Your Life is Their Toy - Emanuel Josephson

Merchants in Medicine


An advertising quack was the "leader" of the American medical profession and the boss of American Medical Association during the last four decades. But this would not surprise informed persons; for commercialism of "leaders" of medicine is one of the oldest traditions in this country.

Thus we find in the laws of Virginia of 1639, reenacted in 1646, the following disquisition on medical commercialism:

"Whereas by the 9th act of the Assembly held the 21st of October, 1639, consideration being had and taken of the immoderate and excessive rates and prices exacted by practitioners in physic and chyrurgery and the complaints made to the then Assembly of the bad consequences thereof. It so happening through the said intolerable exactions that the hearts of divers masters were hardened rather to suffer their servants to perish for want of fit meanes and applications then by seeking relief to fall into the hands of griping and avaricious men."

The law provided that a physician could be arrested and haled into court if accused of excessive charges. Then also there existed the tendency to blame the consequences of avarice of men on the medical profession.

No doubt there were in the profession then also men who were imbued with the spirit of research and service to mankind. But the very character of such men bars them from success in the sordid game of medical politics. The bosses or "leaders" of organized medicine are generally the least scrupulous members of the profession, men who care least for the value of human life, who play the game without conscience for the highest profits; and rarely are they derived from the rank of true scientists and healers.

The entire early history of medicine in this country was a commercial war upon competitors by these medical bosses, who termed themselves "regular" practitioners. Looking backward we now realize that many of these medical merchants were no less quacks than were some of the groups that they presumed to attack and persecute, and sought to drive out. Much of their "accepted practice" we now know was rank murder. Among these murderous practices were copious bleeding and medication with large doses of tartar emetic. The short expectancy of life in those days was due in no small measure to the medical practices of the "regulars." George Washington, for instance, because he had quinsy, was bled to death by a "regular" doctor.

At least one school of practitioners of the time, the homeopaths, whom the regulars" sought to bar from practice, represented a distinct advance. Their small doses did not poison patients as did the copious doses of the "regulars."


History has a curious way of repeating itself in medical politics. The "regulars" organized themselves into State Medical Societies and played the game of politics with the same signal success as characterizes their successors 1 activities. They secured the passage of laws which gave the right of medical licensure to their Societies, together with many other privileges. These powers they used to create for themselves monopolies of medical business. Competitors were labelled "irregulars" and "quacks" and were denied the right to practice. Consultation of their members with the interdicted groups was barred; and those who refused to accept the discipline were persecuted.

Since the operation of medical schools was the most lucrative phase of medicine (and it still is) the bosses of the Societies established for themselves a monopoly of medical education, and drove competitors out of business on the pretense of "elevation of the standards of medical education" and "the protection of public health." The discipline which was designed to further the commercial interests of these groups was given the specious name of "ethics." No more false use has ever been made of the term "ethics." But even in those days medical politicians were shrewd publicity men.

The power of these State Medical Societies and of their bosses under the early medical license laws waxed greatest about 1825. Openly and brazenly the powers granted by the laws were used to established monopolies of medical practice for the boss medical merchants and to mulct the public. The bitter commercial rivalry between individual medical bosses, and their shameless wars for monopoly of the medical school business, became public scandals. As a consequence, these laws had been repealed in almost every state, and the State Medical Societies were shorn of their powers, before the end of 1849.


The medical merchants resolved to retain their monopoly of medical practice and to bar competition by flaunting and circumventing the law through a monopoly of medical education. It was for this purpose that the American Medical Association was organized on May 11, 1846, at a convention of the discredited State Medical Societies held in New York City. Dr. Nathan Smith Davis of New York City was the moving spirit of the Association; and in later years lie became the first editor of its Journal.

The objective for which the American Medical Association was founded, a monopoly of medical practice and of medical education, was not attained under the regime of Dr. Davis. He lacked the cunning, the ruthlessness and the unscrupulous ness requisite for the task. During his regime the organization remained a loose assembly of State Societies, all jealous of one another. The membership represented medical schools that were competing bitterly for business and destroying the very monopoly of medical practice which they sought. Amidst the dissension, new medical schools were cropping up daily, and the competition became more highly intensified than ever. Even powerful medical bosses could hardly get together enough students to make a decent living.


Upon this scene there emerged in 1899 "Doc" George H. Simmons, a monumental figure in the field of medical quackery and racketeering. He openly ruled the American Medical Association during the next twenty-five years and attained the objectives for which it had been founded.

Immigrating from England in 1870, he promptly entered the newspaper field, becoming editor of the Nebraska Farmer, associate editor of the Nebraska State Journal, and field correspondent for the Kansas City Journal. He was an unscrupulous but astute politician.

Impelled by the "get-rich-quick" spirit, Simmons left the field of journalism in 1884 and launched on a career of medical quackery in Lincoln, Nebraska. There is no evidence that "Doc" Simmons had ever had any medical education, or any formal education. But this did not deter him from making conflicting claims to education in existing and non-existent institutions in quack advertisements of his professional talents in the Lincoln newspapers. some of his advertisements he called himself a homeopath. In others he announced himself to be a "licentiate of the Rotunda Hospital of Dublin;" though, unfortunately for his claims, the hospital never issued any licenses. Later in life, Simmons claimed attendance at Tabor College, Iowa, and at the University of Nebraska, which claim is equally questionable.

In short, without any authenticated medical education "Doc" Simmons launched into business as an advertising quack. Even for those rough and tumble days of medical racketeering his newspaper advertisements were most lurid. He declared himself as a universal specialist in diseases of men, women and children. Boldly he announced "A limited number of lady patients can be accommodated at my residence"—which in those days was the form of announcement of abortionists. In addition to his personal advertising, "Dr." Simmons' name was also carried by the newspaper advertisements of a beauty and massage parlor, and of a fraudulent sanitarium, the Lincoln Institute.

By the royal road of quackery and worse, "Doc" Simmons rapidly rose to wealth and influence. His political activities soon gained for him the position of secretary of the Nebraska State Medical Society and of the Western Surgical and Gynecological Society. He put to use his experience in journalism, and founded and became the editor of the Western Medical Review.

After rising to a measure of eminence as a medical merchant and quack. "Doc" Simmons decided, with an eye to scaling further heights, that the time was ripe for him to secure a medical degree. He got his only authentic degree from one of the many diploma mills which sold them through the mails, While he was practicing in Lincoln, Nebraska, the ubiquitous "doctor" was registered as a medicat student many hundred miles away at the Rush Medical College in Chicago. The prescriptions and birth certificates which he wrote almost daily in Lincoln, Nebraska indicate that he there engaged in a very active practice while supposed to be attending courses at Rush Medical College. Evidently, he had no difficulty in being in two places at the same time.

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The lines, "A limited number of lady patients can be accommodated at my residence," was the form regularly used by abortionists m then advertising m those days. The London and Vienna hospital experience and the Irish license are fictitious. This advertisement appeared at a later date than that of the Lincoln Institute, but years before "Doc" Simmons had obtained bis diploma mill degree.

[Simmons Disease of Women] from Your Life is Their Toy by Emanuel Josephson

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In his position as officer of the Nebraska State Medical Society, Simmons shrewdly played the game of politics in the badly disorganized parent organization, the American Medical Association.


In 1899 he seized control of the moribund American Medical Association. He had himself appointed organizer and undertook to build up the membership. He was also appointed secretary of the Association and editor of its Journal. In 1901, at the St. Paul Convention, the Association was officially "reorganized" and Simmons grabbed for himself, in addition to his other jobs, the position of general manager of the Association. Thus "Doc" Simmons, notorious advertising quack and abortionist, self-avowed "homeopath," and diploma-mill licentiate, became the boss and dictator of the official organization of "regular" medicine, the American Medical Association.

"Doc" Simmons surrounded himself with a crew as unscrupulous as himself. One of his most trusted lieutenants was a Secretary of the Kentucky State Board of Health, who at one time had been arrested for a shortage of over sixty-two thousand dollars in his accounts. He did not even bother to deny the criminal charges, but came to court armed with a Governor's pardon.

The bosses of the A.M.A. had been well schooled in the game of politics. With their aid, Simmons promptly went about the task of making the American Medical Association pay him and his gang higher returns than had the quack and abortion businesses or the Lincoln Institute. As spokesman of the official organization of the medical profession, Simmons gained complete control of immensely rich and almost virgin fields for exploitation. No more perfect combination can be conceived than the "genius" of an unscrupulous quack and the complete control of organized medicine to insure a highly profitable enterprise.

The tactics by which the medical rackets were built up are related in the following chapters. They include sham representative government, stuffed ballot boxes and all varieties of fraud and illegality, organization steam-roller, intimidation, libel, slander, strong-arm tactics, suppression of freedom of speech and publication, destruction of competing organizations and publications, monopolistic control of medical advertising that, combined with extortion and blackmail, won them a strangle hold on the drug and related industries. They also included alliance with the more unscrupulous and dangerous political and social forces that could not be mastered, censorship of the press, and every type of villainy that could conceivably further their sought objective.


In this manner medical racketeers once again attained the objective gained and lost in the first quarter of the nineteenth century—an absolute control of the medical businesses.

It is ironic to consider that it was an unregenerate quack who dictated the "code of ethics" which the member physicians of the A.M.A. accept. Its origin gives some insight into its commercial character.

Under the regime of Simmons and his henchmen, the American Medical Association utilized the control of the press, which it had gained, to dispel the malodor of its origin. Simmons resigned as editor in 1924, and became editor emeritus and general manager, where he remained, until his death in 1937 the man behind the throne. He appointed in his place Dr. Morris Fishbein to perpetuate the regime.

Fishbein proved himself a worthy successor. With Simmons lurking behind him he carried the Association to new heights of quackery and of power and dominion over the medical profession, medical education, the press, and the drug and allied interests.


It is an interesting commentary on the "principles" which guide medical politicians that so long as "Doc" Simmons lived, his henchmen stood ready to defend him to the last ditch. Thus, during the Investigation of the Administration of the Federal Food and Drug Act by the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, during the seventy-first Congress in 1930, Olin West rose bravely to defend his chief, Simmons. ("Hearings," p. 292-295):

"Senator Wheeler. I have just been handed, by a gentleman over here, an article appearing in one of the State journals:

"'How to enlarge your practice. George H. Simmons, M.D., editor emeritus of Journal of A.M.A. Reprinted from Lincoln (Nebr.) State Journal. Ridge's food. None genuine without Woolrich & Co. on label. G H. Simmons, M.D.'

"Doctor West. What is the date of that, Senator, may I ask?

"Senator Wheeler. I could not say.

"Doctor West. What has that to do with this particular matter?

"Senator Wheeler. I was just wondering if that was an advertisement that the council would approve of.

"Senator Copeland. Is that the Doctor Simmons who was formerly editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association?

"Doctor West. I do not know who he is. I have not seen it.

"Senator Wheeler. He says he was formerly editor of the A.M.A. Journal, and now is editor emeritus of the Journal.

"Senator Copeland. This, I take it, was one of the indiscretions of his youth.

"Senator Wheeler. I do not so understand,

"Doctor West. Mr. Chairman, this is exactly in line with the manoeuvers that have been carried on with regard to other matters. This is an advertisement which I think—I cannot tell you definitely—appeared probably 35 to 40 years ago, and perhaps considerably beyond that time, even long before Dr. G. H. Simmons had any connection whatever with the American Medical Association. . , .

"Senator Wheeler. He is the same man?

"Doctor West. I think he is.

"Senator Wheeler. The same man who was the editor of the Journal of the A.M.A.?

"Doctor West. In later years. . . "

"Senator Wheeler. He is the same man who is now editor emeritus of the Journal of the A.M.A.?

"Doctor West. Yes, sir.

"Senator Wheeler. . . . It was put in here for the purpose of calling your attention to the fact that the man who was the head of the American Medical Association Journal, and who objects to all advertisements, was himself an advertising doctor . . . the point I am making here is that here is a man who was what you would call an advertising faker in connection with women's diseases, who afterwards became so rigid about advertisements going into the Journal.

"Doctor West. No, Senator; I do not say that.

"Senator Wheeler. The medical profession generally calls these doctors who advertise that they are specialists on men's diseases and women's diseases advertising fakers, does it not? . . . I am going to ask that that be inserted in the record.

"Senator Copeland. Both sides?

"Senator Wheeler. I have not seen the other side. Here is the other side of it, which had not been called to my attention. 'Lincoln Medical Institute and water cure. Turkish Russian, vapor, electric, and medicated baths.'

"Senator Copeland, Senator, really this has no bearing on the case, has it?

"Senator Wheeler. Except for the fact that the very man, I assume, who is now denouncing all these fake medical institutes and gonorrhea cures, and so forth, was formerly in that very business himself, apparently. I am glad to know that he has reformed, however, according to the doctor. . . .

"Senator Wheeler. You do not permit advertisements of the character of that of Doctor Simmons to appear in the Medical Journal, do you?

"Doctor West. No. We do not permit any such advertisement; and if any doctor were to advertise in that manner today, we would oppose it, and expose it, and condemn it.

"Senator Wheeler. You would not permit him, as a matter of fact, to belong to the Medical Association, would you?

"Doctor West. No, sir.

"Senator Wheeler. That is correct; is it?

"Doctor West. Yes, sir. A man who would advertise in that manner today, would have charges preferred against him.

"Senator Wheeler. And he would be thrown out of the Medical Association."

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This advertisement appeared in tbe Lincoln, Nebraska, newspapers years before he obtained his mail order diploma from Rush Medical College. In this license "Doc" Simmons represents himself as a homeopath. He grew more ambitious in his later advertisements and claimed to be a "licentiate of Gynecology and Obstetrics from the Rotunda Hospitals, Dublin, Ireland". Note the humbug "Compound Oxygen" Cure.

[Simmons Disease of Women] from Your Life is Their Toy by Emanuel Josephson

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While Simmons was alive, Dr. Morris Fishbein understudied him. During this time, Fishbein was in the habit of telling friends "Simmons has treated me like a father."

Within a few months after Simmons had died, in January, 1938, I had occasion to question Fishbein from the floor at a meeting of the New York County Medical Society.

"Is it not true," I asked Fishbein, "that the leadership of the medical profession has been corrupt, dishonest and incompetent?"

Replying in the affirmative, Fishbein showed an admirable mixture of heartfelt gratitude and respect for the dead. "Doc" Simmons, he said, was hardly the type of man to lead the medical profession. But, he said, the character of Simmons rivals for control of the A.M.A., Dr. G. Frank Lydston and other aspirants, were in his estimate, of lower calibre than Simmons. Sic transit gloria mundi.


An eloquent commentary on the perverted power of the A.M.A. is the obituary on Simmons in the September 2, 1937 issue of the New York Times. Under the headline "Noted For War On Quacks," it published a highly laudatory obituary on Simmons, the prince of quacks.

Editing or suppression of well-known information by the Times is not surprising; for its recognized policy is to publish only the news that can be made "fit to print." The surprising feature that demonstrated the ascendency of the A.M.A. was the abandonment of an attitude of bitter antagonism which, since it has become subservient to Organized Social Service, the Times has assumed toward the Association's personnel, when such an excellent opportunity for wholesome exposure presented itself.


The maintenance of power in the nation-wide medical organization depends upon alliances with subsidiaries and satellites. In every community, local merchants-in-medicine whose specialty is politics serve as allies and agents. Their reward is power, undeserved reputations which they gain from their control of medical licensure and education, large practices secured through a monopoly of medical institutions and the advertising which they yield, and incomes that are dependent on the privilege of preying on the public which the monopoly of the institutions gives them. They are limited solely by their greed and the capacity of the public to suffer and pay. The agencies through which they operate are the subsidiary county and state medical societies. From among their bosses there are chosen each year the figure-head presidents, officers, and dummy directors, of the A.M.A. In return for a free rein in their local territories, they do not "horn in" on the enterprises and boodle of the national organization bosses for whom they act as stuffed-shirt fronts.

Simmons made the position of his group impregnable. They own the A.M.A. and dictate its activities. The subsidiary state societies, such as those of Illinois and New Jersey, have attempted to revolt repeatedly, but have been whipped back into line.


To what extent the local medical powers are intimidated and fearful of the overlords of the medical rackets is made apparent by the following letter to me from a prominent physician:

"I have been in practice here since 1896, and I now feel very much the hypocrite because I have ridden on the bandwagon of organized medicine ever since the present American Medical Association was set up. I have been twice the President of the local organization and for several years one of the counselors of the—State Medical Association.

"I EXPECT TO KEEP ON RIDING THERE EVEN THOUGH I KNOW THE RACKETEERING CONDITIONS EXISTING IN THE ORGANIZATION. I knew Dr. George H. Simmons, now deceased, President Emeritus and dictator extraordinaire of the American Medical Association when he was a homeopathic quack out in Lincoln, Nebraska, and using bill boards for advertising; shades of Munyan and Brinkley, either one of them was far more ethical than was George H. Simmons. Furthermore, I know just how he got his diploma as a regular physician, but i am not going to STICK OUT MY NECK ENOUGH TO TELL IT TO SOMEONE IN WRITING.

"I also know all about the specialists with certificate rackets now being practised. I also knew Franklin Martin's F.A.C.S. racket at its inception at the American Congress of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology. I also know all about the Frank Smithes' F.A.C.P. racket. I also know all about the Willys Andrews families and many N. S. Davis families and their relationship to the past and present organization of medicine.

". . I am just writing you these things to let you know why I cannot assist you in writing up the history of medicine in this section of the country. I want you to know that I do not hate any of these men past or present, including Morris Fishbein, the present Hitler of medicine, and Olin West, the Goering of medicine. In fact I have to admit to you my association with them has been happy and pleasant, but having grown up in the old spirit of ethical medicine it rankles me to know what is going on and that I can do nothing about it.

"I wonder if you saw the play "The Servant in the House" many years ago. If so you will recall the character of the drain man who found all of the filth of the Church of England in the drains and sewer beneath the church and the rectory. That is what I know about our organization from its inception to the present day. NOW YOU CAN WONDER THAT I FEEL THAT I AM A HYPOCRITE FOR RIDING ON THE BAND WAGON OF SUCH AN ORGANIZATION WHEN I KNOW WHAT IS BENEATH?"


How completely Olin West and Fishbein and their ring own and control the A.M.A. and how little voice the rank and file members and their elected officers have, is aptly illustrated by the following affidavit filed by Dr. Nathan B. Van Etten, President of the A.M.A.

(Certified Copy of Affidavit Now Filed)
In the District Court of the United States
for the Southern District of New York

J. Thompson Stevens, M.D., Plaintiff,
Morris Fishbein, M.D., and
the American Medical Association, Defendants.

Affidavit of
Nathan B. Van Etten
State of New York,
County of Bronx,

Nathan B. Van Etten, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

"I am a practising physician duly licensed in the State of New York and have been a practising physician since March IO, 1890. I reside at 120 West 183rd Street, New York City and maintain an office for the practice of my profession at 300 East Tremont Avenue, New York City. I have been a member of the American Medical Association for some 40 years and at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association held in June, 1939, I was elected President of the American Medical Association and took office as President on June 11, 1940.

"On June 12, 1940, while attending the annual meeting of the American Medical Association at the Hotel Waldorf Astoria, 50th Street and Park Avenue, New York City, copies of a summons and complaint in the above-entitled action were given to me and I am informed that these were given to me as purported service of process on the American Medical Association. This affidavit is submitted by me in support of a motion by the American Medical Association to set aside and vacate the purported service of process herein.

"My sole office in the American Medical Association is as President. I have no executive or administrative duties in connection with that office, the office being an honorary one and my chief function as President of the Association being to deliver talks in various parts of the country to various medical bodies and to acquaint physicians and the public generally with the functions and purposes of the American Medical Association and with subjects of special interest to the medical profession and the public generally. The chief executive officer of the American Medical Association is the Secretary and General Manager who is, at the present time, Olin West. His office is at 535 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois.

I transact no business of any kind for the American Medical Association in the State of New York. My office at 300 East Tremont Avenue is not an office of the American Medical Association but merely an office which has been maintained by me for some years for the sole purpose of the practice of my profession. I have never been given any authority to act for the American Medical Association in New York, to transact business for it in the State of New York, nor to enter into any negotiations, contracts or agreements on its behalf nor am I authorized to accept the payment of any moneys on behalf of the American Medical Association or conduct business of any nature for it in the State of New York, nor do I perform any such functions.


Sworn to before me this 29th day of June, 1940
(Notarial Seal)
Bessie R. MacEnery, Notary Public

Notary Public Bronx County
Clerk's No. 197, Registers No. 235-M-41.
Commission Expires March 30, 1941.


Increasingly it has become the practise of the local medical bosses to fill their purses from the treasuries of their organizations. An unsuccessful attempt of this type was made in the New York County Medical Society in January 1940. The Old Guard representing organized medicine, including Drs. Charles Gordon Heyd, Alfred M. Heilman, Clarence Bandler and Samuel J. Kopetzky, have been fighting a losing battle on the cohorts of the Social Service Racket and their radical and Communist allies, led by Drs. Ernest Boas, Henry B. Richardson, Carl Binger and Giles W. Thomas, for the control of the Society and its funds.

Since the Society is ruled by its secretary, the Old Guard undertook to assure its control by giving its henchman, Dr. B. Wallace Hamilton, secretary, a five year contract at double his past salary, or twelve thousand dollars a year. Their opponents, w r ho seek full control of the Society and its treasury for their masters and themselves, fought this maneuver with the aid of cooperating newspapers, and forced a cancellation of the contract.

The members of the Society are prepared to see the "crusading" social service and radical cohorts drain its treasury for salaries for their henchmen and utilize it for agitation for Socialized Medicine and for an intensified campaign of vilification and betrayal of the profession. They have already urged upon Mayor LaGuardia that physicians be denied the protection of Civil Service, security of tenure and an adequate wage, that are accorded to all other workers in public employ. This they have done through the "Coordinating Committee" of the five County Medical Societies of New York City. Thus does Organized Medicine "protect" its members in much the same fashion as the racketeer "protects" industry or Germany "protects" Norway.


Though the Department of Justice has filed an indictment against the American Medical Association and its racketeering bosses, almost every other branch of the Federal and State governments that acts in the domain of medicine is completely dominated by the Association. Most recent and striking of these illegal delegations of governmental power to a private agency, is the granting to the American Medical Association of virtual control of the medical aspects of military conscription.

The past record of the A.M.A. makes it quite clear that the power delegated to it by the government will not be used for the promotion of national defense, but will be used to mend the political fences of the Association and to destroy its enemies, especially all physicians and manufacturers who do not bow to its dictates. In 1917, for instance, the A.M.A. barred from military service the distinguished physician and surgeon, Professor G. Frank Lydston of the College of Physicians & Surgeons, by means of records that were later acknowledged to be false, because of his attacks on corruption in the A.M.A.

