From Geneva Daily Times 9 March 1904

While endeavoring to find out if any children were born in this city February 29, it was ascertained this morning that physicians, midwives, clergymen and undertakers pay scarcely any attention to the state law and city ordinance governing the registry of births, deaths, and marriages and almost every physician, undertaker, sexton and minister in the city is liable to a fine because of laxity in this matter.

City Clerk O'Malley is supposed to be the registrar of vital statistics of the city and he stated this morning that very little attention is paid to the laws and ordinances. There are only one or two physicians in town who register births and the rest rarely ever do so. Mr. O'Malley says he has attempted several times to get them to live up to the law but to no effect.

Section 51 of the ordinances of the board of health as adopted May, 1898, reads as follows:

"Within five days after the birth of each and every child born within the limits of the city of Geneva, the physician, midwife or other person who shall attend professionally at such birth, is required to make out a certificate stating the date and place of birth of said child, with such other facts as are required by the laws of the state of New York
on registration, and forward the same to the registering officer. If there is no professional attendant, then one of the parents, or the head of the house where the birth takes place is required to make out and attest the certificate and forward the same to the registering officer. Blanks for the same will be furnished at the office of the board. Any person violating any of the provisions or neglecting or refusing to comply with the provisions of this section, shall incur a penalty of $10 for each offense, which penalty is hereby imposed for any violation or non-compliance herewith."

Section 50 of the same ordinance states that within five days after each and every marriage taking place within the city of Geneva, the officiating clergyman is obliged to make a return of the record to the registering officer. Failure to comply with this section is punishable by a fine of $10 for each offense.

Section 43 states that every physician and undertaker who attends at
the death of funeral of a deceased person, a resident inside the limits of the city of Geneva, shall register the same with the registering officer under the penalty of a $25 fine for each offense.

Clerk O'Malley is disgusted with the shiftless manner in which the physicians, clergymen and undertakers disregard the law, and unless they take heed and mend their ways, he threatens to have them fined for every time that they fail to enter a report. He thinks that if examples
were made of a few of the offenders, it would result in a compliance of the law.

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