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August 29, 1936

Current Comment

JAMA. 1936;107(9):718-719. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770350086018

PROTECTING THE PUBLIC  Control of the profession in the public interest, as clearly shown by Justin Miller,1 is a function of the state. Expressed in various ways and in differing degrees in successive ages and with respect to the several professions, the power of the state remains, even when dormant, ultimate and unassailable. The regulation of medical practice in such a manner as to safeguard the citizens against the dangers of ignorance and incompetence is therefore one of the most fundamental responsibilities of the state. That the people of the United States acknowledge the vital importance of such regulation is evidenced by the fact that every one of the forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have enacted statutes prohibiting the practice of medicine by unqualified persons. The enforcement of these statutes, however, has been severely hampered, almost nullified, by lack of funds. No state has appropriated funds to

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