Mr. Buchanan to Mr.
American Legation, Special Mission,
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.,
Señor de la
Espriella to Mr. Buchanan.
Republic of Panama,
Ministry for Foreign
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.,
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
- 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
- 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.
Given in Panama,
J. A. Arango.