Judging by his letter printed in a recent issue, Prof. Irving Fisher...

Chicago (Ill.) Post

Judging by his letter printed in a recent issue, Prof. Irving Fisher seems to be experiencing considerable satisfaction in what he is pleased to regard as the "defeat of opponents of health legislation." The Journal of the American Medical Association takes the Republican party to task for failing to insert in its platform a satisfactory medical plank. So it would seem that there is another opinion than that of Professor Fisher as to the strength of the plank. As to the Democratic platform, the plank included is evidently modeled after the Owen bill, which its author claims, I believe, has been amended in such a way as to meet the objections of those who are in favor of medical freedom. If this claim is true and the criticism of the official organ of the American Medical Association of the Republican "health plank" is, from its point of view, well founded, it would seem that the two great political parties have at least paid some attention to the advocates of medical freedom.

Whether this be true or not, it is certain that friends of medical freedom have thus far succeeded in presenting their case before congressional committees in such a convincing manner as to have prevented the passage of so-called health legislation which is inimical to the rights of citizens in matters pertaining to their personal welfare. Not having had any opportunity to examine the pockets of Senator Works while he was in Chicago during the Republican convention, I am not able to say positively that they did not contain a plank condemning the "doctors' trust," which Professor Fisher accuses him of having concealed about his person at that time. I feel sure, however, that Professor Fisher is mistaken in this assertion, for I happen to know that the senator and others associated with him were not interested in securing the insertion of any plank, but simply in preventing the Republican party from making a political issue of something which really has no place in politics.

Senator Works' opposition, in Congress, to the passage of the Owen bill and similar measures was not made as a representative of the Christian Science church nor of the League for Medical Freedom. He spoke as a senator from Claifornia, who, being a Christian Scientist, is in favor of medical freedom. Having some familiarity with the long-continued efforts of a certain political wing of the medical association to secure legislation ostensibly relating to public health but really intended to advance the interests of the doctors, he scarcely could have done less in his capacity of United States senator than to oppose vigorously such efforts. Permit me also to say that no true Christian Scientist could be other than an advocate of medical freedom, viz., the freedom of the individual to have the system of healing and the practitioner of his choice in the time of illness.

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August 17, 1912

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