This is further made clear by the decree ordered by the American Medical Association that no physician who has graduated from any school that is not approved by it, no matter how competent and experienced he may be, may receive a commission or serve as a physician; and that any such physicians who may be drafted must serve as ordinary privates, in spite of the announced shortage of physicians in the service. The same ruling has been decreed extended by the A.M.A. to graduates of foreign medical schools of the highest rating.

More will be related presently concerning the Government support of the racketeering of the bosses of the A.M.A. and their fellow merchants-in-medicine.

The Medical Serf and Organized Medicine

Coercion of doctors into tribute is the secret of the present malevolent power of organized medicine. No attempt is made to mask this coercion. Thus, the Special Committee on New Members of the New York County Medical Society made the following report, in 1933, published in the Medical Week of February 10, 1934:

"2. That membership in the County Medical Society be made more desirable to the younger men, so that they will find it advantageous to join, instead of being coerced into joining."

But the Committee proceeded to recommend a new method of coercion;

"3. That the efforts of the Special Committee on Hospitals and Dispensaries be enlisted in the approach to hospitals for having membership in the County Medical Society a prerequisite for staff positions."

In this manner the fondest dreams of "Doc" Simmons have been fulfilled by his heirs.


The law has created for organized medicine many methods of coercion of the medical profession. In this both Federal and State governments have collaborated. The states have given the State Medical Societies direct or indirect control over medical licensure once again.

The Federal government, through the Emergency Relief Administration, delegated to committees representing the county medical societies its authority to appoint needy and destitute physicians to Relief rolls. These committees led the profession to understand that appointments might not be forthcoming to non-member physicians.

Another coercive measure is an amendment of the Workmen's Compensation Act passed by the New York State Legislature in 1935. This amendment, which is clearly unconstitutional, restricts the injured in the choice of physician to a panel drawn up by the county medical societies.

The City and State of New York have created such coercive devices as the following:

"The Commissioner of Hospitals of New York City, Dr. Goldwater, has made it a rule that the privilege of the use of the facilities of hospitals and appointments to hospital staffs shall he denied the physicians who are not members of the New York county medical societies. Thus the hospital facilities provided by the community for its ill have been prostituted to organized medicine.

"In an act providing for the licensing of nurses, physicians who are not members of the New York State Medical Society were barred from signing affidavits that nurses must obtain from physicians to secure their licenses.

"A regulation issued by Commissioner of Police Valentine of New York City in 1939, extended the right of parking autos in areas forbidden to all others, to the members of the New York State Medical Society and of kindred organizations. This means that only physicians who paid tribute to those organizations would he granted the privilege of rapidly reaching the bedside of patients in the forbidden areas.

"Most perfect is the method of coercion given the Societies under the law passed by New York Legislature in 1939 permitting the formation of "non-profit" medical indemnity corporations. The regulations established for the administration of the law by the State Welfare and Insurance Departments give the societies the privilege of ousting physicians from the panel of those eligible, on any pretext that they devise.

A more perfect set-up for the rackets of organized medicine could hardly be conceived—it will hold the profession's purse strings and extract and extort what it wills.

The medical societies are taking full advantage of these laws and regulations in coercing physicians to join their ranks and do their bidding.


Among the physicians who thus are being coerced and subjected to the extortion of the twenty dollars, or more, membership dues of the county medical societies are the poorest members of the profession. They are the physicians who are forced by circumstances to seek Relief; who are forced to content themselves with the absurdly meagre fees allowed for Workmen's Compensation work. In order to become eligible for even these meagre fees, the New York County Medical Society has demanded of its members that they sign away such constitutional rights as the right of "privileged communication" which the law has provided to protect the interests of the patient, and the right to recover damages for injuries sustained as a result of any action of the Society.

Members also are compelled, on joining, to sign away their freedom of speech and publication. Non-members are robbed of these rights by a conspiracy between organized medicine and the press. The organization is an autocracy that reduces the individual physician to the status of a pawn and flaunts the law with impunity.

Some of these laws and regulations not only offer stigma and affront to physicians who refuse to join the Society, but also violate the Constitution of the State by illegal delegation of power; for the Constitution provides that the power to confer the rights and prerogatives of the practice of medicine belong to the State Department of Education. The discriminatory rights and privileges extended to the New York State Medical Society, a private membership corporation, exceed the power of the State itself. It eloquently bespeaks the impotence of the individual members of the profession and of the State itself against organized medicine, that these laws have not been challenged successfully in the courts, in spite of their obvious unconstitutionality.

This situation gravely concerns everyone who is subject to human ills. Let us stop and ask ourselves:

"What is the meaning of this coercion of a group of supposedly intelligent men who are licensed to practice medicine by the State, into a membership corporation whose charter states that it is primarily organized for the purpose of protecting the interests of its members?"

Obviously it does not even do that; for if it did, it would not find it necessary to coerce the profession into membership.


Organized medicine makes its bow to the nation under the banners of the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons and local academies of medicine. Because of the coercive laws and regulations, tens of thousands of physicians have been forced to join the A.M.A. Its membership comprises about 116,000 physicians, or three quarters of the profession, making it the largest medical organization in the country.

The American Medical Association is built up of local county, district and state medical societies that are interlocked by officership and directorate with each other and with the national Association. Dues paid by the members of the county societies filter into the larger units and finance them.

The county medical society is the cornerstone. It is a membership corporation. The qualifications for membership are a medical degree, the payment of annual dues, and the willingness of the officers of the organization to accept the member and bis dues. Inasmuch as there is little reluctance in accepting dues, it is the dues which, as a rule, are the primary qualifications for membership. Neither competence nor reputability are signified by membership. On the contrary, the less reputable physicians invariably join to shield their malefactions.


The New York County Medical Society might be studied as a typical example of these societies. The sole privilege accorded to a member-at-large of the Society is the privilege of paying dues and of attending meetings. The latter is seldom exercised because little or nothing of scientific value generally is heard at the meetings, which cannot be found in the older textbooks and literature. The presentation of papers before the Society is regarded by its bosses as a mode of advertisement; or as a device for securing political advantages from other units of the organization. Presenters of papers are chosen chiefly for political and commercial reasons, not for scientific. The rarity of presentation of new discoveries, the officers of the Society justify on the ground that "the scientific preparation and level of intelligence of the membership is too low to permit understanding of new scientific discoveries." The true reason is the fear of the bosses that their reputations as authorities and their practices might be endangered by discoveries.

Even discussion, if any is permitted, is limited to members of a clique whose names are advertised in the program. Late in the evening, there may be a call for general discussion, after most of the members have either gone home to bed or fallen asleep in their seats. Seldom will a member rise to discuss the paper. When one dares do so, there passes through the hall a stir which awakens even the sleeping members. The daring one will be permitted a minute or two of discussion, which is rudely interrupted in the middle of a sentence by the gavel of a presiding officer, with the remark, "Your time is up!" I write from many personal experiences.

The daring or uninformed member has violated the unwritten rule that none of the rank and file members may participate in the proceedings and discussions. Unpleasant things soon begin to happen to him. He feels the vengeful hand of the Society raised to enforce its discipline. Slanderous and sometimes libelous stories are circulated among the medical fraternity and among the public to the effect that the guileless or daring member is crazy or a radical. He is shunned and ostracized by timid colleagues and reviled by bolder ones. If he is connected with a hospital or clinic, he may soon find himself ousted on the ground of incompetence—a stigma on his reputation. No effort is spared by the organization to undermine his vital asset—his reputation.

The business meeting of the Society is conducted in the same manner. When the Chairman calls for old or new business, no member of the rank and file who values his reputation dares rise to propose a new measure. All business has been "pre-arranged" in Committee by the political bosses of the Society. If a member should arise to propose new business, he is promptly informed that no new business may be introduced directly on the floor or be voted on directly by the members present; it must be referred to the dominating committee.


Nomination and election of officers in the Society attain the height of absurdity in formalities. Under the constitution of the Society, it is practically impossible for the rank and file of the members to pick their own officers. Nominations perpetuating the regime of the inner clique are made, "pre-arranged," by an officer of the Nominating Committee. Officers are elected two years in advance.

The activities of the County Medical Society vitally affect a number of commercial interests, including milk, insurance, and others. The officers of the Society are consequently carefully handpicked by agents of those interests who dominate the inner ring of the Society. The preferred candidates men whose affiliations and dependencies make them pliable and subject to influence and domination. The selections generally are made on the basis of hospital affiliations. To guard against upset at elections by independents, severe obstacles have been placed in the way of the nomination of independents, in the Society's Constitution.

In the case of threatened loss of control of the Society by its established bosses, no crooked political device is neglected in the battle to retain it. I participated in such an incident as nominee, in 1927. Heads of hospital staffs forced their subordinates to stand in line for hours on the penalty of losing their jobs, and vote as they were required. There were well-authenticated rumors of stuffing of ballot boxes and of deliberately fraudulent counts. I was informed by a friendly officer of the Society that I was counted out. It was then quite obvious that there were large financial stakes involved in the control of the otherwise apparently slumbering New York County Medical Society.

The New York Telegram commented editorially on this medico-political situation as follows (December 7, 1932):

"Medical Statecraft"

"Elections are simple things with the Medical Society of the County of New York. We note the official ballot of the recent election of that body. There is no chance for the voter to become confused as to his choice. Each office has one candidate, except in the case of the censors and delegates to the Medical Society of the State of New York. There were three candidates for censor, and the instructions say, 'Vote for Three.' There were ten candidates for delegate, and the instructions say, 'Vote for Ten.' The voters were, however, permitted to 'cross out names of candidates not voted for.'

"It remained for the doctors to simplify statecraft beyond even the braves of Union Square."


Gag rule and steam roller prevail in all the activities of the Society. The member who is not satisfied to be repressed by such rule is eventually either coerced into silence or suspended from membership on some pretext or another.

What are the rewards of these bull-dozed, spineless specimens of humanity who let themselves be coerced into membership and plucked of the annual dues in an organization so subversive of their own interests and so insulting to their intelligence? They are eligible to contribute their services, for which they are not paid, to clinics and hospitals generously provided for them by the activities of the County Medical Society. There they may be permitted to treat patients whom, except for the existence of these organizations, they might treat in their offices for a fee.

The physician who is in such "good standing" as to be permitted to render services gratis in the clinics dominated by the bosses of the Society regards himself as fortunate. For the Society has inculcated into the public mind, with the aid of the interested social service forces, the idea that the physician who does not bow to organized medicine and man its clinics is incompetent and is not to be trusted. The docile and acquiescent physicians are given the stamp of "competence" of the Society. How untrustworthy is this stamp, will be made clear.

After he has rushed through his stint at the clinic, this "fortunate member" of the Society is free to return to his empty office, to gaze at four walls and develop claustrophobia. Few folks realize to what extent the psycho-neurosis the medical profession develop in this manner is accountable for physicians continuing to work in the clinics year after year, in spite of the fact that they thereby destroy their livelihoods, gain nothing and learn nothing.

Returned to the solitude of his office, the doctor may turn on his radio, if he happens to be able to afford one, and listen to one of his "masters," the favored of the inner ring of the Society, advertise and publicize himself over the radio. But let him not dare to follow suit and himself make a radio broadcast, if by some accident unforeseen by the medical society the opportunity should offer itself.

The dual "code of ethics" declares that when the medical "leader" or boss makes a radio broadcast, it is a case of publicity for the medical profession. But when a mere member at large makes the same broadcast, it is publicity and advertising of himself. Should he drop into such an error, the member is summoned before the Comitia Minora, as the Tweed Ring of Medicine calls itself, and disciplined by suspension. The Society seldom takes the more severe disciplinary measure of ousting an offender from membership. That would mean cutting off its income.

Or in the solitude of his office, Dr. Sucker may turn to his newspaper and read an article which has been passed and approved by the Censor of his Society, whose salary is paid from the membership dues which he and his ilk have paid into the coffers of the Society. This article informs the public that the Cash-and-Carry Medical Center—where Dr. Sucker donates his services gratis—gives infinitely superior services to its patients than does a physician such as Dr. Sucker privately in his office. Or it may announce on the basis of Federal statistics on childbirth, falsified by inclusion of abortions, that Dr. Sucker and his confreres are responsible for the death of numerous mothers, and are less competent to care for childbirths than are midwives. From this news the public can only deduce that they should turn for competent obstetrical services only to Dr. Fleecem, Dr. Skinem and other members of the Committee whose names are prominently mentioned in the publicity matter; or else have their babies in the wards of the Cash-and-Carry Hospital and Medical Center, where they will be cared for by Dr. Sucker and his confreres.


The position of the rank and file of the profession contrasts sharply with that of the medical merchant "leader" or boss. Their position is that of serfs, puppets, and stooges of the medical-social-service rackets. They are ludicrously pathetic figures, befuddled and often not of the highest mental caliber. From the moment they enter pre-medical training, they are caught between two millstones— the social service rackets, and the treacherously racketeering medical organizations. As they advance, they are progressively ground down to a condition which eventually leaves them devoid of initiate e an thinking capacity and makes them the stupidly helpless pawns of the two super-rackets which they are coerced to join and support. In so doing they destroy their livelihood and crush themselves.

There are a few isolated cases of physicians who cherish and preserve principles and ideals in spite of terrific economic and political pressure placed on them. They are called "insurgents" and are regarded with suspicion by their confreres as being mentally unsound. But the rarest thing in the annals of history is the physician who is reckless and foolhardy enough to risk his reputation and livelihood in the attempt to clean the Augean stable of medical politics, organization and racketeering. Such prodigies are editorially attacked by the "Boss" himself in the columns of the Journal of the A.M.A. as horrible examples, as was I in April, 1930.

With rare exceptions, physicians follow the path of least resistance even though it leads to self-destruction. They find themselves in the status of mere men seeking to eke out an existence by caring for the ills and catering to the caprices of mankind. They are no more honest than the rank and file of mankind. They succumb to pressure and temptation; and accept the tenets of the self "Same rackets which destroy them. With few exceptions they cherish in their bosoms the almost forlorn hope that they may rise, some day, to the racketeering heights of medical bosses and merchants in medicine—and thereby win fame and fortune.

But the hope of winning even fortune is for a great majority of them utterly vain. For the physician's stock in trade is the faith of the patient in the falsely assumed ability of the doctor to "cure." In reality, no doctor "cures" any disease; the patient cures himself. The physician can only help in the process by making conditions for recovery favorable and by avoiding damaging interference with Nature's workings. To do this, he must at times pretend to wisdom and knowledge, when his ignorance is most abysmal; and in these moments he is, at best* a benevolent confidence man. His chief stock in trade is the patient's confidence in him. But this confidence has been destroyed by the medical and social service rackets. The medical serf has been severely handicapped by his lords and masters.


There has never been refuted intelligently the myth that the average member of the medical profession is responsible for the "high cost of medical care." While it is true that the medical "leaders" are unconscionably exorbitant in their charges, the fee scale of the average physician is absurdly low and often less than the charges of pay clinics.

The fees of the average physician today are no higher than they were one hundred to one hundred and fifty years ago. The 1817 Fee Bill of the Boston Medical Association, and that of New York in 1790, showed charges of two to five dollars per initial visit. Consultations were five dollars for the first visit and three dollars for subsequent visits. Night visits were five dollars.

The scale of the Workmen's Compensation Insurance fee schedule recently adopted by the Medical Society of the State of New York differs slightly from those of 1790. The charge allowed for the first visit, including the filling out of numerous forms and testimony before the Compensation referee, is five dollars. Under the 1790 New York Fee Bill the charge for filling the forms alone would be ten to fifteen dollars.

The charge for a night visit in 1790 was five dollars; the present schedule allows four dollars. Incision of an abscess cost the same in 1790 as today five dollars. The charges for amputation at the shoulder—one hundred and fifty dollars—have not risen since 1790.

Some of the charges made in 1790 were slightly higher than those of today and vice versa. It should be borne in mind, however, that in those days a dozen eggs could be had for a few cents. This makes it apparent how much the cost of medical services has dropped in the past century and a half in spite of tremendously greater costs of rendering those services.


The average physician who seeks part or full-time employment is no more fortunate financially than he who seeks to eke out an existence in private practice. He finds that the wage scale for doctors is lower than that of most forms of unskilled labor. Especially is this true in public service.

The scale of salaries of physicians in public service is probably highest in New York City. Few of the world-renowned physicians who have made life safe for the citizens of New York, at the risk of their own health and lives, earn after many years of service the eighteen dollars a day of the asbestos worker, or the twenty dollars a day of the skilled tool-maker.

The average pay of doctors working on a part time basis for the Health Department of New York City is one dollar and sixty cents per hour. This rate has had the approval of the New York County Medical Society. As has been related, the Society has suggested that doctors employed by the City, especially those in the Health Department, shall be deprived of Civil Service protection and of all the rights and privileges, including sick leave, vacation and pension which are given to all other municipal workers. The Society is controlled completely by the henchmen of organized social service, and has adopted as its goal the destruction of the livelihoods of its less affluent and less influential members.


The Philadelphia County Assistance Board, a social service agency, set the following hour-wage scale in 1939: bricklayers, $1.62; plasterers, $1.55; and doctors, $1.51. The medical profession has contributed heavily to swelling Relief rolls. Approximately a third of New York's doctors were still on Relief in 1937.

Employed physicians have sought the aid of social service and of labor unions in the attempt to gain an adequate wage. The A.F.L. has always turned them down on the basis of the convenient myth that doctors, even though employed as workers, are capitalist bourgeois and independent entrepreneurs. The truth of the matter is that labor employs doctors and prefers to be free to take advantage of them without qualms. Also labor has espoused the cause of its fellow-travelers, the social service rackets that seek to prey on medicine. Under the terms of the Wagner Act, some groups of physicians have organized under the C.I.O. But their position has not been improved materially thereby. The derogatory attitude of labor towards the medical profession has become accentuated.


The wage of the doctor contrasts sharply with high and ever-mounting cost of a medical education and of keeping abreast of changing methods and of advances in medicine. It is a curious fact that the more richly medical education becomes endowed the costlier does it become to the student. It now involves study over a period of twenty to twenty-five years and an average cost of between twenty and twenty-five thousand dollars.

The average work-life of the physician is about thirty years. It can easily be calculated that to earn the costs of his education alone the doctor would have to make about fifteen hundred dollars a year. To earn a bare living plus the cost of maintenance of his office, the physician must make five thousand dollars a year. In order to keep abreast of medical advance and be a competent physician and at the same time live comfortably, the physician must earn between seven and ten thousand dollars a year. It is doubtful if more than ten percent of the medical profession of this county earn this last figure. It is questionable whether one out of four doctors now makes enough to amortize the cost of his education alone. In most cases now, the study of medicine involves a large economic loss.


This does not imply that there is an excessive number of physicians in the country. Many parts of the country have not sufficient physicians; and few sections of the country have too many physicians for adequate medical care of the public. But each state in the Union licenses its citizen physicians and shuts out physicians licensed by other states. This often bars the way to adequate medical services to their communities. The situation today is much the same as it was in 1846 when the State Medical Societies directly controlled the licensing of physicians and used their powers to create medical monopolies. Curiously enough, some states permit free entry to foreign physicians while barring entry of Americans.


The average earnings of a physician in the height of prosperity—1928 and 1929—were less than those of skilled laborers. At that time, in the midst of boom and prosperity, over 60 percent of the populace requiring medical treatment in our larger cities were receiving it from hospitals and clinics gratis, or at a low figure per unit of service. During the years of depression, the persons receiving such services rose to almost ninety percent of the populace of the country requiring medical aid.

This does not mean that the cost of illness to the public is low. It is relatively high; but only a small fraction of it is paid to physicians. The bulk of the community's medical expenditures go into the purses of the social service rackets, large fractions to hospitals and nurses, and least to the doctors.

The Welfare Council of New York City estimated in prosperous 1928 that there were 40,000 paid workers engaged in social service work in New York. Their salaries amounted to approximately seventy-five million dollars. All of this money had been donated by charitable persons in the community for the care of the poor.

If only half of this money that is diverted by social service workers into their pockets were used for the payment of physicians for the care of the ailing poor, the caliber of services given could be materially improved and doctors would receive about three thousand dollars a year for their work. Money expended in this manner would more truly serve the purpose for which the funds were donated than its present use.


The pathos of the plight of the medical profession is accentuated and set in comic relief by the obvious absurdity of its sense of helplessness. Physicians cannot be replaced overnight. Properly organized to protect their interests, the medical profession could command a fair treatment and an adequate wage from the community.

But organized medicine has joined the social service rackets in betraying its ranks and has aided tile impoverishment and debasement of its own members. It has coerced the physician to aid in robbing himself of both his livelihood and of the respect of the community. So awed is the medical serf by the boss merchants that he does not dream of asserting himself and fighting for his existence; instead he slinks after treacherously corrupt "leaders/*

The force by which he is held, is the growing power of organized medicine and its control of hospitals and of medical licensure. The character of the licensing boards is indicated by the recent indictment in New York of an assistant attorney general who was assigned to collaborate with the Medical Board of Regents, on the charge of complicity in "fixing" for an abortion racket; and by the anxiety-caused death of his associate, an A.M.A. affiliated secretary of the Board, Dr. Harold Rypins, who was also accused.


To incur the enmity of the American Medical Association or its local state or county society means to run the risk of loss of livelihood. Organized medicine figuratively grips the throat of every physician.

To avoid deliberately and maliciously circulated slander on his competence, the medical serf must toe the mark in the regime prescribed for him by medical bosses. As in any racket, to obey means "protection," and failure to conform means to court disaster.

Illustrative of the methods employed is my own experience. In 1931, I resigned from the N.Y. County Medical Society and the A.M.A. because I objected to racketeering of the organizations. Thereafter my scientific discoveries were barred from publication, rumors damaging to my reputation were circulated, scientific societies were urged to bar my participation in their proceedings, my works and I were libeled in publications of the A.M.A. and replies were barred. In 1937, a colleague, Dr. Guersney Frey, attempted to bar my participation in a scientific discussion in a New York Academy of Medicine meeting, on the ground that my resignation from the A.M.A. and failure to pay tribute and dues to it made me a physician "not in good standing." The allegation was widely broadcast in an effort to injure my reputation and practice by slander.

In the attempt to subordinate science to medical politics, there shines forth the blind stupidity of the medical dim-wits. Their attitude resembles most closely that of the ostrich that seeks to avert danger by burying its head in the sand.

How serious may be the consequences to a physician of disciplinary action of organized medicine is indicated by the case of Dr, W. W. Robinson. A court ordered the Spokane County Medical Society to pay him thirty thousand dollars for "slandering and humiliating him."

