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Surgeon general resigns in masturbation row

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6969.1604 (Published 17 December 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1604
  1. John Roberts
  1. North American editor, BMJ.

    America's chief doctor resigned last week after saying that masturbation could be an appropriate subject to teach schoolchildren. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was asked to go by President Bill Clinton after she angered conservatives by discussing the possibility of encouraging masturbation to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Her remarks were made at an AIDS meeting held by the United Nations in New York.

    Elders, who is 61, has been outspoken on public health since she was appointed nearly two years ago. She suggested handing out free condoms in …

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