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JAMA 100 Years Ago
January 7, 2004


Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2004;291(1):132. doi:10.1001/jama.291.1.132-b

A Michigan law making revocable the license of any physician publishing illegitimate advertisements in the newspapers has been commented on already in THE JOURNAL. The law in Iowa would be still more effective if it were only enforced. In the Iowa Medical Journal, December 15, Dr. H. B. Young calls attention to Section 4954 of the Iowa statute, which reads: "Whoever prints or publishes, or causes to be printed or published, in any newspaper published or circulated in this state, and advertisement of medicine, drug, nostrum or apparatus for the cure of private or venereal disease, or shall circulate or distribute any newspaper containing such an advertisement or notice, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined not more than $1,000 nor less than $50, or shall be imprisoned in the county jail not more than one year, or both." Under this statute Iowa ought to be free from objectionable advertisements of the character mentioned, but we fear that the law is very seldom enforced. It is unfortunate, moreover, that the statute does not cover other objectionable advertisements that are inserted in the newspapers that are just as evil in their origin and tendencies as those specified. It would probably not be difficult to have such added by amendment. Young suggests to the members of the medical profession that they do their part in aiding in the enforcement of the statute as it now exists. The editor of the Iowa Medical Journal says that the main thing necessary will be for the committee on public health and legislation in each county society to call the attention of the offending parties to this law, and to stimulate the county attorney, when necessary, to take action.