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Article
September 18, 1897

IS IT ETHICAL FOR MEDICAL MEN TO PATENT MEDICAL INVENTIONS?

Author Affiliations

DETROIT, MICH.

JAMA. 1897;XXIX(12):583-587. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440380025002f

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Abstract

I use the word patent in the sense commonly accepted by the medical profession, viz., "restrained from general use," and, by medical men I mean physicians, surgeons and apothecaries, for they are all practicing medical arts.

In his primitive state man lived on the fruits of the field without being obliged to till the soil, but as people multiplied on the face of the earth, agriculture was one of the first arts which man practiced. The inventor of the plow may have named it, or the name may have been given it by some one else. At any rate, the name plough was given by somebody who coined the title for that purpose, and it was afterward modified to plow. Here we have an original invention of the purest kind, and a coined word given to it as a title. I can not conceive any reason why the inventor of

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