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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 5, 2010


JAMA. 2010;303(17):1761. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.311

In the Code of Hammurabi, a king of Babylon about 2250 B. C., we have the earliest extant record of a legal scale of physicians' fees. The late Professor Harper, of the University of Chicago, in his translation of the Code of Hammurabi1 gives in their entirety the articles of that code relating to physicians' fees as follows:

“215. If a physician operate on a man for a severe wound (or make a severe wound on a man) with a bronze lancet and save the man's life; or if he open an abscess (in the eye) of a man with a bronze lancet and save that man's eye, he shall receive ten shekels of silver (as his fee).

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