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"THE NEW YORK
Entered according to Act of Congress, A. D. 1903, by A. N. BELL, in the office
of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
SOCIAL CONDITIONS IN AMERICA IN THEIR RELA
TION TO MEDICAL PROGRESS AND DISEASE.
Abstract of Oration in Medicine Delivered at the Fifty-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association,
held at New Orleans, May 5 to 8, 1903.
By J. M. ANDERS, M.D., LL.D., Philadelphia.
While there are certain things and events common to all in our psychic and social development, enlightened society will grant that the larger events in American history, assuming that "the first duty of society is the preservation of life and the comfort of its units,” have not been so much dominated by legislative authority and social customs as by the march of science, more particularly medical and hygienic. In a country as vast as ours, however, there could be no uniform law covering the details of results in matters medical. These have been in the past and will in the future vary somewhat with the climate, physical conditions, degree of culture and opportunities presented by the widely separated regions. As a consequence, in displaying proportions and the practical results of scattered sections, the final adjustment of their claims only becomes perceptible and appreciable in their broader and higher generalization. The whole range of American historic data and events indicates an imperishable foundation of scientific achievement, and furthermore establishes firmly a relationship between medicine and the scientific principles underlying social conditions and phenomena that is both positive and vital.
The physician in his economic or professional dealings has not followed his self-interest in comparison with his measure of enlightment to an equal extent with men in other lines of human