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A prominent surgeon in Brooklyn has started a good work in instituting legal proceedings for the collection of certain bills from hospital patients of his who were able but unwilling to pay for his services. Their contention that as hospital patients they were entitled to his service gratis is a poor defense morally, and we trust it will also be found such legally. Physicians give their services to hospitals in the treatment of the poor, but that does not follow that they also give them to the undeserving rich. We are not aware that the question here raised has ever been passed on by a court, but there is no question as to the abstract justice of the Brooklyn surgeon's demand. With the multiplication of hospitals, which is the order of the day, the matter is an important one, and we hope and trust that he may win his suit.
HOSPITAL DEADBEATS. JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(23):1519. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480230047009
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