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The acknowledgment of my resignation from the New York County Medical Society is here reproduced to anticipate any false allegations that my expose of the organization is prompted by pique. Though rumors were long circulated that I had been ousted from the Society, it is clear from the letter that my resignation was tendered in 1932 and was not accepted until 1938, when I insistently demanded that it be done. One of my reasons for resigning was to he free to undertake this expose. As a member of the Society. I would have been barred from so doing, because the Society demands of its members that they submit their writings for censorship. In my letter of resignation I gave this and also my disgust with the racketeering of the Society as the reason for my action.

[Imprimateur] from Your Life is Their Toy by Emanuel Josephson

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The Group Health Association Inc. and the Government's indictment has brought to the attention of the nation some of the less vicious methods that the American Medical Association uses in enforcing its discipline and protecting the business of its bosses. This situation has arisen primarily out of the struggle between the organized social service and organized medicine for the control of the medical rackets.

The indictment charges the American Medical Association, its local subsidiary and the Washington hospitals with conspiring to coerce and intimidate doctors and consultants to refuse to serve the Group Health Association and to black-list and boycott doctors employed by it, with the object of preventing competition.

In the following pages will be related activities of the A.M.A. which are far more vicious and dangerous to the public, which Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold refused to include in the indictment. These activities do not merely jeopardize the purses of the public and of the social service cliques, but menace the health and lives of the public. An indictment based on such charges would not have been dismissed by the courts. For many of them are quite clearly conspiracy in restraint of trade and designed to create monopolies. It is probable, however, that the courts will eventually sustain the indictment as it stands.


The gangster tactics of the A.M.A. and its subsidiaries are true to the tradition of what the profession chooses to term "medical ethics." That this "ethics" is a commercial code is revealed by the experience of Dr. Pratt with the British Medical Association, which is quoted in the "Brief of the U.S. on Demurrers in the case of U.S.A. vs. A.M.A. et al" as follows:

"The British Medical Association was incorporated in 1874 'to promote the medical and allied sciences and to maintain the honour and interests of the medical profession.' It is divided into geographical 'Divisions,' so-called, comparable to local medical societies in the United States affiliated with defendant American Medical Association, which are largely autonomous; one of these is the Coventry Division. In 1904 the British Medical Association promulgated certain 'model rules' of ethics. Among other matters, these rules covered contract practice. Rule F provides that except in circumstances of great urgency, no member shall 'meet in consultation, or hold any professional relations with' a doctor declared by a division to have violated the rules of ethics. Rule Z provides that when a Division has found a given doctor's conduct to be 'detrimental to the honour and interests of the medical profession,' a notice so stating is to be sent to each member of the Division; and a similar notice may, when necessary, be forwarded to any other British Medical Association division. Coventry Division adopted these 'model rules,' including the above provisions.

"The Coventry Provident Dispensary was founded in the early part of the nineteenth century for the purpose of securing medical attendance for its members and their families. In 1906 the then medical staff protested that members whose incomes had grown beyond the maximum permitted for membership should be asked to resign; the committee of management disagreed with this view; the medical staff contended that the management committee should be abolished and complete control of the society's affairs should be given to the medical staff; when this was refused, the medical staff resigned in a body. Thereupon, the society sought a new staff.

"In May 1907 it appointed Dr. Burke, one of the plaintiffs here. He was a licensed doctor; there was not and never had been any stigma on his professional career; he was a member of the Coventry Division of the British Medical Association. On May 26, he received a letter from the Chairman of the Coventry Division suggesting that if he joined the Dispensary staff, Rules F and Z would be invoked against him. He was not deterred, and in June began his work for the Dispensary. On June 20, the Coventry Division passed a resolution declaring that by joining the Dispensary staff Dr. Burke had violated the rules of the Division. On July 20, Dr. Burke was notified of this action and was invited to explain his position. On July 29, he replied that he was satisfied with his position and would not change it. He was warned that on the single charge of joining the Dispensary staff he would be expelled from the Division.

"On August 28, the Coventry Division executive committee resolved to ostracize Dr. Burke. On September 3, the Coventry Division recommended to the British Medical Association that it should expel Dr. Burke for violation of the rules and for conduct detrimental to the honour and interest of the medical profession. On December 18, the British Medical Association general secretary cited Dr. Burke to appear and show cause why he should not be expelled. On February 13, 1908, he was expelled, on the grounds above stated. Thereupon, the Coventry Division circulated the notice prescribed by Rule Z, and gave similar notice to certain other nearby Divisions, Under Rule F, the effect of this notice was to make it a violation of the rules for any doctor to consult with Dr. Burke; no doctor could consult 'except at the risk of being expelled from the Association on a charge of having acted against the honour and interests of the medical profession.'" [(1919) 1 K. B. at 251]

"As a result of these occurrences, in the ten years that followed, Dr. Burke was unable to obtain the services of a single consultant, and his private practice was thereby greatly injured. Moreover, he and his family were treated as social and professional outcasts. Dr. Pratt and Dr. Holmes joined the Dispensary staff in 1913; they were similarly treated, with similar results.

"Dr. Pratt, Dr. Holmes, and Dr. Burke, therefore, brought this action against the British Medical Association and against four local doctors who, from time to time, served as officials of the Coventry Division. The first cause of action asserted by plaintiffs was for conspiracy.

"Upon the foregoing facts, the court held that the defendants had instituted a cruel and unwarranted boycott of the plaintiffs; that their actions constituted an unlawful restraint of trade, and accordingly, that plaintiffs should have judgment for substantial damages."


The racketeering of organized medicine adds gratuitous complications to the already difficult life of the doctor. The life of the average physician is hard. It is filled with the added anxieties and cares thrust upon him by patients. He stands at the beck and call of a thousand masters, a servant of the public. He must serve on short notice, even though he is ill himself. He must go out at any time of the day or night into any weather—snow, sleet, or rain, cold or hot—when his patients demand. And even more trying is it to wait about his office until a patient calls. Though he actually starve, and many do starve today, the doctor must maintain an expensive show-front in the attempt to gain and retain the confidence of patients; for they often judge medical skill on the basis of their estimates of the size of the doctor's bank account.

The average physician little realizes when he chooses his calling that he has placed himself at the mercy of every member of the community. He discovers that the public do not trust a young physician, generally desert an old one, and often pay none.

He is expected to risk his life, and his family's, by exposure to dread contagious diseases, at the behest of any unknown beggar. When a man is crushed under a fallen wall or a collapsing tunnel in momentary danger of crashing, the doctor is expected to disregard danger and render first aid. The needlessly anxious nature of his vocation serves to shorten the doctor's life. Angina pectoris, a lethal heart disease that is precipitated by anxiety, is most widely prevalent among physicians.


A physician's obligations to society are eternally stressed. But society is ever less mindful of its obligations to the physician. There is probably no group in American society that has fallen to as low a level of disesteem and opprobrium as has the average physician. This is in part deserved; but it is largely due to maligning of the rank and file by their professional confreres, the bosses of medicine, and to the millions of dollars of the public's money spent by the social service forces in the payment of such high priced publicity men as Edward Bernays for the deliberate purpose of discrediting the medical profession in its opposition to social service dominated "Socialized" Medicine. In recent years the detractors have been joined by governmental officials and agencies allied with the social service rackets, who use the taxpayers' money liberally in this anti-medical propaganda which they are waging for the profit of themselves and their commercial allies, and for the furtherance of Bismarxian, totalitarian doctrines.

Society sustains great losses as a result of its ingratitude to the physician and of its toleration of the rackets that prey on him. It has caused in the profession a sinister cynicism bred of bitter experience. It has served to wipe out the more delicate nuances of service which spell the saving of health and lives. This is well illustrated by an overly embittered article by a young physician published anonymously in the June 1932 issue of The Forum magazine entitled "A Doctors Advice To His Critics:"

"One familiar delusion is to the effect that doctors are animated by an old saying, to wit, 'the relief of suffering humanity shall be thine only aim.' This is a piece of poppycock that is not true and never was true. The cold fact is that most doctors practice medicine for precisely and exactly the same reason that lawyers practice law, or editors edit, or plumbers plumb, or laborers labor—namely, to make a living. If they get some pleasure out of it and do some good, then so much the better, but that is not the prime purpose.

"I hate to destroy such nice delusions, but I believe that the truth is better and that more progress can be made by adhering to it. In all my experience I do not recall one single doctor who cared anything special about suffering humanity, certainly not enough to work himself up into a lather about it. He had enough troubles of his own; indeed all too often he had been so bedeviled and imposed on and swindled by this same poor dear humanity that he hated it.

"It may be deplorable, but it is a fact that this thing we call civilization, or this present state of human affairs, is just simply not organized along the lines of brotherly love. For all the boloney to the contrary, it is founded largely on the ethics of the jungle, and it is the persistence of this jungle ethics in a highly complicated and interdependent society that has finally plunged us into the morass in which we are now stuck. Doctors are merely in the same milieu that everybody else is. We are all tarred out of the same bucket—the critics no less than the rest. Doctors find out, as all men do, that they get what they take. This leads to dishonesty, sharp practice, swinishness. I can only report that doctors as a rule are as honest as circumstances will allow them to be. I do not care to speak further than that for them.

"But I can speak for myself. Here at least I will pass no buck; I will evade no issue. It all boils down to this: a man catapulted into this life and given time to get oriented and look about a bit can do one of two things—he can take it or leave it. I prefer to take it. Very well, then, what do I find? I find that this is a hard and a harsh world. I find that my living depends entirely on my own efforts, I find that I could sweat out my life in honest and conscientious medical service to the public for nothing save a bare existence and finally come to sixty-five or seventy a broken and penniless man. I find that in exchange for this they would, if I had enough political pull, give me a cot in a poorhouse, some rags, enough food to keep me alive, and the menial job of scrubbing the floors.

"Now I prefer not to stand in breadlines nor to sleep in flophouses. I must, therefore, get money in some way or other and endeavor to keep it. It has been amply demonstrated that this latter task is perhaps even harder than the first; I have no assurance that what I have now will be with me next year or even next week. The method I have chosen by which to do this is practicing medicine. I went through high school; I spent five years in a university, four years in a medical school, two years as a hospital intern—fifteen years in all. I not only made little or nothing during this time but I spent a great deal; in fact, all I had ever been able to make at other times. In addition to that I put a lien in the form of debts on what I was to make after I finally went to work. Now that I am at work, I will get that needed money absolutely honestly if I can. If I cannot, then I will get it dishonestly.

"There, then, you have it—in cold type and with no evasion. If this is being a thug, then I am a thug. And that is that. If you are interested to know what has been my experience, I will say that the word honesty in medicine is a very elastic term. . ."

Fortunately this young man's fierce bitterness does not represent the attitude of the rank and file of the profession, who lack capacity for energetic reaction. Their attitude is one of stunned and apathetic impotence and befuddled frustration that may paralyze but does not destroy humanitarian sympathies.


The situation in medicine, however, does mean a tremendous waste of ability and energy which could serve, under better conditions, to spare mankind much misery. Society could render itself a real service by fighting the battle of the medical serf and destroying the medical and social service rackets.

Society should establish a fair condition of work and standards of wage for the doctor. It should relieve him of carrying the entire burden of charitable medical care in the community and should establish on a permanent basis adequate payment of the doctor for those services.

For callous indifference of Society to the plight of the physician is certain to breed eventually an ugly reaction on the part of the profession. If the public wishes to be tended with kindness and mercy by the profession, it must extend to it the same treatment. It is wrong that in return for acts of charity and mercy, in which he oft risks his life, the veteran of medicine receives no beneficence or benevolence.

Thus the physician is not protected by compensation or security plans when injured or disabled in line of duty. If the doctor who is summoned to treat a case of typhoid fever succumbs to the disease, or if the tunnel into which he crawls to succor an injured man collapses, the consequences are his own lookout or funeral.


A pension fund for physicians that would enable them to spend their old age in comfort is richly deserved by most members of the profession. It is a notorious fact that few of them reach the age of sixty with any reserves or savings. The more wholeheartedly a physician has devoted himself to the welfare of the community, the less apt he is to have provided for himself, and the more apt he is to spend his declining days in destitution. Thus New York newspapers announced in January 1936, that Dr. Albert Harrison Brundage, a veteran public health officer, lecturer and authority, was dispossessed from his home and cast out to die penniless and destitute.

A pension fund that would give the medical profession a belated reward for the great sacrifices that are demanded of it in the care of the poor, easily could be arranged if its merchant "leaders" and the social service forces did not block the way. The motives which prompt the latter are the fear of diversion of philanthropic funds and bequests from their own purses, and their strategy of maintaining a tradition of antagonism between the public and the medical profession.

In addition to the bequests and contributions of the philanthropically inclined members of the community there are a number of legitimate sources for pension funds for physicians. Drug manufacturers, for instance, might well contribute to such pension funds a small percentage of the wealth and income which they derive from medical research and discovery and from the business which the medical profession has given them.

I have made an effort to establish such a pension fund for physicians. But I have met with no success in securing support for it because of opposition by the medical and social service rackets.


The rank and file member of the American Medical Association, the medical serf, can be ranked as one of its most stupidly pathetic victims. The Association and its activities have brought him to his present wretched status.

With regularity, the position taken by the A.M.A. on public questions has been the very reverse of that of the majority of its members. By medical-social-service press censorship and a sham "code of ethics" they are prevented from escaping from the false position in which they have been placed.

To free itself of the racketeering domination of medical and social service organizations, and to redeem itself and regain public- and self-esteem, the profession must first awaken to realize and acknowledge the rot which has pervaded it. Drastically the profession must purge itself; and it must adopt ideals of service that are compatible with honesty and decency.

Then if it accepts honest, intelligent and intrepid leadership in place of crooked political bosses and their ward heelers, develops an esprit de corps that will enable the adoption of a program based on principle instead of greed and cupidity, and wage war without compromise on the unscrupulous enemies of society within its ranks and in the community, any fair request that it makes on the community must be met But can this be realized?

The Medical Publicity Racket

Advertising and publicity are the life-blood of medical practice, as of any other enterprise in a large community. For they are the only ways that the public who need medical care can become cognizant of the physician who wishes to render it.

In a small community, word of mouth advertising suffices. But in larger communities where the individual is as lost as a needle in a haystack, other methods are required. The doctors who are denied their use can be stifled and destroyed. It is for the purpose of destroying competition that the bosses and overlords of the Eastern States have tabooed advertising for everyone except themselves by their hypocritical commercial "code of ethics."

No man was in a better position than "Doc" Simmons to realize the vital importance of advertising in medicine. He had gained his fortune and position through lurid and fraudulent quack medical advertising. A monopolistic control of all methods of advertising and publicity in medicine as a source of revenue and as a device for the control of the profession, and of politics, was almost instinctive with Simmons. No effort was spared by him or his gang to attain it.

Like Simmons, Fishbein is acutely conscious of the value of publicity. In his Fads and Quackery in Healing he tells of noted surgeons who owed their practises to persistent publicity He concludes:

"A great clinic, if properly organized, must have its publicity department"


There are a number of indirect and underhanded methods of advertising and publicity that are permissible to the physician even in sections which taboo direct advertising. They are especially valuable if they are exclusive; and where competition is keen, when they cast aspersions on competitors.

Direct word of mouth publicity and recommendation are very effective in building up a practice. Some physicians have highly developed this method. They hire boosters and widen their social contacts by joining any and every organization that will serve the purpose.

An amusing variation of this method was employed by a New York East Sider when he launched himself into practice. He hired unemployed actors and attractive actresses to ride up to his office in swank cars and sit in his waiting room for hours in order to make neighbors believe that his services were in demand by their betters. The ruse succeeded in building for him a large and lucrative practise

Affiliations with social service groups are particularly valuable business-getters, especially if the organizations maintain clinics. They solicit inquiries from the public; and direct the inquirers to their affiliated physicians. They also get extensive free advertising and publicity which nets patients.

Hospitals and clinics are the most effective and the most eagerly sought methods of advertising a physician. They are obvious advertisements that lure the patients. Their value is enhanced when they have large and rich boards of directors and subscribing memberships. Their value is superlative when they refer inquiring patients to the doctors who monopolize their facilities. And to physicians who gain control of services and the power of appointment of subordinate physicians they are veritable gold mines; for they make it possible to force colleagues who seek the hospital facilities for their patients to consult the "chief" and refer cases. The advertising value of hospitals is often enhanced by clever work of publicity men, as in the case of the Eye Institute of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and the King of Siam.

Medical Information Bureaus, such as that of the New York Academy of Medicine, are organized by influential physicians to solicit public inquiries about doctors and medical topics. The inquirers are directed to the offices of the sponsoring physicians. They are effective in building up the reputations and high-priced practices of the sponsors, and in slandering and destroying the reputations of competitors. In the latter they are generally cautious and only dole out their slander in the absence of witnesses, to avoid legal entanglements.

Popular lectures and publications are a direct form of contact with the public. Columns and signed articles in the lay press and popular books are more effective than lectures and radio talks.

Scientific lectures and publication are publicity to colleagues who may refer cases. Their value is greatly enhanced when they are made the basis of popular publicity reports in the lay press. Medical discovery is a justifiable but rare basis for these forms of publicity.

Control of institutions of medical education and professorships and teaching positions in them are forms of advertisement that often net high returns in consultations and in repute gained. These consequently are avidly sought, even when they carry no direct emolument.

When Simmons and his A.M.A. gang undertook to gain complete and monopolistic control of all these forms of advertising and publicity to insure greatest profits by elimination of competition, they met with the resistance of some powerfully entrenched groups. With these they compromised whenever it was found advantageous to do so.


Samples of cards that are given to clinic patients of New York City to advertise their doctors. [see below] The two lowest cards leave no margin for error, but carry both the names and addresses of the doctors. This is a very superior and concentrated form of advertising directly to persons who urgently require the services offered. These advertisements must be preserved by the patients if they wish to avoid the penalty imposed by the clinic for their loss. There is no element of 'hit or miss' about these advertisements. They are tantamount to straight-forward orders to the patients.

"Come to our private offices if you want adequate services and if you can afford to pay Our fees." The doctors of many of these institutions establish their offices in the immediate neighborhood of the clinics.

The cards of eye, ear, nose and throat clinics were selected because these specialties are particularly mercilessly commercialized. Many of the hospitals are openly operated as business agencies of the members of the staff and no charitable services other than those dictated by law are rendered. Thus the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital reported for 1932 a profit of about forty thousand dollars on glasses provided its 'charity' clinic patients. Staff membership in many of these hospitals constitutes a lucrative business monopoly which the hospital groups jealously guard. THIS IS A PERFECT DEMONSTRATION OF THE SHAM AND HYPOCRISY OF "MEDICAL ETHICS".

[Imprimateur] from Your Life is Their Toy by Emanuel Josephson


Control of several phases of publicity and advertising was gained by expansion of the publication activities of the A.M.A. and by the elimination of competing publications. The weaker journals were destroyed and the strong ones were merged. Publishers have been barred, for instance, from advertising or displaying their magazines competing with A.M.A. journals in their exhibits at A.M.A. conventions.

The methods which Simmons and his crew used in their battle for a monopoly of medical publication and of advertising to the profession were often crude and illegitimate. In any other business their use would have precipitated prosecution by law enforcement authorities; but medicine is regarded by the layman with unholy awe, as a mystery beyond his ken.

Pressure was brought to bear on non-members by all the powers and agencies which the Association controlled, to force them to join. If they refused they were slandered, libeled and their reputations undermined. Fishbein, like Simmons, has left himself free to use these tactics by transferring his property to his wife and maintaining himself judgment-proof. Non-members usually are barred from publication in the A.M.A. journals.

Members of the Association were forced to subscribe to the Journal of the A.M.A. or to some of its other publications, at a high annual cost that yielded a splendid profit. If they wrote for competing publications, they were threatened with expulsion; but if they sent their articles to the Journal, they were generally refused publication. For it never has been medical importance of the article that determines its publication, so much as the political rank of the contributor. Discovery and publication are regarded by the clique solely in the light of its advertising and commercial advantage. And hi-jacking of a discovery, or its suppression and conversion into the secret private remedy of a clique, on the pretext of a "clinical trial," is commonplace. Rarely does a medical discovery receive publication in the Journal of the A.M.A. before it is antique.

Advertisers are similarly treated by the A.M.A. gang. Their products may not be advertised in any journal owned or influenced by the A.M.A. unless "accepted." Since this group includes most of the important popular magazines, the rejected product may be virtually barred from the market. Products do not remain "accepted" unless the sponsors are prepared to spend considerable money on advertising in the group of medical journals owned or controlled by the A.M.A. This prescribed group and the expense of advertising in it, have grown considerably since the organization of the Cooperative Medical Advertising Bureau, which represents a large number of State Medical Society journals. Firms that reduce their advertising or refuse to advertise as much as required, find the "acceptance" of their products withdrawn. The A.M.A. has openly threatened firms that advertise in media other than its own journals with withdrawal of "acceptance" of their products. That such a conspiracy in restraint of trade and its potentialities for extortion should be permitted to exist, is unprecedented in our legal annals. But it is all done sanctimoniously under the cloak of "protecting the public."


When the depression came along, and profits and revenue of the A.M.A. journals were threatened, the group was in excellent position to protect and to enhance its profits. There was no danger of loss of advertising accounts. The cost of production of the Journal of the A.M.A. dropped and the profits rose proportionately. But the subscription price exacted from the hard-hit physicians for the Journal was raised from five to eight dollars a year. At the same time the Association made an attack on some enterprising publications which were launched as advertising promotions and distributed reliable news of medical advance to the profession free of any charge. Editorially Fishbein thundered "Beware of the Greeks bearing gifts." But the A.M.A. subscriptions fell, and the free publications were the only means of keeping abreast of medical advance for a large proportion of the profession.

When the State Medical Societies and the A.M.A. gained control of distribution of Relief to the medical profession, they were in position to coerce back on their membership and subscription list the physicians who required Relief. They were generally led to believe that they must—or else—

Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that the Journal of the A.M.A. was one of the most profitable magazines in the country in the midst of depression, despite the oft crushing poverty of its readers. In 1938, the Journal reported a gross earning of $1,650,000 and a net profit of $670,000; and its surplus was almost four million dollars.

If the A.M.A. and its Journal really belonged to its members, instead of a ruling clique, it might undertake to fulfill the pretended function of the Association, to broadcast knowledge of medical advance to the entire profession. It would then find that by distributing the Journal gratis to the entire profession, instead of making it a means of extortion, the advertising revenue that would be derived from the larger circulation would yield even larger profits. But the gang in control act on the idea "You spoil the sucker if you give him a break."


To muzzle the rank and file of the profession and to give the bosses of organized medicine a monopoly of medical business and of advertising and publicity, the A.M.A. designed its "code of ethics." This code made it a violation to speak or write for publication without the permission, censorship and approval of the bosses and overlords. Whatever the latter might do on their own initiative, however, was designated as "ethical." The principle underlying the code is: "The king can do no wrong."

