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May 17, 1884


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1884;II(20):540-544. doi:10.1001/jama.1884.02390430008001c

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[Read before the Iowa and Illinois Central District Medical Association.]

It is with great diffidence in myself that I presume to call the attention, and occupy any of the time of your honorable body, to the fact that, as a profession, we have a National Code of Ethics. The time was, in the not very remote ages of the past, when the profession did not have any code of morals, when every member was a law unto himself, and the majority seemed practically to adopt the Ishmaelitish tactics, involved in the patriarchal description of the progenitor of the tribe of Ishmael, viz.: “His hand is against every man,” in the practice of the medical profession. As a consequence, the sense of justice, honor, and fidelity to truth (which nowhere on earth finds more fitting and appropriate lodgment than in the bosom of our profession), was, by the eternal law of

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