In a recent issue occurs an editorial enumerating the virtues...

Stanfield (Ore.) Standard

In a recent issue occurs an editorial enumerating the virtues hoped for from medical inspection of schoolchildren, and offering the opinion that every school should be provided with medical examiners in order to safeguard the health and lives of the rising generation. All this sounds very fine, and no doubt it is a consummation devoutly to be wished by a few zealous persons who are vainly endeavoring to establish a system of state medicine in this country. Such a system was in vogue in Germany before the war, but in America parents still believe in, and choose to act upon, the assumption that the schools are public and not the children; that the public schools, supported by taxation, are established for the purpose of educating the children and not for the purpose of furnishing material for experiments and practice by one school of physicians.

Parents have certain rights in matters pertaining to the welfare of their children, and one of these rights consists in being able to choose the medical advisers of their young. The school inspector may be able to make a correct diagnosis and he may not be; especially is this latter true when, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, in the best equipped hospitals in America about one half of all the diagnoses prove to be incorrect when made under the most favorable conditions by the best trained men in the medical profession.

School inspectors as a rule are either young physicians seeking experience or of a class either too old or for some other reason not able to hold their own and make a success in open competition with the rest of the profession. Thus it is evident that far less than half of the diagnoses made by such inspectors would reasonably be considered correct. If the diagnosis is not correct it follows that the treatment is wrong and the lives of more than half the children are thereby placed in jeopardy under such a system. Parents, therefore, desire to choose their own physician rather than submit their children to inspectors whose qualifications they do not know and naturally have no confidence in.

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August 23, 1919

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