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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/658

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

whose digestive system is a continual scourge, whose nerves are weak or excited, whose brain receives impure blood, such a man can not be the same man morally that he would be were he in full vigor of health. Well men are not always virtuous. Ill health is not the sole cause of crime, nor can criminals be treated as invalids—not at all. And yet crime is often closely connected with disease. It is often both the parent and the offspring of disease. Since we may not know just how much of the crime in the world is due to pathological conditions of the body, we must punish crime as such, but we may, because of our doubt as to its cause, be liberal with our charity and lenient in our judgment whenever, and to such extent, as they may not interfere with the welfare of society as a whole.

No one holds a maniac morally responsible for his actions, even if grossly criminal. Is insanity the only morbid condition that dwarfs man's moral instincts, that blinds him to truth?

In this case we can see how much preventive measures are better than curative, and the future work of the physician, if it be largely the teaching people how to live so that they may avoid disease, must also lessen the amount of crime. It were well if the physician kept constantly before his mind the thought that he is to seek to make men better morally as well as physically. If it is better so to live that illness shall not come, than being ill to be cured, it is also a nobler and a higher task to prevent disease than to heal it, and in this labor of prevention medicine will rise to a height far above that to which it has yet attained, and accomplish results more beneficent and glorious than its greatest triumphs of the past.

And the whole community must be instructed—women more than men, for they more than men regulate the condition of the home. Upon them is laid not only the burden of bearing the children, but they most have to do with their food, clothing, and general training. And, since woman must take part in the great work of sanitary instruction, she should have a thorough medical education, that she may be able to tell to every woman, and every girl too, what she ought to know, and what she will not and can not learn so readily nor so well from any man.

If man were altogether an animal and had only animal instincts, there would perhaps be little ground for hope, but man can be taught not merely that he may so care for his body that it shall be less subject to the attacks of disease, he may be taught that it is his duty to so care for it that his physical organism is a God-given trust which he can not violate without moral wrong. The physician of the future must, as has been already noticed, have to do with the moral as well as the physical nature of man. But, before he can do this with success, he must understand what man is, his feelings, emotions, thoughts, as well as the course of the blood or the action of organs. If he shall know of this higher part of man, he may appeal to it forcibly and