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January 23, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(4):250. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490490040009

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The charge to be made for professional services will necessarily vary with a number of different conditions. This proposition is recognized in the practice of the law, and it should be equally so in that of medicine. Occasionally a judge on the bench may decide differently, but a moment's reflection will show the error of such a decision. There are to be taken into account especially the nature of the case, the character of the treatment to be pursued, the time consumed, the skill of the physician, and also the station—public and private—of the patient. The physician is, by force of circumstances, compelled to have a varying fee even for similar service. He can not elect to treat only the rich; neither can he afford to treat only the poor. He gives much of his service gratuitously, so that none is deprived of the opportunities for relief afforded

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