The dual character of this commercialist "code of ethics" and the manner in which it boosts the business of the merchants-in-medicine who boss the Association is evident in the most recent decree regarding medical advertising and publicity which was published in an editorial in the New York State Journal of Medicine of August 15, 1929 (pp. 1021 to 1022). It reads:

"Medical publicity is that which is educational and deals with the medical profession in its entirety.

"Medical advertising appertains to medical publicity which deals with the individual and may be used to his or her personal advantage."

Regarding publicity, it proceeds to say:

"Physicians throughout the nation have evolved a standard method of popular education as follows:

"1. The unit should be the County Medical Society. "2. Medical education work shall be done by committees composed of physicians who are specialists as writers, speakers, organizers and general medical leaders.

"3. The names of these specialists should be kept prominently before the public in order that popular education may be a concrete, present reality, instead of a far-off abstraction for which no one is responsible."

The gist of this "standard method" is that the "medical leaders" or bosses authorize themselves exclusively to keep their names prominently before the public in the press, the radio and in all other avenues of publication. This hypocrisy of the medical boss in his own traffic is characteristic of the clan.

The grumbling acceptance of these hypocritical dicta by the rank and file of the profession illustrates aptly their lack of spirit and degeneration. They do not dare attack their bosses when they belie the proverb "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," however strong may be their resentment. But if one of their own number receives the barest publicity mention merited by significant discovery, ferocious jealousy is aroused and his reputation suffers. Prominent in the ranks of the slanderers will be found the self-advertising, self-publicizing "leaders" themselves; they jealously guard the privilege which dishonestly they have usurped.

In the West, where a certain measure of straight-forwardness still persists in medical organizations, the hypocrytic "ethics" regarding advertising does not apply. Anyone may advertise in the newspapers. Even in the East, the New York State Medical Society permits foreign-born physicians to advertise in the foreign language press, because "leaders" do not compete for the poorly-paid practice among the foreign element and their commercial interests are not impaired.

How well advertising has served to build up the reputation and business of "leaders" of higher caliber than "Doc" Simmons is illustrated by the Mayo Brothers. When they arrived at Rochester, before either of them had had any experience worth mentioning, they caused to be distributed handbills which modestly stated that they were the leading and ablest surgeons in the country. They were master hands at self-advertisement; and fortunately their ability caught up with their advertising.


The selectivity of the publicity accorded to the bosses of medicine is illustrated in the case of the Truesdale Hospital, the medical director of which is Dr. Philemon E. Truesdale, who stands high in the circles of the A.M.A. and the American College of Surgeons. The business of the hospital suffered during the depression. That was not regarded as "ethical." Consequently, with no protest from the American College of Surgeons, a world-wide newspaper publicity campaign was launched in the press, centering upon a child who suffered from a not-uncommon ailment, diaphragmatic hernia, which is popularly described as "upside-down stomach."

There was nothing new or extraordinary about the operation performed on the child to correct the hernia. The only special phase of the case was the boost to the business of the hospital and its politically influential surgeon. The executive officer of the Medical Information Bureau of the New York Academy of Medicine, Dr. Galdston (ne Goldstein), himself acted as publicity and advertising agent for the hospital and surgeon, and scooped the press with detailed accounts of the operation and of all the incidental publicity maneuvers. It is not known whether, or how much, the publicity agent was paid for this business-getting stunt.


Another striking example is Dr. K_____ S_____, a prominent medical politician who has succeeded in making politics serve him to carve out a spurious reputation as a scientist. He is a member of a censorship committee. At an annual convention he was introduced by Morris Fishbein to one of the members of the Science Writers' Association, with an urgent appeal that he be given a write-up. In the interview, he pronounced himself to be the greatest man in his field and falsely laid claim to the discovery of a condition which had been brought to light a century prior and had been the object of research and discovery of numerous investigators in the intervening period. The interview published was an accurate report of the statements of this "scientist."

Immediately after the publication of this interview, the editor in question was besieged by the censor of the Academy of Medicine, on the publicity committee of which this "scientist" was the moving spirit, with the object of inducing him to furnish the interviewed "authority" with a written statement falsely asserting that the interview had not taken place. The reason for the request was that the "scientist" had been assailed and ridiculed by the members of his organization and his political influence endangered. The editor furnished the requested statement.


A glaring instance of the vicious duplicity of the ethics of medical advertising is the case of Dr. William Allen Pusey, former president of the American Medical Association and editor of one of its magazines. Dr. Pusey entered into direct competition with the testimonial business of the American Medical Association and its Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry, by selling to Proctor and Gamble, manufacturers of soap, his personal testimonial for Camay Soap. In this testimonial, which appeared in numerous magazines throughout the country as the backbone of an intensive advertising campaign, Dr. Pusey certified that "Camay Soap is much more than the best soap for your complexion." This statement was obviously false for some of the readers of the advertisement, for dry skins should have different soaps than oily skins.

In spite of the obvious falsity of the testimonial, these advertisements evoked not the slightest protest from the Association or from its timid vassals, the rank and file of the profession. The only rebuke administered to Dr. Pusey was one which I sarcastically interposed in a discussion of remarks made by him before the New York County Medical Society. He did not undertake to reply.


In sharp contrast with the case of Dr. William Allen Pusey's testimonial was that of Dr. Shirley Wynne, Commissioner of Health of New York City. Dr. Wynne, at about the same time, expressed his approval of dental hygiene for quotation in an advertisement of a dental cream. However prominent he was in civic politics, Commissioner Wynne did not rank as a medical politician and was not among the local hierarchy of the Association. Though his testimonial was truthful and honest, and thoroughly justifiable, in contrast with the above-mentioned, like a pack a jackals the New York County Medical Society who had quavered before the more puissant Pusey, preferred charges against Dr. Wynne for his testimonial and forced him to resign from its membership to avoid further annoyance in the matter.

The moral of the story is obvious: "Testimonials are 'unethical' unless payment for them is made to the American Medical Association or its officers." The dishonesty and insincerity of the Association in this matter assume the proportions of a farce.


For the primary purpose of intensifying and multiplying the opportunities of self publicity and advertising, medical "leaders" have organized a multitude of new national and specialty associations. An excellent illustration is the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. It is dominated by the same clique that controls the corresponding sections of the American Medical Association and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and also the two dozen or more societies in this field, who peddle the same trite papers and exhibits from one to the other, often without altering a comma. The presentation of papers is limited to the clique year after year; and it is doubtful if one of them has had a new idea in decades. The principal purposes of the organization and its officers is to drum up business among physicians from small towns and backwoods for themselves and their post-graduate teaching businesses; and above all else, to secure for themselves publicity build-ups in the lay press.

Publicity is divided among the clique on a pre-arranged basis. Before the bosses of the organization would consent to hold its annual meeting in New York City, in 1936, the New York members were forced to agree that they would not "hog the publicity," i.e., that they would stay in the background and permit the clique spielers from the hinterland to cover themselves with publicity and glory.

How crude are the publicity methods of this Academy can be appreciated by the study of the plan whereby the doctors from the sticks and backwoods, and the subordinate "junior members" are compelled to pay for the advertising and publicizing of the clique by the purchase of tickets to lecture courses the contents of which can be found in any of the older textbooks.

Even the annual dinners are conceived as the crudest forms of advertising for the clique bosses. This is illustrated by the following "theme song" of the Boston Convention of the Academy in 1933:


(Sung to the tune of "Alauette," in honor of Past President McKee of Montreal, at 4:00 A.M. on Mount Royal.)

All are wet, oh, very, very wet! oh,

All are wet, oh, see them all at play!

Have a drink with Burt Shurly!!

Have a drink with Burt Shurly!

Have a drink with Han McKee!

Have a drink with Han McKee!

Here's a toast to Mosher, too!

Here's a toast to Mosher, too!

Wilder doesn't mind a few!

Wilder doesn't mind a few!

Put no booze at Barnhill's plate!

Put no booze at Barnhill's plate!

Don't let Greenwood's drink be late!

Don't let Greenwood's drink be late!

Secord Large laps up the dough!

Secord Large laps up the dough!

Beer for Beck! he loves it so!

Beer for Beck! he loves it so!

Oh Shurly! (twice) Oh McKee! (twice)

Mosher too! (twice) Oh Shurly! (twice) Oh McKee! (twice)

Wilder, few! (twice) Mosher too! (twice) Oh Shurly! (twice)

Oh McKee!

Oh McKee!

All are wet! Oh!

All are wet! Oh!

Barnhill, no! (twice) Wilder, few! (twice) Mosher too! (twice)

Oh Shurly! (twice) Oh McKee! (twice)

All are wetl Oh!

All are wet! Oh!

Greenwood yes! (twice) Barnhill, no! (twice) Wilder, few! (twice)

Mosher too! (twice) Oh Shurly! (twice) Oh McKee! (twice)

All are wet! Oh!

All are wet! Oh!

Large lies low! (twice) Greenwood yes! (twice) Barnhill no! (twice)

Wilder, few! (twice) Mosher too! (twice) Oh Shurly! (twice)

Oh, McKee! (twice)

All are wet! Ah!

All are wet! Ah!

Those named are former presidents and bosses of the Academy.

The presentation of papers on medical discoveries by the rank and file membership of the Academy is rigidly barred. It would detract from the hyper-intensive advertisement of the dominant clique.

In the decade since the first edition of this volume was first published, the monopoly of medical publication, and of the advertising and publicity which it implies, has become so intensified as to be absolute. It rivals the "thought control" of other dictatorships, and has reached the point that Waldemar Kaempffert reported from the Chicago convention of the A.M.A., in the New York Times of June 27, 1948, as follows:

"As for the scores of papers that were read, they told the specialists little they did not already know . . . Probably most of the physicians and surgeons in attendance learned more from the manufacturers exhibits on Navy Pier than from the papers that were presented."

This report is an expression of the airtight censorship on medical discovery emanating from the rank and file of the profession and the suppression of medical advance. The same state has been brought about by medical politicians and merchants in every scientific organization. They have brought all of them under their control, including the medical section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They have completely suppressed the presentation of any original advances in medical science and have limited programs to so-called "symposia" which are nothing more than rehashes of older textbooks that are generally prepared by "ghosts" for the self advertisement of medical Babbitts.

In an effort to remedy this situation, the author launched the Science Bulletin prior to the War. He was forced to discontinue it because of lack of paper. Plans are under way to resume the publication for the purpose of giving discoverers a medium for publication to establish priority of discovery and stop the systematic theft of ideas and discoveries.

New Styles in Quackery—Fieshbein's 'Modern Home Medical Adviser'

Far less ASTUTE than his quack patron and master, George H. Simmons, wise-cracking Morris Fishbein, heir to the throne and power of the A.M.A., has permitted his quest for the dollar to lead him to jeopardize his position and to display unbelievable sciolism and lack of discretion. Endowed with the natural impulses of a "cloak and suiter," his special talents always have been in the direction of a sort of high-pressure salesmanship that manifested itself even during his student days. Since then such model citizens as Moe Annenberg and Unioneer Scalise have furnished inspiration.

For a long time Fishbein has directed his efforts toward securing for himself a lucrative monopoly of medical publication in the lay press. The business code that goes by the name of "medical ethics" made such a monopoly a simple matter. It barred other members of the Association from writing for the lay press without its, i.e. Fishbein's, express permission. Fishbein muzzled the profession. And he, his brother and a few others were able to collect handsomely for exclusive medical publication in the lay press. Among his other activities, he has been medical editor of Look and of the Newspaper Enterprise Association. With his brother, be also wrote a column for the now extinct Delineator.

Starting with the offer to censor and edit medical articles for the magazines and periodicals, he developed the habit of suppressing the literary products of others and replacing them with his own masterpieces, for which he was duly paid. In time there was scarcely a magazine or periodical that was not graced with samples of Fishbein's highly-priced omniscience.

In the Scripps Howard and other publications subscribing to the N.E.A. appeared syndicated columns of medical wisdom by Dr. Morris Fishbein. At the foot of these columns was published a note suggesting that the reader cut out the article, paste it in a scrap book, and thus become his own doctor, after the true A.M.A. standards of "Doc" Simmons et al. In one column appeared Fishbein's recommendation of the use, as a "harmless" reducing drug, of dinitrophenol which caused many cases of blindness and deaths.

Fishbein's larger contributions were originally confined to volumes on "Quacks and Frauds." Naturally none of the quackery and frauds in which the A.M.A. engaged were ever attacked in these volumes. The situation reminds one of the pot which calls the kettle black.


The lucrative literary business of Fishbein, however, culminated in the publication of the "Modern Home Medical Adviser." This volume was falsely, quackishly and sensationally advertised in full-page spreads in the newspapers. It was represented on the cover advertisements as an epitome of medical wisdom and omniscience directly derived from the oracle of medicine, the great Fishbein, in the following words:

"The Modern Home Medical Adviser is a book of hope and promise for suffering millions and a safeguard . . . of knowledge for all who value continued good health above everything else. Under the able editorship of Morris Fishbein, M.D., former president of the American Medical Association and Editor-in-Chief of its Journal in whose pages the new and vital discoveries of medical science are given first notice, twenty-four eminent specialists cover the whole field of medicine and surgery in a language that anyone can understand.

"The sum total of everything medical science has learned . . . is given authoritative treatment.

"No modern home should be without this important book. For the peace of mind it will give and the sense of security that comes of being prepared in time of need, this book is worth a thousand times its price. . .

"Forearm yourself with the knowledge and experience of the highest-paid medical men of our day and you will own the best insurance of abundant health and long life that money can buy."


The newspaper advertisements read as follows:

"Edited by Morris Fishbein, M.D.

"Famous spokesmen for the Medical World written by 24 of America's Best Doctors.

"Regardless of what health questions may now perplex you—regardless of what emergency you may face in the future—this huge Modern Home Medical Adviser gives you the valuable advice you MUST have to safeguard yourself and your family.

"What a priceless comfort and help it will be to have in your home at all times the most reliable Home Doctor Book ever compiled . . . The book that will enable you to tell whether you need a doctor and what simple home remedies to follow till he comes. . .

"Think of having the priceless advice of 24 of America's most eminent physicians and surgeons at your service at all times—showing you how to avoid pain, suffering, worry— placing at your instant command their vast store of sound medical knowledge and crystal-clear health guidance.

"Two hundred leading physicians quoted as authorities.

"Endorsed by doctors everywhere.

"The Wealthiest Millionaire Could Not Buy Better Health Guidance."

The italicized section means that the volume is represented as making each and every reader a diagnostician capable of judging the import of his symptoms and enough of a physician to indulge in self-treatment. Self medication, which is so justly and vigorously condemned by all intelligent persons, becomes laudable when stimulated by boss medical merchants—Dr. Morris Fishbein and twenty-four of "America's Best Doctors."

One can easily picture, as the advertisements are read, the carnival patent medicine show barker. He could do no better. These false and quackish advertisements are not only ill-advised and misleading. They are absolutely fraudulent. They represent the acme of the quackishness introduced into the A.M.A. by "Doc" Simmons. They constitute one of the finest modern samples of quack advertising and publicity indulged in by the unscrupulous bosses of organized medicine with the sanction of its dual and perverted "ethics," Charges of false and misleading advertising were filed with the Federal Trade Commission. Later advertising was changed.

If the balance of the medical profession resorted to such medicine show advertising and rose to such heights of quackery as characterizes their bosses, they also might succeed in levying as high a toll on public credulity as do these "highest paid medical men of our day." This advertising is exceptional in that it clearly states the ideals of its subjects.


The volume is replete with advice that is sometimes absurdly wrong and is sometimes dangerously false. Skimming through the volume, a few of the false passages were culled for citation.

On page 718, the "authorities" state:

"Sometimes the pain (of earache) may be relieved in the early stages by dropping into the ear some warm eardrops, usually composed of glycerine with a small percent of phenol."

Few intelligent physicians fail to realize how fruitless and dangerous is the use of these drops in the ear. They cause a congestion of the eardrum which may serve to aggravate the inflammation present. If there is no inflammation present at the start these drops may induce inflammation and reduce the resistance of the tissues. The congestion caused by the drops serves to deceive and confuse the physician regarding the status of the ear, and therefore often results in needless surgery. Any competent physician knows enough to condemn the practice recommended to the public by these merchant "authorities."

On the same page, Fishbein and his "authorities" cast to the swine public a gem of wisdom: they recommend incision of the eardrum for relief of mastoiditis. Persons who know anything about the subject realize that by the time relief is sought for mastoiditis the eardrum generally has been incised or destroyed; that incision of the eardrum merely drains the middle ear and does not suffice to drain the mastoid abscess. But medical "authorities" need not know the elements of medicine; politics alone serves to carve out career and reputation.

On page 313, Fishbein sings the praises of oily nose drops with unparalleled wisdom:

"For years camphor-menthol solutions and preparations of oil, camphor, menthol and eucalyptol have been used to give relief in nasal irritation. Tne actual worth of such preparations in curing the cold is doubtful. Their value in securing comfort is considerable."

One of the most significant "comforts" of such oily preparations, especially in infants, has been widely publicized by the Health Commissioner of New York City, Dr. John L. Rice, who pretends to be no authority on the diseases of the nose. He warned the public of the fact that every practitioner knows—that such mineral oil preparations may cause lung abscesses and serious disease. But Morris Fishbein—eminent specialist in disease of men, women and children, in diseases of eye and toes, ears and anus, mind and bladder—in his profound wisdom does not sanction such consequences of "comforting oily nose drops," Fishbein entertains a high opinion of things "oily," and our infants will have to regard the lung abscesses given them on his advice as "comforts."

There is no end of gems of medical "wisdom" and misinformation in the volume. Turning to page 743, one finds, in a disquisition on syphilis, the following epigram:

"One of the difficult things about syphilis is that to cure it often requires a long time—two years or more."

Professor Henry H. Hazen truthfully and optimistically states with regard to "cures" in syphilis:

"The criteria of cure are most unsatisfactory. Not until more cases have been followed for years shall we know exactly what has been accomplished. Relapses have been reported after the patient has been clinically and serologically negative for eight or ten years."

The consensus of those who know and tell the truth is that there does not yet exist any method of "cure" or even a reliable criterion for the judgment of "cures" in syphilis.


Fishbein's "Modern Home Medical Adviser" serves as a perfect illustration of the true function of the American Medical Association and of its rackets, including its publicity racket. It is a profitable enterprise for its bosses' ring and a business-getter for their henchmen, medicine's politically designated "authorities." This function of the American Medical Association and its monopolistic and coercive nature is clearly stated in the opening chapters of this invaluable "Adviser." It states:

"Before a physician may join the A.M.A. he must be a member of the county and state medical societies, and he must be a member of all these societies before he may join any 'recognized* specialty societies."

". . . Membership in a medical society is not an absolute guarantee of honesty or of good faith (of a physician) . . but

"A patient is much better off with a doctor who belongs to a recognized medical society."

By this time the reader has learned enough to appreciate the advantages of keeping out of the hands of the nit-wits who bow to the racketeering of medical organization; also that a good use for the Modern Home Medical Adviser is building fires or baser employ.

Announcing Dr. Morris Fishbein's employment by it as a syndicated writer, King Features Syndicate, Inc, stated in a full page advertisement in Editor and Publisher of March 23, 1940:


Censorship of the Press

The American Medical Association and organized social service, with the New York Academy of Medicine and other allies, exert an absolute censorship over the publication in lay and popular channels of all news which affects their interests.

Protestations of news syndicates, newspapers, and magazines to the American Medical Association of their complete submissiveness to its censorship are regularly published in the Journal of the A.M.A. A typical one, from the United Press, received comment in the editorial columns of the Journal of January 20, 1940:


Only those closely associated with modern trends in publication are familiar with the vast improvement that has been taking place relative to the publication of news of scientific advances. A bulletin recently issued by the United Press to its bureau managers and division managers is worthy of quotation. It reads:

"It seems advisable to restate our traditional policy concerning handling stories of 'cures' or other medical developments.

"This policy, which dates back more than twenty years, is never to call anything a cure, or in fact give any publicity to any remedy of any description, without a thorough investigation.

"This rule is now being strengthened by the following:

"Under no circumstances put any story on the leased wire about a remedy. If the bureau manager is convinced that the story has merit, he should overhead it to New York for investigation and consideration there."

Thus, under the guise of "protecting the public" a complete censorship of scientific and medical news is given by the U.P. to the New York medical clique. The New York newspapers, especially the Times, likewise submits to censorship at the hands of this group, as do many other newspapers and magazines.


Such control of the lay press of a character as thorough as that exercised over the medical press, was absolutely essential for the success of the rackets founded by "Doc" Simmons. Power of censorship over the reader columns insures control of the announcement of medical discoveries and other creditable news. It enables the theft of valuable ideas and discoveries and also making and breaking of medical reputations. Thus it forces the medical procession into tribute and allegiance. The control of the advertising columns of the press spells power of life and death over the medical and drug industries and the financial success of the A.M.A. "testimonial racket."

The story of the establishment of this censorship is one of blunder, stupidity, intrigue and politics that is characteristic of the entire history of the A.M.A. By their rule of ethics that enjoined doctors from speaking for publication for the lay press Simmons and his clique made it difficult for the press to obtain information on medical topics except from quacks, sub-rosa channels, or from influential medical politicians. The code made the work of editors and reporters extremely difficult and created high antagonism among them against the medical profession.


Advantage was taken of the arrogant stupidity of the medical bosses by organized social service to gain a part in the control and censorship of medical news which they still retain and which has served them well in securing unlimited support for their questionable activities. In cahoots with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, the New York Tuberculosis and Health Association set up the Medical Information Bureau, under the direction of Dr. Iago Galdston. They succeeded in imposing this censorship and business-building agency on the New York Academy of Medicine and on the New York County Medical Society.


In the meantime Dr. Morris Fishbein, who had become boss of the A.M.A. and editor of its Journal, undertook to combat the host of enemies and rivals of the medical fraternity in books addressed to laymen on quacks and fads. It is interesting to note that none of the fads and quackery of the A.M.A. or its bosses was exposed in these books. This started Fishbein and the Association in the field of popular publication. The magazine Hygeia followed. Eventually, as has been related, Fishbein developed a very profitable business as a privileged medical columnist and lay magazine contributor who was protected in his somewhat monopolistic activities by "medical ethics." Lately Fishbein has also "gone into the movies" and become editor and censor of motion pictures. The development of medical propaganda in the movies is illustrated by such movies as the "Dr. Kildare" series and the "Magic Bullet."

The attainment of complete censorship and control of medical news was a bit complicated by personal ambition of Morris Fishbein. Only such loyal A.M.A. henchmen as Dr. Irving S. Cutter of the Daily News were safe from them. The situation was further complicated by the competitive censorship of the Medical Information Bureau.


