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July 1, 1899


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(1):47. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450530053013

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The Medical Press and Circular criticizes the action of the Jefferson Medical College for having conferred the non-medical degree of Doctor of Laws. It speaks, however, "with bated breath" in view of similar practices of English Universities which are in the habit of giving the degree of Doctor of Civil Law in a country where the civil law has never been in vogue, to individuals who cannot by any strain of the imagination be presumed to know anything about it. Its criticism is, however, well founded except perhaps in that it ignores the accepted fiction which long custom has consecrated. It would be no harm, nevertheless, if our institutions that have as their legitimate function the giving out of doctorates that mean something would cease the practice of bestowing those that mean nothing but an empty compliment. A degree in law from a medical college is not worth much and

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