JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
Some little time ago an Arkansas judge issued an injunction against any interference with a Hot Springs touting doctor, holding that the State law prohibiting such practices was unconstitutional and that the cession of the jurisdiction of the Hot Springs reservation to the General Government was also void. The case was promptly carried to the Arkansas Supreme Court, which has just rendered its decision. It says, as regards the jurisdiction of the United States and the right of Congress to enact laws regulating the use of the Hot Springs by physicians, that it raises a question in which it would follow the decisions of the Federal courts and which it does not feel bound to consider at the present time. If the United States jurisdiction did not exist, however, there would still be a valid state law against the practices of drumming or touting for patients, and the fact that the individual in question is being prosecuted in the Federal courts instead of in State courts would not justify the issuance of the injunction. The main question with the supreme court was whether or not the state law is valid, and it decides that it is. The judgment was reversed, with an order to dismiss the complaint for want of equity. Our reputable confrères in Hot Springs are to be congratulated and commended for their energetic conduct in this matter. The drumming system at Hot Springs had become almost a prescriptive right and the reputation of the well-known watering place had suffered accordingly. The worthy practitioners there and the public generally have long felt the reproach, but could do little to remove it. It seems to us that the supreme court's decision, in the form in which it is given, fairly settles the question and should be effective in eradicating disreputable practices and practitioners from that popular health resort.
THE HOT SPRINGS DECISION.. JAMA. 2006;295(7):836. doi:10.1001/jama.295.7.836-b