COMPULSORY LAWS. Naturally. vaccination, in order to protect. must be universal. All foci from which the disease might spread must be destroyed, and immunity must be secured round about each focus. Every child should be vac cinated during its first year, and all adults should be vaccinated on entering the country, unless presenting, sufficient evidence of success ful protection previously. Several years after discovery, public interest was aroused to a complete understanding of the necessity of compulsory vaccination. Bavaria estafdished a law making vaccination compulsory in 1807. Other States of the North German Confedera tion followed, and between 1815 and 1S32 simi lar statutes were enacted in Oldenburg, Baden, Wiirttemberg, Saxe-Gotha, Saxe-Meiningen, and Brunswick. Austria in 1801 made vaccination compulsory for school children, but not generally so till 1886. In 1816 Prussia also enacted an indirectly compulsory law. Sweden's compulsory law was put upon the statute books about 1803. Norway and Denmark followed in 1810. After many vicissitudes and changes, Great Britain's law was enacted iu 1867. Scotland put herself on record in 1864. Italy. Holland. and Belgium popularized vaccination very early and needed no law. France's decree of 1809 was and the country has suffered heavily from the want of a compulsory law. The German Empire framed the Imperial Vaccination Law in 1874, and its provisions deserve study and imitation.
It provides: (1) Every child shall be cinated within the calendar year of its birth, unless it has passed through an attack of variola. (2) Every pupil shall be revaccinated when 12 years of age, if lie has not had variola within the past five years. (3) Every vaccinated person must present himself to the physician who vac cinated him between the sixth and eighth day after vaccination. (4) Medical certificates proving successful vaccination at the legal ages shall he preserved by parents and guardians.
Massachusetts enacted laws to regulate vac cination in 1809. Several States followed the ex ample early, notably Rhode Island. In most of the States local or State boards of health formulate regulations under which vaccination is practically compulsory, acting in unison with school boards in excluding all unvaccinated chil dren from the schools. In several of the United States the constitutionality of statutes making vaccination commilsory has been judicially settled. They are held to be a legitimate ex ercise of the police power for the protection of the public health, A physician who vaccinates a person without the latter's consent, but who is acting under the authority of such a statute or ordinance. is not liable for assault.
In spite of the testimony received from all over the civilized world, anti-vaceinationists flourish in small bodies here and there. The anti-vaccination sentiment had become so strong in England, although confined to a small class, that a measure was adopted in 1898 practically annulling the compulsory vaccination bill of that country. The newer measure provides that any parent may refuse to have his child vaccinated and avoid legal penalty if he satisfies the court that he has conscientious scruples as to the bene fits of vaccination. The reaction will come, fol lowing smile future epidemic of smallpox in Great Britain in which there is great mortality.
he agitation against vaccination has been con stant since the clays of .Tenner. In his thee it was claimed that the tendency of the inocula tion of vaccinia was to cause bovine character istics to appear in children; that they developed horns. hoofs, and tails, and bellowed like cattle. Less absurd hut, in the opinion of leading medi cal authorities, equally untenable arguments are presented against vaccination tn-day.