As to Legislation

Under the guise of bills "to regulate the practice of medicine and surgery" efforts efforts have been made in different states, from year to year, to secure legislation opposed to Christian Scientists, but it is worthy of note that these bills have not been introduced in response to demands from the general public, and that they have not received the active support of leading and representative physicians, although as a rule their passage has been urged by the medical profession. Because Christian Scientists are not practising medicine, and the courts of many states have so decided, the framers of these bills have endeavored to extend the definition of "the practice of medicine and surgery" to embrace every act of succoring the afflicted, from the administering of the housewife's simples to the final consolation of the clergyman. In this they have forgotten or ignored the fact that the courts will not enforce a strained and erroneous definition, even if backed by legislative sanction.

While Christian Scientists have always protested against legislation the purpose of which is to classify them with practitioners of medicine, they have carefully refrained from opposition to the efforts of the medical profession to raise the standard of its own members through legislation. Christian Scientists concede that the standard of fitness for admission to any of the learned professions should be very high, and that the most learned of each profession should take all lawful and honorable means for preserving the integrity of their standards.

The endeavor of the medical fraternity to establish rigid rules for determining the qualifications of those who desire to enter the profession is praiseworthy and legitimate, for without doubt it would be disastrous to turn loose upon suffering humanity an army of incompetent and inexperienced persons, uneducated in the use of the poisons which comprise so large a portion of materia medica, and to entrust to unskilled hands the delicate and dangerous operations of modern surgery.

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The Larger Horizon of True Living
February 5, 1903

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