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Sec. 2. Agents and employees of incorporated transportation companies, and public or private carriers of whatsoever name or nature, shall not receive for transportation, nor transport, the dead body of any person, except on receipt of duly executed papers showing that the conditions required by section one of this act have been complied with, under the same penalties as therein provided.
SEC. 3. Any physician, or any person assuming to act as a physician, who shall issue a false certificate whereby a case of small-pox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, or other dangerous, contagious, infectious or pestilential disease, may be concealed, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars, nor more than three hundred dollars, and by imprisonment in the county jail not less than twenty days, nor more than one hundred days; and the ignorance of an uneducated practitioner of medicine shall not be pleaded in justification or extenuation of his offense.
SEC. 4. Any person knowingly laboring under small-pox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, or other dangerous, contagious, infectious or pestilential disease, who shall willfully enter a public place or a public conveyance, or shall in any way willfully subject others to danger of contracting his disease, or any person who shall knowingly and willfully take, aid in taking, or cause to be taken, a child or other irresponsible person while laboring under any of the aforesaid diseases into a public place or public conveyance, or shall in any way knowingly and willfully subject others to danger of contracting any of the aforesaid diseases from such child or irresponsible person, or any person who shall knowingly and willfully subject others to danger of contracting any of the aforesaid diseases from the dead body of a person deceased thereof, or any person who shall in any way knowingly and willfully expose, aid in exposing, or cause to be exposed, a child or other irresponsible person, to danger of contracting any of the aforesaid diseases, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be subject to the same penalties as are provided in section one of this act.
Sec. 5. Upon complaint made in writing, under oath, before any magistrate or Justice of the Peace, charging the commission of an offense against the provisions of this act in his county, it shall be the duty of the district attorney to prosecute the offender.
Sec. 6. This act shall take effect from and after its passage and publication, and all acts and parts of acts conflicting with the provisions of this act, in so far as they contravene the same, are hereby repealed.
Approved March 23, 1881.
THE RIGHTS OF THE INSANE.
By C. H. HUGHES, M. D.,
The age in which we live is pre-eminently regardful of the rights of man. The corner-stone of our political fabric was laid in the professed sanctity of personal rights. Constitutions were and are framed, and statutes enacted, for the protection of the weak against the possible encroachments of the strong. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is the recognized right of all sane persons, and law cannot take from any citizen that which is not absolutely essential to his own or the community's welfare. The citizen's house is his castle; the law cannot enter it, “ the king cannot enter it,”—which in this country is the voice of the people,-unless it be to protect him in some of those rights of person or of the community connected with individual affliction.
In an age and country such as ours, the very weakness of mental disease is its safeguard, just as the weakness of woman secures to her that chivalrous protection in society which her own frail arms could not obtain for her.
When, mentally maimed, a citizen falls in the battle of life, the government-national or State—cares for the fallen one, as though he were a soldier fallen in defense of his country's flag. Moral duty and philanthropie patriotism combine to lift up the fallen, and " bind up his wounds."
No fault can well be found with the manner in which municipal government discharges its plain duty of caring for its insane in hospitals. In fact, so liberally have State and national government housed these unfortunates, that some have regarded the substantial and enduring buildings erected for them as too costly and palatial in character. These palaces are the monuments which a philanthropic age erects, commemorative of its charitable purpose toward those most afflicted of the “ children of affliction," serving to show what the age will do for these helpless ones when fully awakened to all of their peeds and rights (and the necessities of their affliction are their rights).
Among the other rights of the insane, not yet fully regarded by the State, so obvious as to require only a plain statement of them to carry conviction, are the following:
First, to such protection against themselves, and the consequences of their malady, as will secure to them recovery, where recovery is possible, by care and treatment in the incipiency of their malady.
Under this right to have that prompt surveillance and treatment for himself, which, in his best estate, he would demand for his similarly afflicted friend. The abstract right to liberty is subsidiary to that of his welfare and happiness.
It is the duty of the State to inquire into the existence of incipient mental malady, and avert its culmination in consequences disastrous to the afflicted one and others, because it is a right which the strong owes to the weak, which a protective government owes to its citizens.
In thus protecting the insane it incidentally protects the community against the consequences of insanity. The rights of the insane and the duty of the State here go together; and the right of every community to be quarantined against the often disastrous consequences of unguarded insanity likewise suggests the obvious duty of the State.
Out of this right of the insane to have that attention from the State which their malady requires, grows the necessity of State inquiry by competent medical commissions into the existence of incipient and advanced insanity outside of the asylums, and such surveillance as will secure to the insane of every grade in every community their right to proper medical and personal care and guardianship against self-neglect or possible indifference of their families or near friends.
Every consideration combines to strengthen the plea for the rights of the insane to the paternal watchfulness, and, where necessary, the care of the State, not alone after they have found lodgement, by judicial process, in the State institutions, or may have been declared “ dangerous to themselves or others” by a
" medical inquiry, but in that stage of their malady when there is hope of averting the culmination of the ultimate dire consequences of the disease from themselves and others.
The marital rights of the insane should also be regulated, as well as guarded.
They should receive such protection from the law as they, were they sane enough to realize consequences, would ask for themselves; and posterity should be guarded against the fatal heritage of unstable organisms, the natural consequence of the marriage of the insane. No virile lunatie should be permitted to marry. No insane woman should be allowed by law to bring into the world a mentally maimed or dwarfed progeny (wherever it can be prevented), to become ultimate burdens on the State, and add to the already large sum of human misery and woe.
Marriage of all insane persons at certain ages should be interdicted by law, and the victims also of such diseases as entail insanity, or epilepsia, should also be forbidden to enter into matrimony before the sterile age. In behalf of the rights of the insane, who would not wish to have a maimed offspring if under the dominion of their right reason, it should be lawful for proper persons to forbid such disastrous bans, and the duty of the State to do it.
It is a terrible thing for the State to tacitly consent to the deterioration of the race caused by such marriages; and duty to humanity, sane and insane, demands repressive legislation. No
pestilence that ever walked in darkness, or destruction that ever wasted at noon-day” ever called more loudly for State intervention against their spread, than the destructive heritage of the neuropathic diathesis for the concern of the State. Its evil influences are all about us, even more disastrous than any plague or pestilence, afflicting the humblest citizen, as well as the highest, and their posterity.
Discussion of the marital relations of the insane is not the purpose of this paper. To exhaust the subject would require more space and time than this Section has at its disposal.
Under what circumstances the rights of the insane to retain the marriage relation inviolate should be held sacred, need not be here discussed in view of what has been said. Their rights are better secured by interdiction than by divorce; but the circumstances under which divorce ought to be granted we prefer to leave to inference rather than enter on its discussion.
We turn now to briefly notice the rights of the insane before the law in civil and criminal trials.
Insanity is conceded to be a disease of the brain in which