"The Use of Force" by William Carlos Williams is a short story written in the first person. The narrator, like Williams himself, is a doctor. He is paying a house call to a family because their young daughter is sick. He is especially concerned because there has been a local outbreak of diphtheria. In the United States, there were approximately 150,000 cases of diphtheria each year in the United States, with approximately a 10 percent mortality rate.
If the young girl has this disease, it is essential that it be diagnosed and treated both for the sake of her own health and for public health, as this disease is highly infectious and could spread through communities quickly.
Thus while the doctor is very reluctant to use force, what is at stake is a very important health issue.