Between 1925 and 1935 science and medical reporting had reached a high state of development. Most of the news syndicates, and some newspapers and magazines, had learned to appreciate the news value of science. Science editors were then alert newspapermen who realized that their value to the public and to their employers depended on the dissemination of fresh news of medical and scientific discovery without bias, and they made a good job of it.

Their columns were often the first to apprise scientists and physicians of advances in their respective fields. Important and life-saving medical discoveries were often announced by them years before any mention in the politically dominated journals of the A.M.A. In some cases important discoveries were announced in the newspapers that for personal and political reasons were suppressed entirely in the A.M.A. and other medical journals. Readers formed the habit of buying several publications in order to read the diverse reports on scientific topics.


Freedom of the lay press in medical matters was a grave menace to the medical and social service rackets. It threatened their monopolistic plots and plans and endangered their illicit enterprises. It was essential for them that the freedom of the press in matters pertaining to medicine should be suppressed.

For this purpose letter-writing lobbies of henchmen and "authorities" were maintained which bombarded the editors and proprietors of newspapers and magazines with letters lauding the news that the group desired published and condemning the news that they wished suppressed. Always it was represented by the letter writers that their sole interest was to protect the public who were so dear to them. Many of the letters were forged in the names of pretended patients that represented that they had suffered injury and abuse at the hands of the physician whose work the lobby sought to suppress. These letter lobbies made the editors quite fearful of their jobs. The medical organizations also sought to dictate what should be published by placing restrictions and obstructions in the way of the editors in securing medical news. In self defense the National Association of Science Writers was formed.


Then began a process of wooing of the press by the A.M.A. and the New York Academy of Medicine cliques. Fishbein and Galdston sought and obtained jobs as syndicated columnists and editors, the former on the N.E.A. serving the Scripps-Howard papers and the latter on the Associated Press. This made them in effect censors of medical news issued by these syndicates.

In the meantime both the social service and medical cliques began to wine, dine, adulate, decorate and bestow medals on the science writers and their Association. The New York Academy of Medicine, the New York County Medical Society, the American Society for the Control of Cancer, the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and many others, wooed with tinsel and with flesh-and honey-pots.


On October 30, 1937, the Trustees of the American Medical Association played host to the National Association of Science Writers . . .

"in a special conference at which representatives of organized medicine in America, medical columnists and science reporters exchanged news on ways and means to keep the public informed of progress in medical science."

The hosts took great pains to explain that their sole concern, forsooth, was the protection of public welfare. For this purpose the guests were asked to accept censorship and muzzling by the hosts.

The science writers replied with a cynicism bred of many years of contact with corrupt, dishonest and racketeering representatives of organized medicine and social service. William Lawrence of the New York Times pointed out the saving of human lives which resulted from the dissemination of news of medical discoveries through the press far earlier and more rapidly than the A.M.A. chose to permit in its own publications.

He might have pointed out to his hosts that the A.M.A., had been responsible for delaying for many years the dissemination of information regarding the life-saving properties of sulfanilamide; and also for the "endangering of human lives and . . . causing avoidable deaths," maiming and misery as in the case of dinitrophenol.


He might have pointed out that these acts against the health and lives of the public are generally deliberately perpetrated for motives of profit. Retarding their dissemination permits medical bosses to selectively profit from medical discoveries by making available to themselves alone information and drugs which are withheld from the profession at large. In this manner they are enabled to turn new discoveries into private, secret remedies of the type they pretend to condemn, and to convert them to the enhancement ot their reputations and fortunes.

Also the suppression or delay of publication of medical discoveries serves to protect the reputations of medical bosses and politicians, so-called "authorities", and to uphold their pretense of omniscience. Quite frequently it enables the theft of credit for medical discoveries. Increasingly it is becoming the vogue now for officers and laymen executives of philanthropies and Organized Social Service to steal the credit for medical discoveries made by others.


The corrupt, dishonest and dangerous situation which the proposed censorship would create was eloquently portrayed by Watson Davis, editor of the Science Service as follows:

"Just as the treatment of a patient is left to the experience and judgment of the physician within the wide limits of legal statutes and medical ethics, so the writing of medical science cannot be restricted by rules and regulations other than the experience, judgment and morality of the reporter and publisher, controlled by the laws of libel and the first amendment of the Constitution.

"Suppress by force of a censorship the possibility of publishing even the most unsocial and heretical medical opinion and you have injected into the body politic the cultures of a vile disease—the intolerance that leads to dictatorship. I believe that this attitude must be maintained even though the psychiatrist and psychologist will agree that thoughts, motives and ideals can be damaged by poisonous ideas as fatally as bodies can be made ill by chemicals and bacteria.

"Opinion both public and professional, rather than law or clique censorship, must police the popularization of medicine. The incompetents, the sly distorters, gold-poisoned pens that serve other than the public through the press, must, and, I am confident, will be eliminated by the general recognition of their misdeeds. Wholesome public controversy should illumine honest differences of judgment in science reporting. But I would rather see a return to the inglorious days of careless, misunderstanding reporting of science than see a secret or open censorship imposed directly or indirectly upon the press. . . .

". . . it is of public concern if dominant views within any scientific group tend to suppress minority or unconventional opinions."


More important truths have never been uttered in a spirit of humbug and sham. Within less than one year after this pretty speech, Watson Davis, his Science Service and the National Association of Science Writers had completely submitted to the dictation and censorship of the rackets of organized medicine all medical news. Thanks to the censorship, medical news became entirely secondary to propaganda and publicity for the 57 different varieties of medical and social service rackets. The press succumbed to the blandishments of the numerous pressure groups, of medical specialty organizations set up for the sole purpose of gaining the spotlight of the news for their bosses and of their "public relations counsels." Even editor Henry R. Luce and sub-editor Frank Norris of Time have succumbed to his blandishments, Fishbein has intimated in his "Sedatives and Tonics."


Now that medical news has assumed for the press and its editors the complexion of publicity and propaganda primarily, it has become the vogue of prominent hospitals and clinics and their physicians and surgeons to employ publicity agents, Fishbein acknowledges and justifies this in his "Fads and Quackery in Healing" (p. 337) as follows:

"A great clinic, if properly organized, must have its publicity department . . . In this way, the name of any clinic may be brought prominently to the people. I say 'may-be'; perhaps I should say 'has-been.'"

He explains that representatives of clinics must appear at medical meetings; read papers; broadcast their work by motion pictures; have their "leaders" give interviews containing "statements sufficiently fantastic to catch the front page and sufficiently scientific to avoid too great condemnation by medical colleagues"; and exploit discoveries of "research workers who are working contentedly in their cubbyholes." Characteristically, he does not discern the contradiction between these publicity activities and the A.M.A.'s "code of ethics" which enjoins

"It is unprofessional to procure patients by indirection . . . or by indirect advertisement or by furnishing or inspiring newspapers and magazine comments. . .


The function of the public relations counsel is to purchase from the editors of publications the issuance of news stories for their employers. Though direct purchase is regarded as crude and "unethical," hypocrisy and elastic conscience have made indirect purchase by gift or favor, combined where necessary with advertising pressure, "accepted practise." This hypocritical "ethics" makes it possible for the public relations counsel and publicity men to charge exorbitant fees for their services. Thus one of their number who specializes in social service publicity and advertises the list of his clientele, including the Federal Government, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Welfare Council of New York City and the National Association for the Prevention of Blindness, circularizes prospective clientele with a fee list. He sells his talents and the news columns which they command at twenty-five dollars a phone call, forty dollars an hour, one hundred and fifty dollars a day, five hundred dollars a week, and twenty-five thousand a year. A large part of the funds of the medical and social service rackets are now expended in payment of these procurers and panders of the printed word.

Newspapers and magazines have become largely perverted to publicity and propaganda media. No longer is news defined in terms of "man bite dog." It is evaluated in terms of "who is the publicity man and how liberal is he?" Much to the convenience of the propagandists, newspaper syndicates have made it possible to pervert and poison the news of whole chains of newspapers and periodicals. The news empires of the Hearsts and the Munseys have been swallowed by the empires of the Rockefellers, and the Associated Press has moved its offices, as have the Times-Fortune-Life group, into Rockefeller's Radio City. The Dally News and the Chicago Tribune are owned by their kin.


The National Association of Science Writers has followed the trend. To justify the defection from the ideals which they have professed and as a balm to their consciences, they have adopted another of the hypocritic "ethical" codes affected by professions that pretend to hold themselves aloof from commercial practices. The principal tenets and dialectics of the code are those which justify the acceptance of censorship by vested medical and scientific interests. It runs as follows:

"Science editors are incapable of judging the facts of phenomena involved in medical and scientific discovery. Therefore they only report discoveries approved by medical 'authorities' of rank, like Fishbein, or those presented before a body of scientific peers.

The speciousness of this "ethics" is obvious. If they are incapable of judging facts and phenomena, science editors are unfitted for their tasks either as scientists or as newsmen. As a matter of fact the shoe is on the other foot. These editors' heads have been turned by Pulitzer and other prizes and by the adulation of those who seek publicity. They have come to fancy themselves as great scientists and prospective directors and dictators in the field of science, and to regard themselves as of higher importance than any mere scientific worker. They seem to have forgotten to be newsmen and fail to realize that if they confine themselves to reporting facts known to the medical authorities, what they report will be neither news nor discovery. Or if they refuse to report anything that has not been presented before a scientific body, they accept the control and censorship with which the bosses of organized medicine protect their business by barring the presentation of any discoveries except those which they make or steal. Such second-hand reports of medical discovery are not news but are advertising and publicity.

One can scarcely imagine a reporter of the past waiting until an item was known to every one before publishing it. But this seems to be the concept of news of science reporters and of the New York Times.


Watson Davis, in his talk at the A.M.A. lovefest, made it clear that the editors were acutely aware of the dangers of suppression of medical discovery by the indirect form of censorship that they now accept. Evidently the rewards of their actions have had blunting effects on conscience. For all the direst predictions of the consequences of such censorship have come true; but the members of the N.A.S.W. have showed no signs of repentance or reform.

On the contrary the same type of censorship has been extended to organizations that formerly were forums for free discussion of science such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and to their publications such as Science and Nature. They now submit publications of discoveries pertaining to medicine to censorship by organized medicine, leaving no medium free for the publication of any medical topic that merchant bosses of medicine seek to suppress to protect their interests.


Most of the science writers are salaried workingmen who have imbibed deeply the Bismarxian propaganda. They are confirmed "liberals," Thus John O'Neill, science editor of the Herald Tribune stated before the Fifth Estate Club that one of his criteria for the censorship of scientific discoveries is the "profit motive," Since every discovery redounds to the credit and benefit of someone, this censorship works in this manner: It the discovery may increase the practice of an independent physician of no medical-political influence, it is denied publication; but if it fills the pocketbook of an influential medical politician or institution it is insistently touted and broadcasted.


The rewards of conformity of science writers are many. For their upholding freedom of speech in science, before the institution of the present policy of censorship, I praised a group of them in my book, "Glaucoma and Its Medical Treatment With Cortin", in 1937. Shortly thereafter the same men were awarded, for their reporting of the Harvard Tri-Centennial, a Pulitzer Prize. In 1938, the National Association of Science Writers was given by the American Society for the Control of Cancer, the Clement Cleveland medal "for outstanding work in the control of cancer." To Howard Blakeslee, science editor of the Associated Press, was awarded in January 1940 by the American College Publicity Association, the Wilson L. Fairbanks award, as "the individual who has done most for the interpretation of higher education to the general public."

Now that censorship has become the order of the day, the flow of honors and awards from those who seek publicity is rising. Many science editors are not men who seek out news of science for publication. They are men who are wooed with press releases in one hand and an award or stick of candy in the other. And they seem to like the candy and fall for it.

Not all the awards take the form of empty honors. The rewards of orthodoxy in a science editor may be a fortune. One of them has risen to high rank in a large industrial concern where he handles science publicity and propaganda and the company's relations with the N.A.S.W. at a reputed salary of twenty-five thousand dollars a year. Such stories fire ambitions.

Two contrasting recent incidents illustrate aptly the injuries which result from the prostituted control of the publication of medical news:


On the sixth of May 1938 the New York Times carried a dispatch labelled "Special to the New York Times" from the meeting of the American Otological Society in Atlantic City. The headline read: "'Hearing window found aid to deaf." It related that Dr. Samuel J. Kopetzky had reported to the Society on an ear operation for the relief of progressive deafness. The operation was not new, but was merely a modification of one described a number of years prior by a French professor, Dr. Sourdille.

Though the operation involves risks to health and life, it gives results that are not as good as I had reported in a paper read before the Acoustical Society of America, in 1933, can be obtained from the simple and easy procedure of incision or excision of the eardrum. All these procedures have only a transient influence on the progress of the deafness.

In spite of the moot value of the operation the Times published the story. No censorship prevailed. Dr. S.J. Kopetzky is Chairman of the Publicity Committee of the New York County Medical Society. Owing to the failure of verification of the data presented by the parties involved, the American Otological Society refused to publish his paper. Dr, Kopetzky sensed the full significance of their action, felt compelled to resign. Operations are always favored by organized medicine, however, as quick sources of income. In spite of the question raised regarding the veracity of the sponsors of the operation, it was vigorously boosted at a meeting of the New York Academy of Medicine in March 1940. This was the beginning of the ruthless exploitation of the Lempert Fenestration (or Window) Operation that has caused so much maiming, misery and total loss of hearing in the deafened. Further details are given in the Appendix.


Contrasting sharply with this over-eager advertising and publicizing of a grave operation of highly questionable value, is the treatment accorded many vital discoveries. This was once again illustrated by the treatment recently given a fundamental medical discovery—a new and successful method of treatment of a group of diseases of the muscle-nerve apparatus with Vitamin E.

On the twenty-third of June 1939 I presented before the Essex County Optometric Society a report of successful treatment with Vitamin E of a series of cases of a group of diseases including myasthenia gravis and progressive muscular dystrophy, which had been regarded until then as hopeless disorders. Brief mention was made of the discovery in the Newark newspapers but all reference to it was suppressed in the national press by the medical censors of the syndicate releases. Though the optometric journals carried reports of the discovery, publication of it was rejected by medical journals for the usual reasons of medical politics.

The life-saving action of Vitamin E had not yet been extended to the victims of the disease by the profession in even such institutions as the Mayo Clinic almost a year later. For doctors are too bigoted to learn from lay publications, and A.M.A. and other medical journals refused to publish my lifesaving discovery. I determined to attempt to give the victims of the disease its benefit by securing its publication in scientific journals which publish items of medical science. Late in 1939 I submitted to Science, the official magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science of which I am a Fellow and to Nature, the British scientific magazine, the following brief report.


"The influence of vitamin E on muscular dystrophy in animals lias been reported by a number of observers. This is a report of successful therapy of myasthenia gravis and muscular dystrophy in the human with wheat germ oil and vitamin E in combination with other therapy.

"In early myasthenia gravis ranging in duration from one to five years, I have had consistent success in cases that have failed to respond to other forms of treatment with a therapy consisting of balanced dosage of ephedrine and suprarenal cortex hormone, glycocoll, gelatine, high sodium chloride and a diet rich in vitamins A, B, C and G. Complete relief of the pareses of muscles of the eyes, face and body was obtained. The results are lasting and contrast sharply with the ephemeral results obtained with prostigmine.

"In more advanced cases that show marked muscle changes, no success followed this therapy until wheat germ oil, vitamin E or a-tocopherol were added. It was then learned that materially greater improvement could be obtained also in the early cases by the addition of those substances.

"A study of the creatine output in the urine revealed that these cases snow a relatively high loss, which rises with the administration of glycocoll. I was able to confirm observations previously made on the effect of a-tocopherol in raising the renal threshold of creatine and reducing its loss from the body in the urine.

"The influence of the various forms of vitamin E on the muscles is readily explainable on the basis of the importance of creatine and its compounds in muscular activity. The response of the early cases of myasthenia gravis to the therapy without vitamin E is due to the fact that the threshold is not sufficiently lowered to deplete the muscles of the creatine provided by the glycocoll and the diet. When the threshold drops to a point so low that insufficient creatine is retained for muscular activity extreme forms of the disease develop.

"The response of both myasthenia gravis and muscular dystrophy to the therapy indicates that they are different stages of the same condition. It also appears probable that the role of the vitamin in preserving fertility may depend on its influence on the muscular factors involved in the procreative function. The vitamin also plays an important role in the function of heart muscle and in the prevention of myocardial disease.

"An increase of the diseases due to vitamin E deficiency in the diet is a natural consequence of its elimination from the diet as a result of the denaturing of foods. It is probable that there exists a wide array of subclinical conditions characterized by modern degrees of muscular weakness and fatigue as a consequence of this deficiency.

"Serious consideration should be given to restoring to universal use in the diet sources rich in vitamin E, such as freshly ground and unprocessed grains, in the interest of preserving both vigor and fertility of the race.

"E. M. Josephson, M.D.

Nature indicated medical censorship by rejecting the report with the suggestion that it "would appear more appropriately in a medical journal." Dr. J. McKeen Cattell, editor of Science, returned the report with the statement that it had been rejected by a referee, the American Medical Association censor that passes on all articles pertaining to medicine that are submitted for publication. The referee was reported by him to have characterized this succinct report of an important discovery, based on several years of study and a wealth of clinical material, as

"An uncritical, uncontrolled clinical study with a number of speculative statements and therefore not suited to Science."


The questionable judgment or sincerity of referee and editor is made clear by the fact that within one week after the long delayed rejection of the report, its contents were fully confirmed by an article by Dr. Franklin Bicknell, which appeared in Lancet. Science (and Watson Davis' Science Service) carried a full length report of the work of Dr. Bicknell a few weeks after it had rejected my paper. In this manner does the Holy Office of the Inquisition of medical science operate. It confirms the ugliest predictions made by Watson Davis. It is a measure of the corruption, chicanery and medievalism which has crept into science.

On further study of myasthenia gravis I found that vitamin E is effective in treating the disease up to the most advanced stage. In the final stage of the disease, the mineral, manganese must be administered in combination with the vitamin E. The tumor of the thymus gland, thymoma, which frequently develops in the advanced stage of the disease and may be fatal in its consequences, clears up completely under the action of the manganese, as does the rest of the disease process. When manganese treatment is stopped, the thymoma and the other signs and symptoms of myasthenia gravis, return and the patient suffers a relapse which again clears up when manganese treatment is resumed.

The influence of the dietary treatment with manganese on the tumor of the thymus gland led me to study the influence of manganese on other enlargements of the thymus gland, such as those which occur in certain infants and children, and in status lymphaticus that threatens life. These enlargements respond to the administration of manganese and clear up completely so long as the patients get enough manganese. When the amount of manganese which they get becomes insufficient, the enlargement returns.

These studies have opened up a fundamental and important new chapter in medicine. They reveal that the thymus has much the same relation to the utilization of manganese as the thyroid has to iodine.

Despite the life-saving and scientific importance of this discovery, it was rejected for publication by the leading medical publications, including the Journal of the A.M.A., the Endocrinology and others, on the grounds that "it would not be of interest to our readers."

Science does not stop, however, with the politically dictated suppression of publication of reports of scientific discovery. It also suppresses advertisements of scientific books which the American Medical Association seeks to repress. It is amusing to consider that the perpetrator of this breach of freedom of speech and publication is none other than the professor who was ousted from Columbia University with his son because of the latter's insistence on freedom of speech in encouraging resistance to draft during the World War; and who was enabled to publish Science by the support of friends, gained by a plea for freedom of speech in science.

Another of numerous such incidents was the deliberate discrediting by organized medicine of the masterful work of Professor Swingle of Princeton University in which he and collaborators proved that deficiency of the adrenal cortex underlies surgical shock. Almost a decade later, March 12, 1940, widespread publicity was given to the "discovery" of this fact by Dr. David Perla of the Montefiore Hospital, by organized medicine. A partial explanation of the situation may be found in the fact that Swingle used his own American preparation of the hormone while the Perla experiments publicized the product patented by the Rockefeller-German Dye Trust interests. As so often happens when organized medicine seeks profit or revenge, Swingle the discoverer was discredited, and credit for the discovery has been given to an imitator or corroborator. To what extremes this vindictive suppression of scientific work is carried is illustrated by the fact that in the bibliography of the subject included in the advertising matter of the Schering Co. based on this use of adrenal cortex hormone, no mention is made of Swingle's basic work. The content of such advertising literature is censored by the A.M.A. Council.

These incidents illustrate the "principle" which enters censorship of medical publication, show how it is used by medical politicians to cover themselves with glory with the work of others, demonstrate the possibilities which it offers for the theft of medical discoveries, and portray the injury done thereby to the public.


The control of advertising columns of the lay press is of utmost importance to the A.M.A. for the success of its testimonial and other rackets. This "zone of influence" is left for the present entirely to the A.M.A. gang by the Social Service Racket. The strangle hold of the A.M.A. on the drug trade has been intensified by its success in imposing a censorship of medical advertising on a majority of the country's magazines and newspapers.

The censorship of advertising has been attained at an enormous cost to the publishers of newspapers and magazines. For in the hey-day of journalism patent medicine advertising was one of the principal sources of their revenue. Some of the advertising was absurd and quackish. But much of it was less damaging to the health and interests of the public than are some of the advertisements that regularly appear in the journals of the American Medical Association and under its "seal of acceptance."

The tactics that were employed by the A.M.A. to gain this censorship were varied. They brought into play the full measure of unscrupulousness, shrewdness, chicanery and other less honorable aptitudes of the gang. The situation serves to expose the Fourth Estate, the proprietors and editors of the lay publications, as naive babes-in-the woods as compared with their "benevolent" adversaries of the "testimonial rackets."

The first bait laid for the lay publishers was "reliable" medical news of the A.M.A. brand. Their sympathies were played upon by pathetic tales of how readers were preyed upon by hobgoblin manufactures of pharmaceuticals who had not purchased the testimonials of the A.M.A. The publishers were bombarded with letters of victims or pretended victims of the products under A.M.A. fire, as a part of the campaign to gain the censorship which was sought. Naturally, the victims of "accepted" products which have the seal of the Association were discreetly left out of the picture.


Federal agencies have been consistently used by the American Medical Association as catspaws and pawns in their commercial censorship war. There is no question, for instance, of what one would find if one traced the source of the recent complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission against the advertising and the Institute of Good Housekeeping Magazine. Well paid articles by Morris Fishbein since then have graced the Hearst magazines, and the A.M.A. and its subsidiaries are emerging as censors of the Hearst newspapers, as is made clear by the illustrated letter from the New York Journal and American. On April Fool's Day, 1940, Fishbein attained a goal for which he had striven for several years, since he had broken off with the N.E.A.—he began his career of columnist for Hearst's King Features Syndicate under the headline "Medicine In The News."

