Mr. Buchanan to Mr. Hay.

No. 44.]

Sir: Referring to my No. 29 of the 16th and my note to the minister for foreign affairs, I beg to inclose herewith a translation of a note I have received from the minister for foreign affairs with regard to the subject-matter, together with a copy of the decree he refers to in said note.

You will be pleased, I am sure, to note that steps have been taken in the direction indicated in my note to the minister.

I have, etc.,

Wm. I. Buchanan.
[Page 559]

Señor de la Espriella to Mr. Buchanan.

Excellency: Your excellency’s note of the 16th instant to this ministry, which I acknowledged on the 15th instant, presented the necessity of obliging physicians to give notice of contagious diseases which they observed to the public officers charged with matters of health.

Although the penal code imposes such obligation, those failing therein being liable to fines, the junta of the provisional government on the 21st instant issued decree No. II, a copy of which I attach, and which you will note has for its object making effective the obligations of physicians and druggists with regard to the subject you referred to.

I have, etc.,

F. V. de la Espriella.

Republic of Panama.—Decree No. 11 of January 21, 1904, decreeing a measure of police precaution.

The junta of the provisional government, Republic of Panama, by the authority with which it is invested; and whereas:

  • First. Recognizing the dispositions actually in force regarding sanitation as deficient and inefficacious by reason of the difficulties met with by the authorities in their efforts to opportunely learn of the existence of contagious diseases or epidemics; and
  • Second. It being indispensable to decree police measures tending to correct these evils, with the agreement of the professors of medicine and their assistants, there is decreed:
    • Article 1. All physicians called to assist a patient who is found suffering from any contagious disease which could give place to the propagation of an epidemic must give immediate notice of such case to the president of the national board of hygiene, if the case occurs in the city of Panama, or to the prefects of the other provinces if the case occurs in the capitals thereof; or to the mayors in all of, the other districts of the Republic.
    • Article 2. All druggists who by any mode learn of the existence of any disease such as treated of in article 1, either in the place where they exercise their profession or any other, must give notice thereof immediately to the authorities hereinbefore mentioned.
    • Article 3. The physician or druggist failing to carry out the obligations imposed by the preceding articles will be punished by the cancellation of his permission to practice his profession for a period of from three to six months.

This penalty will be imposed only after the fact has been proven before the authorities before whom the declaration should have been made as above referred to. An appeal from any such decision can be made to the ministry of government or before the office which may have charge of public health under other regulations.

This decree will be enforced from and after its publication.

Let it be communicated and published.

  • J. A. Arango.
  • Thomas Arrias.
  • Fredirico Boyd.