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March 8, 1947


JAMA. 1947;133(10):715. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880100059020

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To the Editor:—  It is a sad commentary on the ethical conscience of the medical profession when public sentiment and resentment have to be invoked to overcome a malodorous practice which moral suasion within its own ranks has been found powerless to combat.The public has recently been treated to an exposé that brought a shock to the laity and a blush of shame to every right thinking member of the medical profession. While it was commonly known—or at any rate suspected—that a number of physicians in special fields (this particular exposé referred to ophthalmologists only) were receiving rebates ("kickbacks") from manufacturing concerns, it was not generally realized how widespread this pernicious and reprehensible practice had become or how large a percentage of prominent specialists were to be found among the guilty. Explanations and justifications galore were forthcoming, but, far from their exhibiting a guilty conscience, the offenders in many

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