The Federal Trade Commission and other governmental agencies are singularly deaf to any complaints lodged against false and misleading advertisements and publications of the American Medical Association and its bosses. Thus several complaints were lodged with the F.T.C. against the fraudulent and quackish advertising and the dangerously misleading text of Dr. Morris Fishbein's Modern Home Medical Adviser. They fell on deaf ears Complaints lodged against the A.M.A. and its Journal for false and misleading advertising, monopoly in restraint of trade and other illegal practises were investigated and confirmed by a Congressional Committee of the 72nd Congress. But so great is the influence of the A.M.A. that, as has been related, it has never been prosecuted. When under investigation the A.M.A. poses as a "benevolent" and "educational" organization and makes no mention of its rich commercial and racketeering activities.

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This concerns the advertisement of a book entitled "Glaucoma and Its Medical Treatment with Cortin" which described popularly an important sight-saving discovery, I had published it as part of a crusade to prevent needless blinding by the disease and by the operations which are the "accepted practise." The bosses of the ophthalmologic specialty objected to the book because it threatened their income from blinding glaucoma operations and established a censorship on the subject and conspired to prevent dissemination of the method of treatment and advertisement of the book. The New York Journal and American refused to publish the advertisement on the advice of the Society. From the point of view of the publisher of the book, this constitutes conspiracy in restraint of trade. It also illustrates the corruption by some publications of "freedom of press and publication" and the suppression of the rights of others. The book threatened the incomes of the ophthalmologists who specialized in blinding glaucoma operations. The censorship of a book that described a successful non-operative method of treatment and the conspiracy to prevent its dissemination were a natural policy.

[Imprimateur] from Your Life is Their Toy by Emanuel Josephson

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The devices that are effectively used by the A.M.A. in its war for control of the nation's press are recounted in the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, in the case of Raladam Company vs. the Federal Trade Commission, handed down June 28, 1930. It reads:

"The record here shows, without dispute or by implication which would hardly be denied, that the American Medical Association is engaged in a campaign against those proprietary remedies which it believes ought to be used by the public either not at all or only under supervision.

"It has a Bureau for that and other purposes, and the Bureau employs a director. When it is thought that a particular advertisement should be stopped, this director takes the matter up with the Federal Trade Commission and with the Association of Better Business Bureaus, which are scattered over the country.

"Thereupon the Commission, if it approves, files a complaint and eventually, if it is convinced of the truth of its complaint, makes the order to desist and refrain. The Better Business Bureaus explain to their local newspapers and to the general periodicals that it would be wise to refuse this advertising.

"The Chairman of the Commission, in public addresses and in correspondence, advises the newspapers that they will be subject to prosecution by the Commission as defendants, to be joined with the advertisers, if they do not desist from such publications; and the newspapers may suspect that if they do not comply with the advice of the Better Business Bureaus, their general advertising patronage from the membership of these bureaus will fall off."


Another case that illustrates the methods of this malodorous alliance, is that of the Vitamin Products Co., one of the pioneer marketers of vitamins. Alert, progressive and far ahead of the times, the company distributes with its products literature that describes the clinical results that can be obtained with vitamins. Persons who inquired of the A.M.A. about the value of vitamins were falsely informed that vitamins have not been proved to have any clinical value and that the claims to that effect made by Vitamin Products Co. were unfounded.

Copies of these: letters were forwarded by the A.M.A. to the Better Business Bureau of Milwaukee. Firms with which the company sought to do business, on inquiring of the Better Business Bureau, were given this false and libelous data. Eventually the Vitamin Products Co. got wind of this libel and slander, and brought suit against the Bureau. The A.M.A., instead of standing by its ally, denied any knowledge of the matter.

The Better Business Bureau of Milwaukee has acknowledged its malefactions. Pending the fixing of the extent of the damages it has done to the business of Vitamin Product Company, the Bureau has undertaken to limit its liability by reorganizing—thus demonstrating one of the questionable methods of business which it is supposedly organized to combat.


This statement by the Court of how the F.T.C. acts as a pawn and subsidiary of the American Medical Association in the conduct of its rackets, explains how the latter has obtained its censorship of the press by officially supported intimidation. With this censorship the A.M.A. is dooming magazines and newspapers to death from lack of advertising revenue. As favored advertising media the A.M.A. journals, including the magazine Hygeia are waxing constantly richer on the revenues derived from a monopoly of medical advertising won by the racketeering methods described. Since the A.M.A. has not yet entered the radio advertising and broadcasting business on a serious scale, the broadcasting companies are still permitted to put on the air advertisements which have been barred in the newspapers, thus hastening the destruction of the press. It is hard to understand why publishers have not awakened to realize how they have been intimidated and duped by this A.M.A. racket.


The absurd and dangerous complexion of this censorship of medical advertising is revealed by the recent refusal of the New York Times to accept the advertisement of a popular book on the subject of glaucoma, "Glaucoma and Its Medical Treatment With Cortin," which was written as part of an educational campaign to prevent blindness. The advertisement was rejected because the A.M.A. objected for political reasons which will be related presently. Such a censorship as is exercised by the New York Times constitutes suppression of freedom of thought and speech, the danger of which is made apparent by the fact that most important and life-saving discoveries of the past have been refused recognition by organized medicine for many years.

Colonel Adler, who is in charge of the Times advertising staff, freely admitted to me that Pasteur's discoveries would have been denied similar advertisement until his views had become recognized by organized medicine. The Times could not plead even a desire to protect the public; for it had publicized the glaucoma discovery in an exact and authoritative manner that had angered and incensed the medical and social service bosses and their censors, before it reached its present state of complete submission to their dictates. In view of these facts the advertising campaign that the Times is carrying on in its columns with such slogans as "unbiased, complete and accurate" is as amusing as it is questionable.


This incident occurred at the very time that the publishers of the Times and of other newspapers were conducting a vigorous campaign for "freedom of the press," which they regarded as being threatened by the Child Labor Bill. But Col. Adler would not face the insincerity and inconsistency of the attitude of the Times in suppressing the freedom of the press of others while demanding it for themselves.

In this respect the Times follows the reaction pattern of the Communazi propagandists. Whenever their propaganda is scotched and checked they cry that "Civil Liberties" are being attacked. But the very basis of their own activities is the destruction of the Civil Liberties of others. Theirs is the infantile attitude: "I do. You no do." When their professional allies are ousted, as in the case of Bertrand Russell, they cry that "academic freedom" is being destroyed. But the very purpose of their own activities is to destroy the academic freedom of others and to force the acceptance of their propaganda and dogmas, or else—. Naturally, whatever they do is holy and in the interest of the "masses." As might be expected, the New York Times follows the party line and editorially supports the Bertrand Russell champions and their fellow "educator" agitators.



Though it is pretended that this censorship is being maintained for the benefit of the public, it is apparent that it serves only to injure them. For, as William Lawrence pointed out to his A.M.A. hosts, delay of publication and acceptance of medical discoveries means misery and suffering for the public. That is the true significance of censorship of medical news.

Testimonials for a Price


A highly lucrative phase of medical business is the drug industry. "Doc" Simmons fashioned the entire structure of the A.M.A. to the purpose of gaining a whip-hand over the profitable trade. The Journal of the A.M.A., the publication, publicity and advertising rackets, and the censorship of the press were all designed with an eye to it.


The device that served to gain the A.M.A. a direct control of the drug trade was the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry and its "Acceptance of Food and Drugs." Ostensibly it was set up for the purpose of investigating and certifying the quality of drugs to the medical profession and to the public. Its activities are virtually the issuance of super-testimonials for the manufacturers. Later other Councils were set up to pass on foods and other items.

By a series of maneuvers this testimonial business was converted into a strangle hold on the drug trade. The "code of ethics" was amended to bar physicians from issuing testimonials, so as to give the Council a complete monopoly of this business. Advertising in the columns of the A.M.A. Journals was barred to products which are not "accepted." Competitive medical journals were driven out of business and the pressure which the A.M.A. could put on drug manufacturers was tremendously increased.

Later the A.M.A. conspired with the publishers of lay newspapers and magazines to bar the advertising of any product that is not "accepted." (The Better Business Bureaus participated in this, serving the interests of the A.M.A.) It thereby established one of the few monopolies in restraint of trade which has not been molested during the past three decades. This laid the foundation for an immensely profitable racket. The bulk of the money which flows into the coffers of the A.M.A., or into the pockets of its bosses, is derived directly or indirectly from this illicit control over the drug industry.

The Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry is a blind behind which the bosses of the A.M.A. act. In its ranks there are some who are distinguished scientists and others who are not. But the members of the Council have little to say about its activities. This is made quite clear by the recent resignation from the Council of the eminent scientist and Nobel prizewinner, Dr. Henry H. Dale, which he indicated was an expression of indignation at the obvious unfairness of the actions of the Council and the A.M.A. Some scientists who lend their names to dignify the Council are merely its pawns.

The "reports of the Council" are generally merely the mouthings of the bosses of the A.M.A., of the editor of its Journal and his henchmen. From the very start, the distinguished scientist and teacher Dr. Frank G. Lydston undertook a courageous campaign of reform from within the A.M.A. In a booklet entitled "Why the A.M.A. Is Going Backward" he wrote as follows:

"The achievement of which the oligarchy of the A.M.A. has boasted most vociferously has been its belated war on proprietaries, quack medicine manufacturers and impure food producers.

"When one recalls the nauseous array of proprietary fakes on the advertisements of which the oligarchy built its financial prosperity, its 'holier than thou' pose is sickening.

"It was fitting to its psychic constitution that after the . . . A.M.A. has for years done its level best to promulgate the interests, and to fatten upon, fake manufacturers and professional poisoners of the innocent, it should bite the hand that fed it.

"Despotic powers such as the oligarchy wields over the drug and food manufacturers is dangerous, and human nature being what it is, that power might be expected sooner or later to be abused."

Professor Lydston was as wise as he was courageous. Subsequent events bear out fully how sage was his judgment of the character of the men who dominated the A.M.A. when he suspected that the reform which they pretended to adopt would merely be used by them as a cloak to cover more nefarious activities.


An amusing tale is told about the early days of the "acceptance" racket that amply supports Dr. Lydston's statements. Dr. W.C. Abbott, it is reported, became enraged at the rejection by the A.M.A. of all the products of his firm. It was threatening his ruin. Realizing that "Doc" Simmons really was the Council, Dr. Abbott sent an assistant of his to Lincoln, Nebraska, to dig up some information that might make the "Doc" more amenable to reason. The investigator brought to Abbott full evidence of all the malodorous activities of "Doc" Simmons. Dr. Abbott also secured affidavits regarding some operations performed by "Doc" Simmons in Chicago and confronted him with these data. Upon viewing it, Simmons is reported to have looked up and asked:

"What do you want?"

"I want all the products of my firm 'accepted'," Abbott is said to have replied.

It is a matter of record that the Abbott products were "accepted" by the A.M.A. thereafter.

The history of the A.M.A.'s "Seal of Acceptance," is replete with betrayals of professional and public trust. Drug products of the highest value have been rejected or their acceptance unwarrantedly delayed. Worthless, dangerous or deadly drugs and foods, have been hastily accepted. And sometimes the journals of the A.M.A. have all the more heavily advertised drugs that the Council has pronounced to be worthless.

Delayed "acceptance" or rejection of valuable drugs are responsible for much human misery and loss of life. Some such instances, which are illustrative of numerous others, will be recounted.


A most ludicrous demonstration of the pretended omniscience of the A.M.A. which assumes that what they do not know or do not believe, is not true, is the case of cod liver oil. Intelligent observation interpreted by common sense, had led many generations of plain folks to realize the value of cod liver oil as a medicine for the prevention and cure of rickets and of other conditions. "Scientific" medicine propounded by the "leaders" of medicine, who were so purblind in their dogmatic ignorance that they could not see the obvious, denied any value to the "quack nostrum," cod liver oil.

In the second decade of this century, however, some intrepid European physicians, daring to tread on unsanctioned ground, undertook to evaluate the folk remedy. Verification of the value of cod liver oil in medical treatment, brought derisive editorials and attacks upon this work from the "leaders" of the American Medical Association.

By 1920, there had been completely confirmed by ponderous, dull-witted researches what many a generation of housewives had known from plain observation and common sense interpretation. The A.M.A. politicos were forced to retreat by the sheer weight of evidence. Cod liver oil was grudgingly "accepted" by the Association and its "omniscient" Council and editor.

Until then, the A.M.A. had barred the advertisement of the product to its reader-physicians and had attacked its use vigorously as a "putrid oil of no greater value than any other fatty oil." Until then, the blind trust of the public and of its medical advisers in the reliability of the Association and its Council deprived a multitude of children who were under "regular" and "scientific" medical guidance, of the benefits of cod liver oil and its vitamins.

Few people can now fail to appreciate the falseness and absurdity of the actions of the A.M.A. and its Council which denied that cod liver oil had any medicinal value. Less readily appreciated by the public are the numerous similar actions by the Association which each year bar from advertisement and public use, invaluable and life-saving drugs.


Sulphanilamide was taboo to the American Medical Association journals and their medical readers for over two years after its unique value had been recognized and broadcast in the European medical journals. Failure of "acceptance" of the drug by the A.M.A. Council served to bar its advertisement in the U.S.; and in sharp contrast with other instances which will be mentioned shortly, no mention without "acceptance" was made.

As a consequence of this act, which is characteristic of the arbitrary and monopolistic control of medical publication and medical advertising by the American Medical Association and its editor, numerous victims of the deadly disease streptococcus septicemia, popularly known as "blood-poisoning" were left to die. They died as sacrifices to medical rackets because their physicians were prevented by the Association from timely access to knowledge of the value of sulphanilamide, which alone might have saved their lives.

After a member of the Roosevelt family was successfully treated with sulphanilamide by a physician sufficiently favored by the A.M.A. to be given the knowledge and use of the drug by its American distributor, the news and information about the drug was published in every newspaper in the country. In this manner, through the newspapers, the bulk of the medical profession first became acquainted with the drug, and thousands of victims of an almost hopelessly fatal disease were given a forlorn chance to live, that the A.M.A. acceptance and advertising racket had granted previously only to a chosen few.


This incident probably upset many calculations and possibilities of profit for the inner ring of the A.M.A. It also robbed Fishbein and his associates of the opportunity to bask in the spot-light of newspaper publicity. He recaptured the opportunity by immediately issuing exaggerated warnings of danger of the drug and by an attack on the drug firm that had made the product available to the American public.

Evidence of the value of sulphanilamide was voluminous. It piled up so rapidly that Fishbein lost face in his attacks on the drug and on the house which marketed it. The A.M.A. Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry found itself forced by honest publicity to promptly "accept" the product.

This incident rankled the powers-that-be of the A.M.A. deeply. In October 1937, there appeared on the market the preparation of a solution of sulphanilamide in an extremely poisonous solvent, diethylene glycol. It was announced absolutely untruly, by the United Press with which Fishbein was identified, that the poisonous product which caused numerous deaths was Prontolyn, the Winthrop & Company trade mark for sulphanilamide. This accusation was promptly retracted when the firm of Winthrop & Company protested its falsity; but the damage to the firm that was regarded as "kicking over the traces" and breaching testimonial and advertising discipline had been inflicted with a severity designed to discourage any other manufacturers from revolting.

Subsequently, every avenue of publicity was utilized by Fishbein to broadcast that the poisonous nature of the "elixir sulphanilamide" was attributed to the glycol solvent. He did not relate, however, that a more poisonous glycol solvent had been "accepted" by the Council and the A.M.A. and introduced into medicine with their sanction as a preservative and solvent in drug preparations intended for injection into the body ("New and Non-Official Remedies", 1935, p. 132, and 1937, p. 116). Nor did he relate that current issues of the A.M.A. journals were carrying advertisements stimulating the use of these glycol bearing products. Nor did he point out that since the A.M.A. and its Council had endorsed the introduction of the glycols in medical preparations, the deaths due to the glycol solvent in elixir sulphanilamide could be blamed partly on the A.M.A. and himself. This situation may have some bearing on the reason why the Food and Drug Administration whose duty it was to warn the public and to act in this crisis, permitted Fishbein to supersede it.

This is not an isolated or rare instance of the practice of the Association and its editor of brazenly pointing the finger of accusation at others for jeopardizing human life by a procedure or preparation which it has accepted. Another such case, radium drinking water, will be related.

For subsequent "good behavior" Winthrop & Company was prominently mentioned in the November 1939 United Press reports of the granting to Dr. Domagk of a Nobel prize for the discovery of the value of sulphanilamide. The dispatch stated that the doctor had received the prize for the discovery of Winthrop's trade-marked product "Prontosil."


Another illustration of the damage done by the A.M.A. to public interest and to a drug firm by ill-motivated "rejection" of a valuable drug is the case of Iodobor powder. Iodobor powder is a bland but powerful general antiseptic, which liberates gaseous iodine that penetrates deeply on contact with the tissues. Many times as strong as carbolic acid, it is neither irritating nor poisonous, and is one of the most efficient antiseptics and germicides available.

Iobodor powder was originally marketed for use in infections of the ear and of the mastoid cavity. These infections generally cause impairment of hearing or deafness, and not infrequently jeopardize life by extension to adjoining structures. Up to the time of the introduction of Iobodor powder, the only method of treatment which offered some hope of success was operation on the mastoid process. These operations generally involve a loss of hearing, result in death in five to ten percent of the cases; and in many cases they merely check the infection temporarily.

Iobodor powder offered the first uniformly and consistently successful method of treatment of these ear and mastoid infections. It not only clears up the infection but also restores hearing in most cases. It has come slowly into widespread use throughout the world, has saved numerous lives, and has restored the hearing of thousands of victims of ear infections.

The slowness of adoption of this Iobodor therapy of ear infections was due to the A.M.A., its Council, and politics. At the very outset, Iobodor powder was submitted to the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry for "acceptance" in order that it might be advertised to the medical profession. There was really no requirement, even on the part of the A.M.A. that this be done; for Iobodor consists of two standard antiseptics specified on the label, which have been long listed in the Pharmacopeia, mixed in a special manner. For such a product the rules of the Council provide automatic "acceptance" and access to advertising columns. The firm marketing the product sought acceptance, however, because it found its advertising flatly rejected.

When it rejected the product, the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry published a deliberately falsified and absurd "chemical analysis" of the sample submitted, which was designed to injure the firm marketing the product. A short time thereafter there appeared in the reading columns of the Journal of the A.M.A. an article extolling the virtues of a competitive product of identical composition which later was placed on the open market as a secret proprietary remedy violating all the rules of "ethical" marketing laid down by the Council and the Association.

Investigation revealed the reason for this discrimination. A doctor, who was pushing the competitive product, owned the trade-mark and patent jointly with his chemist brother-in-law, and had undertaken, through political and other influence, to obtain rejection of the honestly marketed product which had been submitted for "acceptance." He had also arranged to secure free advertising and publicity for his own product which he then had no desire to submit to the Council; for he meant to keep secret its patented formula and under its rules the Council might have been compelled to "reject" the product. As a result of these maneuvers, the honestly marketed Iodobor powder was barred from effective advertising. Its competitor, though it was a patent medicine and considerably the more expensive, was given the monopoly of the medical market.


Products that are proved dangerous or worthless are not necessarily rejected by the Council. Nor does the rejection of a product or its proved injuriousness bar its publicity and advertisement from the columns of the A.M.A. journals. On the contrary, many such products have been put into widespread use through the agency of the A.M.A.

In numerous instances foods and drugs "accepted" by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry and advertised extensively in the columns of the Journal of the A.M.A. are libeled and condemned by the Food and Drug Administration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as impure, mislabeled and dangerous to health and life. Thus the Council "accepted" and the Journal advertised, in 1935 and 1936, a heart stimulant bearing the trademarked name Digitol, at the very time the Government was seizing and condemning interstate shipments of the drug because of mislabeling and misrepresentation that was dangerous to life. Also Ergot Aseptic was "accepted" by the Council and advertised in the A.M.A. journals when shipments were being seized and condemned by the Government because of adulteration and misbranding.

The A.M.A. Committee on Foods, "accepted" the "White Star and Chicken of the Sea" brand of tuna fish, and carried its advertisements in its popular health magazine "Hygeia." To make certain that the reader would have no misapprehension concerning the significance of the seal of the Association, the advertisement contained the legend:

"A pure food, honestly advertised. The Seal of Acceptance of the Committee on Foods of the American Medical Association is your best guarantee that the claims of quality for any product are correct and that the advertising for it is truthful. Look for this seal on every food you buy. White Star Tuna and Chicken of the Sea Brand Tuna have this acceptance."

The Food and Drug Administration was not impressed by the magic of this seal. It repeatedly seized shipments of this brand of tuna fish and ordered them condemned because they

"consisted in whole or in part of decomposed animal substance."

Quite frequently drugs are unconditionally "accepted" by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry, and recommended as safe to the medical profession and the public through the pages of the A.M.A. journals, and through its advertising columns, though they are highly poisonous and so dangerous that within relatively few years the high number of deaths which they cause comes to be recognized by the rank and file of the medical profession and by the public, and their use discontinued. The derivatives of barbituric acid, sulphonal, veronal and other sedatives and hypnotics are instances which come readily to mind. They have caused numerous cases of poisoning, insanity and death. Cincophen, likewise "accepted," caused many deaths due to the destruction of the liver by acute yellow atrophy.

Brands of ether advertised in the columns of the Journal of the American Medical Association, have been libeled and condemned frequently by the Food and Drug Administration. These ethers cause many sudden deaths of patients under anesthesia. The deaths could be prevented if the A.M.A. would warn its members of the dangers of impure ether and apprize them of precautionary measures and methods of checking its quality and purity.

The Army uses such precautionary tests. On one occasion it rejected 30,000 of a shipment of 50,000 cans of ether because of dangerous impurities. According to the evidence before the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry of the U.S. Senate, in 1930, the 30,000 cans of Squibb's Ether rejected by the Army were returned and sold in the open market.

Instead of protecting its members and the public, it was testified, the A.M.A. continued to advertise these brands of ether in its journals and suppressed data regarding their danger.


Sometimes the very issues of the A.M.A. Journals that contain scientific evidence of the worthless or damaging nature of a product may also carry advertisements of it, incorporating claims that are belied by the articles. Though the A.M.A. censors demand of lay publishers that they sacrifice profits for the protection of their readers, they themselves eschew that policy.

In the issue of the Journal of the A.M.A. of July 9, 1932, is to be found a report by the Association's Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry on the lack of effectiveness of mercurochrome as an antiseptic. It details the falseness of the claims made in the advertisements of the product. Before this report appeared, mercurochrome had been advertised only occasionally in the Journal of the A.M.A. For some curious reason, the advertisements of mercurochrome in the Journal of the A.M.A. and in other magazines published by the Association, became larger, more frequent and intensive after the attack. And the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry has continued its "acceptance" and subsequently renewed it.


