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December 22, 1883

Medical Services to Town or County Poor, and Ethics.

JAMA. 1883;I(24):709-710. doi:10.1001/jama.1883.02390240021005

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—Twice, recently, we have received communications complaining of the injustice of a system long in vogue in perhaps most of the States, by which the town and county authorities annually offer the privilege of serving the sick poor under the charge of the town or county, to the lowest bidder, on the same principle that they invite bids for provisions and clothing. In one of the recent cases brought to our notice, a board of county supervisors, after receiving bids from some half dozen doctors, some of them ridiculously low, awarded the contract to one of the number whose bid was higher than two or three others, thereby violating the very principle of the law under which they claimed to act. The other is from an esteemed correspondent at Tecumseh, Michigan, who says: "In the county of—, State of Michigan, within thirty miles of its university, the worthy rulers of

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