An item in your issue of November 26, stating that the...

Rochester (N. Y.) Times-Union

An item in your issue of November 26, stating that the highest death rate ever known in your city occurred in the recent epidemic of influenza, included an extract from your health officer's report in which he takes a gratuitous fling at Christian Scientists which is as misleading as it is uncalled for. The meaning of the somewhat indirect statement seems to be that had more people acted as the Christian Scientists wished them to act, the death rate would have been even higher. Please permit me to say that this seems to me to be purely a matter of human opinion on the part of the doctor, not at all warranted by the facts in the case. Careful investigation in the city of Rochester reveals the fact that of the two hundred and eight cases of influenza in which Christian Science treatment was resorted to, but one resulted fatally. In the light of the utter failure of the medical profession to check in any degree this epidemic until it had spread through every section of our country, and that it did finally literally "burn itself out,"—to quote a leading medical journal,—it is not exactly easy to understand where a medical practitioner can find warrant for attacking another system of healing which had, in the case of the epidemic, a notably successful record. Christian Scientists have no controversy with the medical profession, but like all fair-minded citizens they believe in fair play for all.

The New York Times, which has been a consistent friend of the medical profession for many years, in the issue of October 17, said: "When the history of this influenza epidemic comes to be written, it will not reflect much glory on medical science, or, to be more explicit and to recognize the great truth that responsibility is always personal, on the doctors in whom medical science is embodied. It will have to be admitted that though the members of the profession in the United States had long and full warning that the infection would come to this country, though they had read all about its ravages in Europe, and though it is a disease of few or no mysteries either as to its nature or method of distribution, when it arrived they did little more than tell us that among a well-fed people there would be no widespread infection, and the cases that did appear would be far milder than under the much different and far worse condition existing in the war worn foreign nations.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.