The reading columns of the journals of the Association and other avenues of publicity are often used to stimulate the use of products unacceptable or not "accepted" by the Council. Such a case is Fishbein's pushing of the poisonous "reducing" drug dinitrophenol which has proved so tragic for hundreds of thousands of persons.

Dinitrophenol's biologic properties first came to light in France during the war, in connection with its use as a solvent of "dope" for airplane wings. High fevers, loss of weight, neuritis and deaths were traced to its poisonous action. Much research and study were expended on the drug on the Continent in the twenties. As a result it was barred from sale by law in England and Sweden.

Nevertheless, in the early thirties, the Journal of the American Medical Association undertook to recommend to the medical profession the use of the poisonous dinitrophenol for reduction of obesity. It began with the publication of an article by Drs. Cutting, Mehrtens and Tainter in the Journal of the A.M.A. Not content to stimulate the use of this poison in the columns of his journals, Dr. Morris Fishbein furthered its use among the laity through that vast practice of medicine which he conducts through syndicated articles in newspapers.

Dr. Fishbein's campaign to stimulate the use of dinitrophenol was engineered with such skill and facility as to be the envy of the most disreputable and unscrupulous quacks. They hastened to follow his lead. The drug counters of the country were soon laden with "reducing remedies" made of this poison.

The manner in which the physicians who are so stupid as to place their trust in the contents of the Journal of the A.M.A. and its editor, were led to administer this poison to their patients is illustrated by the following item appearing in the column of queries to the editor in the June 29, 1935 issue of the Journal of the A.M.A. (p. 2385).

"Alpha dinitrophenol is probably no more risky in this (case of obesity) than in other cases."

In this manner the editor advised and recommended the use of dinitrophenol. No more misleading statement has ever appeared in the vilest type of patent medicine advertising.

In its poisonous action dinitrophenol is devastating. In collaboration with Dr. George Cameron, I have demonstrated that dinitrophenol not only poisons the taker, but may cause monstrosity formation such as absence of eyes and ears in his or her offspring. As a result of the use of dinitrophenol, brought about by Dr. Fishbein and his associates, many persons died, many thousands have been blinded, disabled and maimed, and future generations have been victimized.

In sharp contrast with their hyper-intensive publicity methods in the case of "elixir sulphamlamide," Dr. Fishbein and his A.M.A. made no drive to stop the use of dinitrophenol. On the contrary, they used all their power of control and censorship of the press to hush the matter. Pressure was brought to bear against resolutions introduced by me before scientific bodies petitioning the Federal Government to step in and bar the use of the drug.

As a consequence, dinitrophenol may still be sold over the drug counter in some states; and doctors who are slow in catching up with their medical reading still may prescribe it, on the basis of Fishbein's earlier advices. Many malpractice suits by the victims against their physicians arising out of poisoning by dinitrophenol are being settled out of court.

To protect the profession against further malpractise suits for poisoning from dinitrophenol, and to protect the insurance companies issuing malpractise policies, the usual device is being adopted. The literature is being filled with sly reports of experiments to "prove" that dinitrophenol is not poisonous and does not cause cataracts. Thus Dr. A. M. Yudkin has reported in the American Journal of Ophthahnology and the Archives of Ophthalmology; "Dinitrophenol given in large doses does not produce lenticular changes in animals, nor does it aid in the formation of cataracts." The reports are useful in confusing juries. For "experts" testify falsely on their basis that dinitrophenol does not cause cataracts.

It would be far more salutary if the instigators of this outrage were brought to account. But the American Medical Association has built up for itself such power and such reputation and odor of holiness and sanctity, that it can regard itself immune from legal prosecution.

During all the time that the columns of the Journal of the A.M.A. were stimulating intensively the use of dinitrophenol, never once was it hinted that there was any question about the acceptance of the product by the Council. Emphasizing the irony of the A.M.A. food and drug "acceptance," the Council announced its "rejection" of the drug after its use had been made widespread through its own agencies and by its boss, Fishbein. This belated rejection was poor consolation to the blinded victims of the poison.


The tale of Dr. Abbott which has been related illustrates one type of consideration which might motivate the "acceptance" of a product. A distinguished professor, scientist and retired dean of a College of Pharmacy, Dr. Henry H. Rusby, recounted to me the following tale which illustrates another type of quid pro quo, in the "acceptance" game.

President Joseph M. Flannery of the Standard Chemical Company of Pittsburgh, American producer of radium, summoned the doctor to an urgent conference in 1913. He was very much upset because the A.M.A. had refused to "accept" the American-produced radium products, and the claims made for them, in spite of the fact that Madame Curie had pronounced them to be fully up to standard. He despaired because a large investment was at stake and depended upon the "acceptance" of the Association.

"There can be no question about the quality of the product," he told the doctor. "I have tried to do everything possible to induce Dr. Simmons to grant us acceptance, without any success."

"Everything?" asked the doctor. "Is there not something that you have left undone?"

"But I would not dare to do that," said Mr. Flannery. "I would be afraid that I would be thrown out on my ear."

"Then do not say that you have tried everything," replied the doctor. After a few moments, the idea sank home, and with sudden resolve Mr. Flannery swore, "I'll be ______________ if I don't."

Two weeks later, the doctor again stopped off at Pittsburgh and found a jubilant Flannery. His product had been promptly approved and "accepted."

When the bosses of the Association were thus "induced" to accept the products of the firm they "went the whole hog." They accepted all the products. Included among the products thus accepted was a dilute solution of radium salts for internal consumption. This product, with the others was extensively advertised in the Journal of the A.M.A. and its use recommended to the medical profession.

This "accepted" radium drinking water has proved to be so highly poisonous and deadly that its use has been barred by law and by health authorities, after many deaths had occurred from its use. To cap the climax, Fishbein then editorially attacked the water, conveniently ignoring the fact that his A.M.A. Council had "accepted" it.


Steadily during the past three decades the monopolistic restraint of the American Medical Association over medical advertising to the profession and to the public has become more absolute. At the same time it also has become progressively less fair, less honest and more arbitrary in its attitude toward the manufacturer. This is illustrated by some of the grounds for rejection of products, the conditions for acceptance, and the actions taken.

The applicant for "acceptance" of a product must agree, in advance, that the Association will not be held legally liable for any damage sustained as a result of its actions. It is doubtful that such a stipulation barring redress would be ruled legal by the courts in case of tort or libel. But in case of legal contest, the manufacturer stands at so great a disadvantage with regard to medical and public opinion that even if he should win a lawsuit his financial losses would overshadow his gains.

The pharmaceutical manufacturers, like the rank and file of the medical profession, are deprived by the A.M.A. of their constitutional rights by this racket that does not trouble itself to stay within the skirts of the law in its coercion and restraint. Charges of monopoly in restraint of trade have been brought against the American Medical Association before a U.S. Senate Committee in 1930; and similar charges against Dr. Morris Fishbein and his Association were brought before the Federal Trade Commission in 1931. It is a tribute to the power exercised by the A.M.A. that these obviously true charges have come to naught.

Grounds for rejection arising from the character or quality of a drug preparation and from its lack of medicinal value are understandable. But the Association and the Council have fashioned additional arbitrary rules, of which the following are samples, for clubbing manufacturers and dominating their business:

1. The A.M.A. and its Council assume the right to dictate the name under which a drug preparation is marketed, and of arbitrarily ordering a change of name.

2. A drug product may be rejected no matter how valuable it may be, if it has been developed and marketed by a firm that has not submitted its other products for "acceptance," or if the Council has chosen to reject other of its products.

3. Drug firms may not use in their advertising or literature reference to the scientific work of any investigator who is not a member of the A.M.A. or approved by it; and everything must be submitted for censorship to the A.M.A. This rule is especially severely applied to prevent dissemination of knowledge of nonsurgical methods of treatment of conditions for which surgery has been made accepted practise.

The first rule serves the purpose of turning over the business of a firm to a competitor, or of forcing a firm to enormously increase its advertising expenditures.


An instance of arbitrary order of change of name of a product by the Council as a condition for "acceptance" and access to many of the advertising media of the country, is "Antiphlogistine." This product is a heat-retaining substance impregnated with counter-irritants. Its use is external; it has been in general use by the medical profession for a longer time than the American Medical Association has existed; and the results of its use have been uniformly satisfactory. Under these circumstances there would appear to be no reason why the firm should not be permitted to continue to serve the profession and the public.

The A.M.A. and its Council, however, demanded as a condition for "acceptance" that the name of the product be changed to "cataplasma kaolini." This would have involved loss of the "good-will" entailed in the name "Antiphlogistine," that had been built up in a period of more than half a century of service to the public and the profession and through the expenditure of a fortune in advertising. It would have meant abandoning a part of the trade and market built up by the firm to competitive firms who would have the privilege of marketing a similar product under the same name. The competitive firms would benefit from the advertising which the firm would be compelled to place in order to acquaint its following with the new name. The chief beneficiaries of the A.M.A. ukase would have been its own advertising business and the businesses of the competitors thus favored by the Association.

Arbitrary orders of change of name are becoming more frequent; and failure to comply by the prejudiced firm is becoming more often the basis of "rejection" of drug products. One such recent order resulted in barring the Abbott Laboratories from continued advertising of one of its products originally marketed under the trademarked name "Nembutal," within a short time after the death of "Doc" Simmons.


The A.M.A. and its bosses have seized tremendous commercial power through the testimonial rackets. As their domination of the drug industry has become more absolute and arbitrary, the opportunities for making it profitable have proportionately increased. The annual report and balance sheet of the American Medical Association amply attest to this. For the year 1936 the Association reported a new high, one million four hundred thousand dollars, in its steadily rising profits that were in no wise checked by the depression. The Journal of the American Medical Association has become one of the most lucrative advertising media in the country. The powers which they exert over the drug industry are sufficient to insure its journals as much advertising revenue as they desire. There is nothing to indicate that advertising is the sole source of profits derived from the monopoly set up by the Association; or that all the profits which accrue from it are to be found in the balance sheet of the Association.


An illustration of how the A.M.A. can increase its revenue is the experience of the firm of _____ & Co. The full name is omitted because the firm fears the reprisals of the A.M.A. and threatened to deny the story if their name is mentioned. _____ & Co. manufacture and market through their pharmaceutical division some of the most reliable endocrine gland products available on the market. In the past they have marketed and advertised these products without making any assertions or claims of curative or therapeutic value. Their labels merely stated the gland from which the preparation had been made and the method used in its manufacture. No policy could be regarded as more ethical or honest; and none could better serve the interest of the public and of the medical profession.

But the ethical marketing policy of _____ & Co. did not serve the interest of the American Medical Association and its bosses. For _____ & Co. found it unnecessary to push their products in expensive advertising campaigns. Their quality was known to the profession and their honest labels served to sell them without high pressure advertising. As a consequence the American Medical Association did not get much of their income through the route of its advertising department.

The representatives of the A.M.A. openly pressed the Company for more advertising business. They made no headway, because the honest policy of _____ in making no therapeutic claims for their products made them invulnerable to intimidation, coercion and other forms of racketeering.

A new line of approach to _____'s advertising funds was then laid. The company was given to understand that it was expected to make claims of curative or therapeutic value for its products as a condition for their acceptance. The object of this ultimatum, which negates completely all principles of the "ethics" of drug marketing laid down by the Association itself and violates the interests of the public by encouraging self-medication, was quite apparent to the officers of _____ & Co.

"They are trying to get us out on a limb," said a spokesman of the company, "by forcing us to make claims for our products. They will then be in a position to force us to take as much advertising as they wish."

Nevertheless, _____ & Co. did not dare to disobey the ukase. They are now making a gesture in the direction of therapeutic claims on such products as adrenal cortex. The inside covers of the boxes now bear the legend: "Uses, pernicious vomiting of pregnancy."


The adrenal cortex hormone is so important a substance that it has deservedly been given the name "vital hormone." It was originally isolated by several workers including Stewart and Rogoff, Hartman and others about 1928, Commercial preparation of a highly purified product was made possible by the findings of Drs. Swingle and Pfiffner of Princeton University; and they sold the patent covering their method of preparation to Parke, Davis & Co.

When Professor Swingle and his co-workers obtained their patent, personal jealousy between the groups of research workers flared up into venomous hatred. The A.M.A. sided with a member. The product was rejected by the Council without consideration of the facts and with deliberate distortion of the truth. Advertisement of the products was barred in all the journals and magazines dominated or influenced by the A.M.A. The editor of Science, Dr. J. McKeen Carttell, announced that he would not accept any further publications on the subject after the appearance of important initial reports.

How thoroughly intimidated are even the reputable drug houses by the A.M.A. is revealed by the fact that Parke, Davis & Co. did not dare to fight back at these false and demonstrably malicious attacks on their preparation of the hormone in spite of their large investment in it.

They undoubtedly feared that if it should make any semblance of fighting back or attempting to defend themselves, the malicious reprisals in other directions would follow, which would prove to be even more costly financially. The A.M.A. published fictitious analyses of the product which were absolutely belied by the investigations of some of the most distinguished chemists of the land. The product was falsely pronounced to be worthless in publications in the A.M.A. journals; and no replies were permitted to enable disproof of the utterly false allegations. Libelous attacks were made on the product in the journals of the Association and in letters written to intending users. The market for the product was virtually destroyed.


Mr. Loeser has had the admirable courage to openly expose in a 1936 publication of his firm named the "Journal of Intravenous Therapy" the "acceptance" tactics of the A.M.A. In an article entitled "State Medical Society Protests Misinformation and Misconduct of Council on Pharmacy—Expositions of Council Methods & Frauds Perpetrated on the Medical Profession," Mr. Loeser related the experience of his firm.

Fishbein and his A.M.A. Council on Pharmacy & Chemistry, Mr. Loeser reported, had persistently rejected and condemned the products of Loeser Laboratories which pioneered in the field of medical preparations for injection into the veins. One fine day, the A.M.A. sent an agent to solicit advertising for its journals from Loeser Laboratories.

"We were informed that the Council would accept one product to allow advertising in the State Medical Journals.

"It required acceptance of two to allow advertising in the Journal of the A.M.A.

"The Council informed us that U.S. Pharmacopoeia remedies are beyond their scope . . . a subterfuge and untruthful . . . clearly indicated by the number of U.S.P. products in the New and Non-Official Remedies (the list of accepted drugs) some under coined titles, every one a violation of the Council rules.

"They suggested Loeser's Intravenous Solution of Mercury Oxy cyanide and it was 'accepted' by the Council . . .

"For approximately three years Loeser pharmaceuticals were advertised in many of the State Medical Journals.

"Having in mind statements of the Council regarding the rules, we were astounded by the Council's acceptance of a solution of calcium chloride with the addition of urea under a non-descriptive title and the appearance of the advertising in the Journal of the A.M.A. We asked for an explanation, pointing out that this preparation violated the rules as to simple scientific solutions and the non-descriptive name.

"Why should an ethical product be confined to State Medical Journals and a non-conforming pseudo-scientific imitation be given an advantage in competition?


"The unsatisfactory and evasive replies prompted us to cancel our advertising contract with them.


"Shortly after the cancellation of advertising contract the Council published in the Journal of the A.M.A. what were purported to be refusals to accept several Loeser pharmaceuticals.

"We present reprint of one regarding Loeser's intravenous solution of Calcium Chloride, the advertising of which repeatedly appeared in State Medical Journals and the literature approved by the Councils own committee. We urge every physician to scrutinize the Council's statements, and compare the numbered paragraphs with our corresponding numbered statements of facts. By doing so you will realize that State Medical Societies act wisely in demanding honest information. It will give a physician a comprehension of the tactics employed by this supposedly scientific group.

"It is hard to see in what manner these activities of the A.M.A. differ from the ordinary blackmailing rackets."


Having tasted the fruits of limited and indirect monopolistic control, Fishbein and his Association have conceived grandiose ideas of an absolute and direct monopoly of the drug industry. As the first step in such control, Morris Fishbein and his cohorts are bending their efforts to throttle scientific organizations with the prime purpose of monopolizing completely all avenues of publication of matters pertaining to medicine. In this manner they will be able to avoid any leak of scientific information to even the scientific groups interested; and will be able to completely bar any publicity to the general public.

The first move taken by the Association in the direction of attaining this objective that came to the notice of the public was the throttling of the publication of a paper on a new synthetic drug by Herman Seydel before the Chemical Society at its 1937 convention. Seydels drug is no worse or better than numerous drugs extensively advertised in the journals of the A.M.A.; and in being non-poisonous it is better than some there advertised. It was tested and approved by a number of competent physicians. On the usual pretense, protection of the health and lives of the public, Fishbein and his clique undertook to abridge the freedom of speech of the members of a society which is in no wise connected with the A.M.A. They demanded that Seydel be prevented from presenting his paper and the Society acceded.

It was amazing indeed, that the press and the Chemical Society tolerated this wholly un-American infringement on the rights of others. This act was part of a scheme of expansion of the monopoly of advertising and publicity and the restraint of the drug and chemical industries.


At the Rochester meeting of the American Chemical Society in September 1937 Fishbein, drunk with the powers which he had been permitted to usurp over the chemical and drug industries of the country, threw caution to the winds and voiced his ambition and intent to set up for himself an absolute monopoly of the drug business. He proposed that the American Medical Association, in other words himself, be given control of all medical discoveries and patents, and more immediately of the patents which have been developed in the universities of the country.

Patenting of medical discoveries he justified with the statement: "Why should . . . a physician give freely to everyone the product of his brain when the state refuses longer to consider him as a philanthropic worker for the benefit of mankind?"

He therefore seeks, he said, to rectify the social injustice to the physician; but not by permitting the individual to enjoy the fruit of his research labors. He wishes to bar any such contingency because of the "corrupting influence" of an honest reward to the individual physician for his labors. Likewise, he discerns a "corrupting influence" on universities which hold medical patents and enjoy the financial returns therefrom. Industry, he said, certainly cannot be trusted.

Dr. Fishbein can only see one solution for eliminating the corrupting influence of the millions of dollars that now flow from medical discovery and invention—their diversion into the pockets of his incorruptible self and of his clique. He trusts himself alone.

Even the New York Times which staunchly has supported the medical rackets when they do not conflict with the social service, was moved to comment upon Fishbein's proposal (September 5, 1937) in the following vein:

". . . there is no evidence that a virtually monopolistic control by a single organization of all meritorious patents taken out by physicians and professors in universities is desirable."


A reform in medical patents of another character is urgently needed. Most of the essential life-saving drugs that have been developed by recent chemical and medical research, such as the gland hormones, have become subject to such merciless and intensive exploitation, and the profits demanded by their patent owners is so exorbitant, that they are entirely beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest patients. In many instances the German Dye Trust and their allies alone profit. This situation means the denial of health, sanity and life to hosts of ill.

The solution indicated is the reverse of that advocated by Fishbein, turning over the patents to the A.M.A. for exploitation. The patent laws should be amended to cause all such patents to revert to the Government for public welfare; and to provide a pension for the inventor. France denies any patents on drugs. But this is not wise; for it offers no incentive for discovery and invention. The patent-pension plan stimulates research and discovery. This reform would do more to bring down the cost of medical care than any Socialized Medicine plan.


Capping the climax of cumulative proof of the utter dishonesty and untrustworthiness of the entire food and drug acceptance racket of the American Medical Association is the evidence given by one of the constituent societies of the American Medical Association. The New Jersey State Medical Society at its annual convention May 2, 1935, adopted a resolution condemning its parent organization, the American Medical Association, for racketeering in foods and drugs. It read as follows:

". . . Whereas the Committee on Food and the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry, and the Investigations Bureau of the American Medical Association have exercised selections unwarrantably in the notices of judgment they have published, and have permitted the licensee to use their seal on the advertisements of products that are even at the same time being successfully prosecuted by libel actions under the Food and Drug Law, and

"Whereas it is our duty as physicians to assume leadership in promoting free and open discussion of a condition concerning which we should have expert knowledge if we had honest information.

"Therefore, be it resolved that the New Jersey State Medical Society do hereby urge and as representative of the ethical physicians of the United States do hereby demand a complete Congressional Investigation of the enforcement of the present Pure Food and Drug Law, the investigating committee to have full power to call individuals and records under oath, before any new pure food and drug legislation be enacted by Congress. . ."

What could more perfectly prove the corrupt political nature of the organization of the American Medical Association than the fact that the political bosses of the Association, under Fishbein's leadership, barred the introduction of this resolution of a constituent society at the annual meeting of the Association? Of equally serious import is the fact that no newspaper published these highly important and sensational charges and resolutions.


Enough has been related to indicate that even were the officers of the American Medical Association men of the highest integrity, their arbitrary control of the drug industry would constitute a menace to the interests of the community as unwarranted as are absurd the pretensions of its editor and Council to omniscience and infallibility. Such tremendous and arbitrary power over an industry, the business of which reaches values of billions of dollars annually with profits which reach hundreds of millions, is beset with temptations which few honest mortals could resist. But medical politicians and bosses of organized medicine are rarely honest. The representatives of the A.M.A. openly acknowledged betrayal of public confidence in the hearings during the Investigation of the Administration of the Federal Food and Drug Act by the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry of the Seventy-first Congress.

The temptation to convert new and important drugs into secret remedies to be used for the enhancement of their reputations and incomes is so attractive to the overlords of medicine that they are making it "accepted practice." The excuse offered the public is that the remedies are undergoing clinical testing. The implication is that the rank and file of the profession are not competent to judge the effects of drugs on their patients. If that be true, they must also be adjudged incompetent to practice medicine; for practice requires constant evaluation of the effects of drugs and treatments on variably responding patients. The excuse is obviously false.

In the creation of a group of secret remedies the "acceptance" racket is now supported by the new Food and Drug Act. Its ridiculous restrictions, which mark an extreme swing of the pendulum in the direction of absurd caution, bars the public from the benefits of many drugs of the highest value unless they pay high fees to medical "leaders" who alone may use them. Drugs like histaminase, for the relief of serum sickness and allergy, and corticosterone, the active principle of the adrenal gland cortex were widely used abroad for many years before they were admitted to use in the U.S. Under the impossible terms of our drug act, the introduction of such drugs is long delayed and some may never be admitted for use in this country unless the A.M.A. and its Council see fit to approve them. The set-up for extortion of the public, blackmailing of the drug trade, and monopoly of the industry is perfect. As the subsidiaries of the subsidized German Dye Cartel say, only the most "efficient" firms will survive.

