• U.S.

Christian Science Hospital

2 minute read

San Francisco and Chestnut Hills, Mass, have the world’s only official Christian Science sanatoriums. But any Scientist may set up a sanatorium or nursing home to be operated on the principles of his Mother Church, governed only by State law. Such institutions are scattered over the U. S. and England. To one of them, Ten Acres near Princeton, N. J., last June was taken Charles E. Berton, 20, his neck fractured in a diving accident (TIME, July 3). He was put to bed, given whatever liquid nourishment he could swallow. The rest was left to God and prayer. In 24 hours Charles Berton was dead.

While County Physician Charles H. Mitchell angrily decried what he called “weird cult practices,” New Jersey officials suspended the sanatorium’s license, began an investigation. Last fortnight Ten Acres was once more allowed to accept patients, on these conditions: 1) it may accept no surgical or contagious cases, no mental cases committable to a public hospital; 2) all entering patients must be examined by a licensed physician whose diagnosis must be reported at once to the State and to the patient or his guardian.

Last week Christian Scientists explained that Ten Acres’ charter already forbade acceptance of surgical cases, that Charles Berton had been admitted by the head nurse in the absence of the sanatorium’s officials.

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