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JAMA 100 Years Ago
July 2, 2003

A LAW AGAINST "NASTY ADVERTISEMENTS" IN MICHIGAN.

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(1):132. doi:10.1001/jama.290.1.132-a

MEDICAL NEWS. Foreign—Lermoyez states that at the Saint-Antoine clinic of laryngology, etc., in his charge all applicants suspected of being capable of paying are given some soothing prescription and told to return in a week, urgent cases excepted. Their names and addresses are taken as usual, but are written on a pink slip as "suspects," and the pink slips are sent to the office, where they are given to the persons connected with the investigating force of the "medical aid at home" service. In due time the pink slips return marked "treatment refused" or "granted," as may be. These measures have been found necessary by the authorities in the various hospitals as the placards warning that the service is restricted to the poor have proved insufficient to check this abuse. Lermoyez's article in the last Presse Medicale is a very amusing sketch of the subject, describing his surprise when his attention was called one day to the fact that his charity service seemed to be becoming a gathering point for society people. He condemns in strong terms the practice which seems to be widespread at Paris for practitioners to send to this free service some of their pet, well-to-do clients with a letter commending them to the special attention of the physicians in charge. The dispensary abuse injures the poor, the tax-payers, and above all, the members of the profession. It is like making the man who is to be hung send out and buy the rope. He relates some curious examples of the abuse, and refutes the arguments that might be raised against the present plan, among others the plea that putting the patient off for a week might conflict with his leaving town if he lived in the country: "Why should the tax-payers of Paris pay for dilating the urethral strictures or curetting the adenoid vegetations of people who reside at the other end of France?"

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