State Representative Leslie B. Cutler and Henry M. Landesman, M.D. '09 both took sharp issue with statements made by Dr. Nels A. Nelson, State Public Health official, in a meeting sponsored by the Student Union Monday night. Before this gathering Dr. Nelson, besides treating social diseases generally, stated that he did not approve of legislation requiring premarital examinations for syphilis.
Miss Cutler, whose bill requiring such examinations in Massachusetts was defeated by four votes last year, strongly disapproved of Dr. Nelson's view, and closed her letter by saying: "I am taking this opportunity of presenting the record with regard to such laws because I am sure the young people of this country must realize the importance of legislation which so vitally concerns them."
Besides striking at Dr. Nelson's opinions on pre-marital examinations by quoting from various medical journals, Dr. Landesman, who is a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, attacked his figures which claimed that infection among college students was only 0.2 per cent. "It can readily he seen that the spread of syphilis is very prevalent and far from one infection out of 500. Students do not go to clinics for treatment, and Dr. Nelson never did have any private practice in medicine; his statistics were built on poor premises," according to Dr. Landesman.
"False security is unfortunate and misdirected advice. Syphilis is one of the most prevalent of infectious diseases in this country and the world.