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March 19, 1904

The Patenting of Surgical Instruments.

JAMA. 1904;XLII(12):781-782. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490570035015

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Denver, Colo., March 11, 1904.

To the Editor:  —At the present time medical ethics prevent the best men in medicine from patenting various appurtenances which their brains, experience and philanthropy may have caused them to bring into existence. Such a generous stand is evidently taken in order that humanity in general, and the medical profession in particuar, may be benefited thereby; in fact, the motives are too obvious to require discussion. In other words, a man of medical genius is supposed to give freely of the fruits of his labor, and suffering mankind is supposed to be the recipient. Why, then, is it that physicians are shortsighted, careless and improvident as to overlook the fact that their gifts never reach those for whom they were intended?The above may seem a broad statement, but it is nevertheless true, and should be given consideration. For instance, take any of the various

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