Compulsory removal of careless consumptives is yet rare. One obstacle is the lack of hospitals. In New York ten thousand die annually from tuberculosis and fifty thousand are known to have it, yet there are only about two thousand beds available. So long as the patients anxious for hospital care exceed the number of beds, it does not seem fair to give a bed to some one who does not want it. On the other hand, it should not be forgotten that patients are taken forcibly to smallpox and scarlet-fever hospitals, not for their own good, but for the protection of others. The last person who should be permitted to stay at home is the tuberculous person who is unable, unwilling, or too ignorant to take the necessary precautions for others' protection. A rigid educational test should be applied as a condition of remaining at home without supervision.

The objections to compulsory removal are two: (1) it is desired to make sanatorium care so attractive that patients will go at the earliest stage of the disease; (2) an unwilling patient can defeat the sanitarian's effort to help him and others. The alternative for compulsory removal is gratuitous, and, if need be, compulsory, supervision of home care, such as is now given in New York City. In Brighton, England, Dr. Newsholme treats his municipal sanatorium as a vacation school, giving each patient one month only. Thus one bed helps twelve patients each year. Almost any worker can spare one month and in that time can be made into a missionary of healthy living.

Family examining parties were begun in New York by Dr. Linsly R. Williams, for the relief agency that started the seaside treatment of bone tuberculosis. Many of the crippled children at Sea Breeze were found to have consumptive fathers or mothers. In one instance the father had died before Charlie had "hip trouble." Long after we had known Charlie his mother began to fail. She too had consumption. Family parties were planned for 290 families. Weights were taken and careful examination made, the physician explaining that predisposition means defective lung capacity or deficient vitality. Of 379 members, supposedly free from tuberculosis, sixteen were found to have well-marked cases. (Of twenty Boston children whose parents were in a tuberculosis class, four had tuberculosis.) In one instance the father was astonished to learn not only that he was tuberculous, but that he had probably given the disease to the mother, for whom he was tenderly concerned. Of special benefit were the talks about teeth and nourishment, and about fresh air and water as germ killers. One examination of this kind will organize a family crusade against carelessness.

Fighting Tuberculosis In Small Cities New York State Charities Aid Association

Tuberculous teachers ought to be excluded from schoolrooms not merely because they may spread tuberculosis, but because they cannot do justice to school work without sacrifices that society ought not to accept. A tuberculous teacher ought to be generous enough to permit public hospitals to restore her strength or enterprising enough to join tuberculosis classes. It is selfish to demand independence at the price which is paid by schools that employ tuberculous teachers.

Fighting Bone Tuberculosis With Salt Water And Salt Air

Predisposition to tuberculosis should be understood by every child before he is accepted as an industrial soldier. Many trades now dangerous would be made safe if workers knew the risk they run, and if society forbade such trades needlessly to exhaust their employees. A perfectly sound man is predisposed to tuberculosis if he elects to work in stale, dust-laden air. Ill-ventilated rooms, cramped positions, lack of exercise in the open air, prepare lungs to give a cordial reception to tubercle bacilli. Rooms as well as persons become infected. Fortunately, opportunities to work are so varied in most localities that workers predisposed to tuberculosis may be sure of a livelihood in an occupation suited to their vitality. Destruction of germs in the air, in carpets, on walls, on streets, is quite as important as destruction of germs in lungs. Why should not tenants and workers require health certificates stating that neither house nor working place is infected with tubercle bacilli? Some cities now compel the disinfection of premises occupied by tuberculous persons after their removal. Landlords, employers, tenants, and employees can easily be taught to see the advantage of disinfecting premises occupied by tuberculous cases before detection.

Fighting Feather Dusters Is One Object Of Sea-Air Hospitals For Bone Tuberculosis