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THE MEDICAL EXAMINER LAWS, THE LAWS RELATING TO
THE REGISTRATION OF VITAL STATISTICS,
DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT OF MASSACHUSETTS RELATING
TO THE SAME.
PREPARED BY DIRECTION OF THE
STATE BOARD OF HEALTH.
18 Post OFFICE SQUARE.
GENERAL AND SPECIAL LAWS RELATIVE TO FOOD AND DRUG INSPECTION.
This Manual of the Statutes of Massachusetts, relative to Public Health, has been prepared at the direction of the State Board of Health, for the use of local boards and for all persons directly interested in questions which pertain to public health.
A former manual prepared in 1882 by Geo. F. Piper, Esq., followed quite closely through the first ninety-six sections the numbering employed in the Public Statutes. In consequence of the introduction of many new statutes, enacted since 1882, and the repeal of others, such numbering has necessarily been abandoned in the present manual, as well as that of 1886, while the general order of subjects is preserved as closely as possible. A slight change has been made in the order of sections under the title of infectious diseases, hospitals, etc.
The marginal notes contain the references to the chapters and sections of the Public Statutes, and also to such health laws as have been enacted since 1882.
The dates in heavier type opposite some of the sections are the years in which those statutes, or laws essentially the same, together with their amendments, were enacted.
The laws relating to the medical examiners, and also those relating to the registration of vital statistics, both of which are of special interest to the medical practitioner, are introduced in the present edition of the manual.
The State registration of vital statistics appears to have had its origin in the following act passed in 1639:
“ Item, that there be records kept .. of the days of every marriage, birth and death of every person within this jurisdiction.” — Colony Laws, Chap. III., 1639.
The next act having any direct sanitary bearing was the following:
Chapter 23 of the Acts of the General Assembly of Massachusetts Bay (1692–1693). Second session.
An Act for prevention of common nuisances arising by slaughter-houses, still-houses, etc., tallow-chandlers and curriers.