment, within the definition which I have given you, it is no defense that he did what he did from any sense of duty, or that he did these acts in the practice of a religious tenet of the Christian Science church." The Court of Appeals now decides that the court was in error in so charging the jury, and that the practice of Christian Science methods of healing is permitted by the statute that specifically exempts those who in the treatment of bodily ills follow out the tenets of any religion. It has taken four years to get this decision from the court, and the case now goes back for retrial.

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