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Article
March 7, 1908

EXPOSURE OF FRAUDS AND THE LIBEL LAWS.

JAMA. 1908;L(10):774. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530360036010
Abstract

As an aftermath of the Lancet libel case, a writer in a pharmaceutical journal,1 in commenting on the law of libel, expresses the opinion that the law in its present form is valuable chiefly to the swindler and sophisticator. The psychic effect of skillfully worded advertising—hypnotism by advertisement, as he aptly terms it —is responsible for much of the misconception that exists in the public mind as to the true value of "patent medicines." The only cure for this evil is education of the public, and yet with the libel law as it now exists an educative campaign is well-nigh impossible. An attempt to expose even the most palpable fraud is fraught with vexation and expense to the exposer. The more subtle forms, to which class the majority of "patent medicines" belong, are so bolstered up with the testimony of. paid "experts" that most judges and all juries can

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