Under the plausible guise of a desire for the public good, and upon the plea that the public is either incapable or not to be trusted in its judgment of what is best for its own interests, the medical societies of the different states are becoming more aggressive and more persistent than ever before in their efforts to secure the enactment of legislation for the purpose of preventing the practise of any system of healing disease which is not within their scope and control. One of the methods by which this kind of legislation is expected to be secured is set forth with engaging frankness in an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association of Feb. 15, 1913, from which we take the following excerpt:—

"At the spring meeting of the medical society of a certain county in southwest Kansas, suggestion was made that one of the members of the society should be a candidate for the Legislature, in order that the interests of physicians might be safeguarded by representatives from among the profession. This was determined because the interests of physicians were menaced by the last Legislature and were also seriously threatened through the activities of the chiropractors and the League for Medical Freedom in the Legislature which was to be chosen and is now in session. ... Notwithstanding that the physician-candidate was a Democrat, while most of the members of the society were Republicans (Seward county is strongly Republican), they stood together 'as one man' and succeeded in electing him. But the story does not end here. The doctors agreed not only that they would work for his election, which they did most heartily, but also that they would turn back all of his patients on his return from the Legislature and pay him a per diem bonus as well while he was in attendance at the capital. ... Is it not about time that the physicians of the country should emulate the example set by the Seward County Medical Society and 'get together'?"

That there is an ulterior purpose in the legislation which these societies are trying to secure, and that it is not demanded by the public, is becoming more and more apparent at every legislative hearing on the various and sundry bills introduced by or for the physicians at each session of the state lawmaking bodies, but it may not be so generally known that many of the editorials apparently advocating such legislation, as they appear in newspapers throughout the United States, are sent out in bulletin form from the headquarters of the American Medical Association. One of these bulletins is before us at this writing, and later on we shall doubtless see editorials embodying this text, under the eye-catching captions of "School Diseases," "The Stomach in Hunger," "Applied Ideals," "Athletics and Health," "The Specialist," "Alleged Discovery of a Cancer Germ," etc., appearing in some of the smaller newspapers of the country. The object in thus broadcasting these editorials seems to be the manipulation of public sentiment through the fear of disease which they are more than likely to engender, but the institutors of this sort of propaganda should not count too much on the general impressionability of the people.

March 1, 1913

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