The North American

The people of Pennsylvania may be expected to observe with no little interest the fate of the bill, introduced to the Legislature the other day, for the rigid limitation of their opportunities to enjoy the consolations and the renewing influences of medical practitioners. This remarkable measure, which is urged by a Representative from Cumberland county, proposes to give a complete monopoly of the business of "doctoring" to physicians of three schools, the allopathic, so called, the homeopathic, and the eclectic. All others are forbidden to engage in "the healing art" under penalty of punishment for misdemeanor.

It will be observed, of course, that under this arrangement the door is shut upon osteopathists and Christian Scientists, and even upon the persons who pledge themselves to the restoration of health through the medium of what are called patent medicines. These persons are thrust back into the ranks of quacks and impostors, and have imposed upon them the ignominy and discredit usually accorded to men who pow-wow and conjure, who claim natural gifts as healers because they are seventh sons of seventh sons, or have learned from Indians the medicinal virtues of certain mysterious herbs. It is an unkind fate.

One interesting fact is developed by the introduction of this bill. It is that the allopaths, homeopaths, and eclectics are apparently standing together in their purpose to assert an exclusive right to the fees. It was not always so. There was a time when the intolerant allopath claimed everything in sight. His arrogant notion was that his method of dealing with disease was the only enlightened and respectable method, and that all other practice than his own was arrant humbug. Particularly did the allopath look with derision, if not with malignant animosity, upon the homeopath; and both contemplated the eclectric with scorn as a man who was surely half wrong either way. When, however, the homeopath had contrived to get firmly upon his feet, so that he could be neither laughed down nor outlawed, when the eclectic had forced recognition for himself upon the ground that he used the truths of both schools and rejected the errors, then all hands began to fight the woman doctor. It has not been fifty years since a woman who wanted to study medicine had to encounter the certainty that society would regard her as a crank, and the assurance that no reputable male physician would take counsel with her. This seems really amusing in the light of the circumstance that women ought manifestly to have a better right than men to deal with women's maladies, and of the experience which has proved that a woman may reach the highest places in the profession.

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