Should Section 7564 of the Criminal Code of Alabama be...

Birmingham (Ala.) News

Should Section 7564 of the Criminal Code of Alabama be amended? The section reads as follows:—

"Any person who treats or offers to treat diseases of human beings in this State by any system of treatment whatsoever, without having obtained a certificate of qualification from the State Board of Medical Examiners, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined for each offense not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars, and may be imprisoned for not less than one nor more than three months."

The iniquity of the above statute lies primarily in this: it makes the practice of medicine the sole legalized monopoly in Alabama for the healing of all manner of diseases; and, secondly, it takes away the right of any person to choose such method of treatment as appeals to his own reason.... If you should send for your pastor to intercede for you, he would violate the Alabama statute and make himself criminally liable if he should attempt to be the means of your restoration to health by means of prayer. The purely mental attitude of the patient is very potent factor in the healing of disease by whatsoever system, and this fact is nowhere recognized more fully than in the medical profession.

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Extracts from Letters
May 24, 1919

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