What is possibly the most flagrant violation of the interests of the public and of the medical profession is the deliberate stimulation by the American Medical Association of the use of denatured foods that have been robbed of nutrient value, in return for the placement of high-priced advertising in its magazines. Thus the American Medical Association, through Dr. A.J. Cramp of its Department of Investigation (and Propaganda) offered to Dr. Barnard of the Baking Institute, in a statement published in the January 1925 issue of Baking Technology, to propagandize the medical profession and the public and lead them to believe falsely that white bread is "most wholesome." This offer resulted in much high-priced, full page advertising by millers and by the American Institute of Baking in the Journal of the A.A.A. and its popular magazine, Hygeia.

Thus, by betraying the interests of the public and its health and the medical profession, the American Medical Association bosses were enabled to tap rich, new sources of revenue and graft. The Council on Foods of the Association, naturally, prepared the way for the advertising by "accepting" degerminated wheat, bleached with benzol peroxide and nitrogen trioxide, as in the case of "Dakota Maid Flour" (Journal of the A.M.A. March 13, 1937, page 885).

Medical Education—A Racket

The caliber of medical services rendered to the community is largely dependent upon the quality of the basic training which the physician receives in the course of his education, and upon the facilities which the graduate physician has for keeping abreast of medicine and its advances. It is unfortunate for the community that both of these processes are so highly commercialized that they deserve no better designation than rackets.

In past centuries, a medical student, after receiving fundamental scientific instruction, received his training as an assistant to a practicing physician. Inasmuch as the practice of medicine is an art which involves flexible application of medical and other sciences, such preceptor training in medicine is the only form that is safe or proper. The student receives individual training and instruction; and the application of his knowledge is watched closely in order to safeguard the lives of patients entrusted to his care.

The origin of the modern medical school can be traced to the commercial ambition of medical leaders of the past century. Their incomes from teaching were often larger than from practice. Thus Dr. David Hosack of New York City, reported that in the years 1826 to 1829 he made fourteen hundred dollars from his private students and assistants.

An idea of the relative magnitude of such an income can be sensed from the fact that with it Dr. Hosack was able to indulge in the luxury of a botanical garden on the site of the New York City Public Library.

Teaching physicians also observed that their assistants, when launched into independent medical practice, continued to call them out on well-paid consultations. It dawned upon some of them that if one assistant or student would call them on five consultations per year, one hundred medical students probably would call them on 500 consultations per year; and their incomes and practice would thus be multiplied. The entire history of medicine in the U.S. has been characterized by a mad scramble for the commercial profits of teaching medicine. This is illustrated by the history of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.


The first medical school in New York was that of King's College (now Columbia University) founded in 1768. It was short-lived, because of factional strife in medicine in New York City.

When Dr. Nicholas Romayne, in 1791, requested the Regents of the University of the State of New York to supervise his private medical school, Columbia University blocked the organization of the school by politics until 1807. Organized as the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Romayne's School merged with Columbia University in 1813. Between 1809 and 1814, the state approved lotteries for the medical schools. From the lottery of 1809, the College of Physicians and Surgeons received five thousand dollars which constituted the chief lure for the belated merger.

Universities have regarded medical schools as good businesses because they could be made to pay. But the College of Physicians and Surgeons was not much of a financial success for Columbia University. For the cream of the profits was drawn off by the professors who collected their tuition fees directly from the students. So lucrative was the college to the "professors" that they were willing to lend it twenty thousand dollars out of their own purses. Some professors earned as much as $8,000 a year from their jobs.

The large income derived from medical schools by the professors, and their unfair competition made possible by the advertising of the school, aroused the jealousy of the trustees of the College and of the medical profession. Jealous commercial quarrels raged continually between the competing professors over sharing of the money and business, and became public scandals.


These jealous bickerings reached a climax in 1826. Envy of the large professional income of Dr. David Hosack who represented the socially elite element in the community, and of his income from private instruction started a war between factions on the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Charges were brought against him and other professors by the trustees of the College which alleged favoritism, misappropriation of funds and oppression. It is interesting to note that several years prior, in 1819, the College was charged by the New York City Medical Society with falsification of records of students, failure to hold public examinations and favoritism in granting degrees to unqualified students. This last charge is interesting because the practice still continues.

As a result of this disreputable conduct the charter of the College was amended. The charter originally granted the College made the profession and the entire medical society of the city and county of New York the board of trustees. In 1816, the number was cut to twenty-one. In 1826, so well had the physicians discredited themselves with their bickering that the law was amended to require that ten of the trustees be laymen. The appointment of these trustees rested with the Regents of the University of the State of New York, who negotiated between the College and legislature. The balance of power was given by this act to the laymen.

As remonstrance against the legislation which ousted them from the control of the business of the Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Hosack and his professors resigned. With a charter secured from Rutgers University, they proceeded to establish a rival medical school. This was an eloquent commentary on the political power of Dr. Hosack and his clique. For in earlier years they had always succeeded in blocking the establishment of a medical school under the Rutgers' University charter by their rivals.

The attitude of the "professors" is revealed by the Regents' report to the legislature on the condition of the school in 1827, which is quoted from the report of the Trustees of the College, as follows:

"The unfortunate state of the College during the last winter, with the circumstance of another medical school having been established in this city, under the patronage of a College in a neighboring state, has had an effect which is to be regretted. To these causes may be ascribed the diminished number of students attending the College at this time."

"The College since its re-organization, has gone into operation with brighter prospects of success in many respects, than have been witnessed in many years. The Professors being now confined to their proper sphere of teaching, have no longer the power nor the disposition to interfere with the government of the College. Thus discord, suspicion and strife have given way to harmony, confidence and good feeling."

In the following years, 1828 and 1829, the College of Physicians and Surgeons found itself in dire straits. It was indebted to its former professors to the extent of twenty thousand dollars. It called upon the New York State Legislature to aid by paying off the debt and by denying a charter to the competitive Rutgers Medical College. The professors alleged that the rival professors would use the money paid them to drive the Physicians and Surgeons out of business. The Hosack group replied that it was the superiority of their medical school that was driving the Physicians and Surgeons out of business. By 1830, the Rutgers Medical College closed its doors.

During all this passage-at-arms and "conflict of ideals" of these merchants-in-medicine, never once were the interests of the public or of the students considered. Instead, a higher income was assured to the professors from the tuition fees of fifteen dollars per course, by increasing the length of attendance required to two years. During both years the students were compelled to attend the same course of lectures.


The situation in medical education in New York was characteristic of the situation in other sections of the country. The large incomes of "professors" tempted doctors to start new medical schools to amplify their otherwise meagre incomes. Those physicians who succeeded in getting into the medical "education" racket sought to make a monopoly of the business and to keep out rivals.

The dawn of the era of "big business" discovered medical leaders launching upon "big business" in medicine. In the last decades of the nineteenth century and in the early decades of the present century, medical schools grew like mushrooms, overnight, in all sections of the country. In these schools, classes containing as high as 200 to 300, or more, students were not at all unusual. Teaching was conducted on a lecture and quiz basis. The vogue was then established which still persists in medical education.

The art of medicine, upon which human lives depend, is made the subject of rote learning and dependent upon the chances of examination. There was no valid effort to make sure that these future practitioners had mastered the skill and the knowledge necessary for the protection of the lives of their patients. These schools were highly successful, however, in building up enormous practices and incomes for their medical bosses.

A further step in the development of the medical education racket was the "diploma mill." These institutions gave concrete expression to the obvious fact that attendance in crowded classes to hear lectures on diseases and their remedies is of no value in the learning of the art of the practice of medicine. Facing the situation with greater candor than their competitors, the schools issued medical diplomas to applicants who were willing to pay the price, without requiring that the applicant even attend the school.

It is seriously to be questioned whether these diploma mills did not turn out greater physicians than did their competitors. Thus the Rush Medical College of Chicago gave a degree to George H. Simmons while he was practicing as an advertising quack many miles away in Lincoln, Nebraska. It thus supplied the medical profession with the man who revitalized its august and authoritative A.M.A.


Competition became extremely keen in this medical school business. As a consequence the overlords of medicine found that they were not gaining the full advantage which they had hoped from their medical schools. They thereupon set about establishing a monopoly of the medical school business and wiping out their competitors.

The merchants-in-medicine, organized in the A.M.A., found allies in their fellow merchants in industry at the beginning of this century. It is peculiarly fitting that the agency that enabled them to monopolize the field of medicine and its education should be the General Education Board, an outgrowth of Doc William Rockefeller's quack cancer cure and medicine show.

A joint investigation into the medical schools of the country by Abraham Flexner was instituted about 1910. There ensued a publicity campaign of calumny and slander directed against medical schools in which the socially elect political bosses of medicine had no interests. The competing schools were represented as low grade and inferior. While it is true that the Standards of some of them were low, few were lower in caliber than many of the schools which were sponsored by the bosses and investigators and approved for that reason. Over half of the 165 medical schools of the country were forced to close their doors. The balance of the medical schools were left in monopolistic control of medical education.

This maneuver left the remaining schools under heavy debt to the Rockefeller group and their General Education Board. By judicious subsidy, this debt has been converted to a highly profitable, dictatorial control of the medical schools of the country by the Rockefellers and allied financial interests, and by subsidiary social service groups.


This control of medical education and research has brought large dividends for the relatively minor funds invested. Among these dividends are the intangible items: allaying of public resentment and antagonism, and public good-will gained through proper publicizing of these virtuous activities; the earning of good-will through provision of comfortable berths, professorships, research positions, and others, for dependents of folks of influence or of associates; quite as important, if not more so, the power to eliminate individuals or groups of individuals, who insist upon telling the truth as they see it and thereby jeopardize the monetary interests of these powers. By alliance with religious institutions and missions abroad, they were enabled to penetrate and gain the good-will of foreign lands for the furtherance of trade, commerce and oil.

Some of the dividends, however, were more tangible and far exceeded the value of the supposed philanthropies. Among these were: the control and manipulation of the vast funds and endowments of the schools and universities; profits derived from licit and illicit enterprises, such as the milk racket, the drug monopoly and oil concessions, which were given prestige bv the support of the prostituted institutions and their professors; and a very profitable control of medical and allied businesses.

It has also enabled the group who control the Foundation and other Rockefeller agencies to plant in universities as professors, propagandists who serve their interests. Thus the Foundation has endowed the Institute of the History of Medicine of Johns Hopkins University at the head of which has been placed the German propagandist of the Bismarxian program of Socialized Medicine and Compulsory Health Insurance, Professor Henry E. Sigerist. With Professor C.E.A. Winslow he has been one of the most active agitators for the program which is so eagerly desired by the German Dye Trust and their Rockefeller allies.

From the subsidized group of professors there was recruited the "Committee of 430." It is not a matter of chance that some of the professors are leaders of Communist propaganda. Thus Dr. A.E. Blumberg of Johns Hopkins University has been cited by the Dies Committee as the secretary of the District of Columbia-Maryland branch of the Communist Party. Professor Franz D. Boas of Columbia University is reported by Walter Winchell to be the head of the Communist cabal organized to discredit J. Edgar Hoover and the F.B.I. His son, Dr. Ernest Boas, assistant professor of clinical medicine of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, leads the pseudo-liberal element in the medical profession of New York in its campaign for the adoption of Socialized Medicine, and is a Prominent leader in Organized Social Service.

These professors have organized an intensive campaign of propaganda which follows closely the party-line of the Bismarxian or Communazi dogma. They do this with the support of Organized Social Service and with the aid of subsidies from pseudo-philanthropies and of associated commercial interests Under the auspices of an advisory board consisting of members of the Committee of 430, there is issued, as a vehicle of propaganda among medical students, a monthly magazine, The Journal of the Association of Medical Students, which is distributed free of charge to the students. On the advisory board of the Journal are the following:

Charles Sumner Bacon, M.D., University of Illinois; Emmet Bay, M.D., Rush Medical College; Hugh Cabot, M.D., University of Minnesota; Walter B. Cannon, M.D., Harvard University; A.J. Carlson, M.D., Rush Medical College; Lewis A. Conner, M.D., American Heart Journal; David J. Davis, M.D., University of Illinois; Reginald Fitz, M.D., Boston University; J.F. Fulton, M.D., Yale University; Harold Edward MacMahon, M.D., Tufts College; James H. Means, M.D., Harvard University; Adolf Meyer, M.D., Johns Hopkins University; Joseph Earle Moore, M,D., Johns Hopkins University; Harry S. Mustard, M,D,, New York University; Thomas Parran, M.D., U.S. Public Health Service; John P. Peters, M.D., Yale University; G. Canby Robinson, M.D., Johns Hopkins University; Martha Tracy, M.D., Womans Medical College of Penn.; Maurice B. Visscher, M.D., University of Minnesota; C.E.A. Winslow, D.P.H., Yale University; George B. Wislocki, M.D., Harvard University.


The medical school business under such control has become a highly lucrative business in more than one way. The greater the investments, or "endowments," of the medical schools have become, the higher are the tuition fees demanded of the individual medical students. Tuition fees in medicine range as high as seven hundred dollars. The greater the sums contributed for "the improvement of medical education," the higher has become its cost to the student. There is about the highly endowed medical schools, little of the altruism which they demand of their students—they are becoming increasingly, purely commercial institutions bent on charging all that the traffic will bear.


The number of students admitted to the medical schools has been steadily reduced and restricted to the men whom these cliques choose to admit. They pretend to desire students who will not follow the example of intensive commercialism given them by the schools, and improvement of the caliber of the medical graduate. This is belied by the basis of choice of students. Two of the most important considerations are wealth and social position, and Aryanism. The non-Aryan quota system has rapidly degenerated into a method of blackmailing the Jewish applicants to the average tune of one thousand dollars for admission in many institutions; and in due time, this easy money racket has been extended to all applicants for admission. The restriction of medical education to rich "gentlemen of leisure" usually spells no good for the average public.


The bosses of medicine collaborated with the A.M.A. and established minimum standards and requirements for medical schools which were successively incorporated into the law of the various states. Under these laws, they appointed themselves, or had themselves appointed, the dictators of medical education and licensure in their respective states. They invariably arranged to have the medical schools in which they had vested interests included in the list of legitimate institutions. But this does not mean to say that their schools made any attempt to comply with the minimum requirements which they set up in the law.

Thus, as late as 1917, the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, a school rated high in the Flexner report, failed utterly to teach at least two subjects required by the Medical Practice Act of the State of New York. But its Dean, Dr. Samuel Lambert, was a member of the Medical Board of Regents, who controlled medical education in the State of New York.

I recall, with excellent reason, the caliber of instruction which students received in that school. The most illustrative incident occurred in my senior year at the school. My section of the class was assigned for "instruction" in surgery to the Presbyterian Hospital. Our instructor was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a man more distinguished for his social and financial affiliations than for his competence as a surgeon. Without the former, he would have been quickly denied the opportunity to operate, as an incompetent. He has his incompetence and his social and financial position to thank for the fact that he was "kicked upstairs" and made the executive head of a surgical department.

Our instruction consisted in watching him operate. It was barbarous. Three patients died on the operating table under his knife in one session because of egregious blunders and gross carelessness. I dreaded to think that life could be sacrificed so cold-bloodedly to such absolute and unbelievable incompetence.

Reassigned to the same instructor on the following day, I sat with fellow members of the section in a room reserved for students, that was separated by a partition from the hospital library. We guardedly voiced our opinions and our horror at the deaths we had witnessed on the previous day; and speculated on the possibility of a repetition of the incident. Before long, a patient passed on the way to the operating room, the first victim of the day. When he had passed I remarked to my fellow students—"More sheep to the slaughter." Much to our embarrassment, the instructor in question bounded out of the adjoining library room and disappeared.

A few minutes later, I was summoned to the office of the Superintendent of the Hospital. The instructor had accused me of making the above-stated remark to the patient. I was suspended and ordered to report to Dean Lambert. This was within two weeks of graduation.

On reporting to the Dean, he informed me that I was suspended, and would not be permitted to take the examinations or to graduate. I heatedly challenged his statement. He thereupon pronounced me to be mad. Fearing little whatever truth there may have been to his remark, I offered to submit that question to a competent psychiatrist of his own choosing.

Fortunately, the psychiatrist let me off. I passed my examinations with flying colors, and even received an offer of an appointment in the department of neurology and psychiatry. Thus ended my first tilt with organized medicine and the hospital system.

Upon passing my State Board examinations, I bethought myself of the deficiencies of the medical education which I had survived. I notified the State Board of Medical Regents of the failure of my alma mater to comply with the Medical Education Act. Shortly thereafter Dr. Lambert was no longer Dean or Regent.

The caliber of the control of medical education is made even more apparent by a recent incident also involving the New York State Board of Medical Regents. Its secretary, Dr. Harold Rypins was named in connection with "fixing" for a highly organized abortion racket. He died of angina pectoris in the home of an Assistant Attorney-General assigned to the Board who was also accused. In the hands of men of this type lies the control of medical education, licensing and "ethics" in all sections of the country.


The monopoly of medical education has not resulted in any material improvement in caliber or mode of instruction. It is motivated by the same objective, the building up of large teaching incomes and lucrative consultant practices for the professors and instructors. It is unfortunate that the privileges and advantages of teaching medicine in the medical schools and universities is, as frequently as not, a matter of nepotism or of outright purchase. And it is relatively seldom dependent upon superior ability or superior knowledge of the subject taught. The subdivision of medical and surgical teaching into narrow specialties facilitates the distribution of the personal advantages which might be derived from the medical schools among a larger group of favored sons.

The caliber of teachers in some phases of medicine is inconceivably low. Some subjects, such as otology, the study of diseases of the ear, require knowledge of the sciences. It is doubtful if there are more than a half dozen professors of otology in the universities of the country who have sufficient basic training in the physical sciences to understand the subjects which they are supposed to teach.

The present-day medical school differs little from the proprietary and commercial medical school of the earlier days. Nowadays there is a bit more individual instruction and practical experience in diagnosing and treating of patients.

There has recently been added to the medical course, in most States, a fifth year devoted to internship. Internship in a large hospital does not imply effective instruction in the art of medicine. The greater part of the intern year is spent by the student in the mechanical routine of a large hospital. The larger the hospital, the more effectively is the intern reduced to the role of a cog in a machine. For the privilege of doing the servile tasks of the hospitals interns are now compelled to pay high tuition fees into the coffers of medical schools.


The prime objectives of medical education and the mode of instruction in the present-day monopolistic medical schools remain essentially the same as they were in the days when the schools were frankly commercial.

The student is not taught so much that he will not be forced to call his instructor into consultation when he graduates and enters practice.

Mass classroom instruction, which must be set at the pace of the mediocre student, helps to insure against effective instruction.

The subdivision of medicine into specialties involves the endless repetition of elementary and readily learned ideas, and consumes the time which might be spent in acquiring a rounded knowledge.

Lectures by the hour are given by professors and instructors who are too busy with their medical practices to keep abreast of advances in medicine. These lectures are often of very low quality, and are generally extremely fragmentary. They merely rob the student of the time that might be devoted to mastering his subject and to acquiring skill in its application.

Many essential phases of medicine, consigned to the realm of specialties and post-graduate instruction, are glossed over and neglected in the training of the medical student. But neglect of these subjects insures that the medical graduate will be compelled to refer cases of the diseases which have not been taught him to the specialist professor or instructor.

This was stressed by Dr. James Rowland Angell, President of Yale University, in a recent address made at the installation of President Dr. Frank C. Babbott, of the Long Island College of Medicine. He said:

"I am convinced that the present curriculum of many of our medical schools is staggering under a useless legacy of traditional subject-matter, which could be curtailed to a great extent. Reorganization of medical courses would be a great improvement, and would result in the saving of time and energy of the student, and would materially increase his actual mastery of the practical problems with which he is later to be confronted. It might be necessary to establish a few new chairs; but the results would be worth the cost and trouble.*


There is one notable exception, in this country, to the low caliber of medical undergraduate instruction. At the University of Wisconsin, Dean Bardeen has honestly and intelligently acknowledged the inadequacy of classroom medical instruction, and has restored the "old-fashioned" preceptor system. Early in the course of medical training, the students at the University are sent out to work as assistants to practicing physicians to acquire skill in the art of medicine. Dean Bardeen deserves the thanks of the nation if this precedent will lead to a break-down of the medical school teaching rackets and to the institution of adequate training for the medical students.

Glenn Frank, as president of the University of Wisconsin, wrote an enthusiastic report of this improvement in medical education for a 1931 issue of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine. He related that students of medicine of the University were sent as far afield as Chicago to work directly under the supervision of practicing physicians. He stated:

"Students are receiving, in the opinion of many competent observers, more careful personal instruction in clinical medicine than is provided in any other medical school."


Within the last several decades, in increasing degree, intelligence and aptitude are being eliminated even in the requisites for admission to medical schools. Students are selected primarily for religion, wealth, submissiveness, subservience, and docility, to insure that they will fit into the corrupt system.

In some of the medical schools that are more completely controlled by the foundations and the Bismarxian propagandists, adherence to Marxian doctrines is an important consideration for admission. Thus the profession is becoming filled with Communazi propagandists and agents.

To cap the climax of inadequacy of university medical training, nepotism and dishonest practices are still as widespread as they were in the early days, in aiding inadequately trained and incompetent students to obtain medical degrees. Promotion and graduation are rarely dependent upon a thorough knowledge of the subject. They are dependent upon cramming and passing examinations. The dishonest practice of giving the favored few, or even the favored fraternity, a list of examination questions in advance of the examination is not unknown in the medical schools of the country.

In my last year at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dean Lambert undertook to question the ten highest students in the class, who had been included in the honor-roll just read by him, on an elementary subject in medicine. The honor-roll students failed ignominiously. They made a disgraceful exhibition from which they were belatedly rescued by loud promptings by less favored members of the class. This was condoned and overlooked by the Dean, to save his face.


Racketeering in medical training does not cease with the undergraduate medical school. Although, in theory, graduate medical training might supplement and correct the inadequacies of undergraduate medical training, this is precluded in practice by the intensity of racketeering in the graduate medical schools.

Most of the graduate medical schools are proprietary institutions. In many of them, professorships and instructorships in the various subjects have been sold to the highest bidder. In some of them, such as College of Physicians and Surgeons (which was subsequently merged with the University of Illinois), the sale of a job was disguised by the sale of stock in the institution. Dr. G. Frank Lydston in his booklet entitled "Why the American Medical Association Is Going Backward (a Critique of the Medical Trust )" mentions his holdings of the College of Physicians and Surgeons stock. It readily can be understood that those who purchase professorships and instructorships hope to make handsome returns on their investments through consultations and through the reference to themselves of cases and operations. If the subject matter of the specialty should become too widely known among practicing physicians, or if the post-graduate students learned too much, the chances of a return on the investment would be minimized. Therefore, the opportunities offered to physicians for post-graduate and special instructions are highly restricted.

For purposes of restriction and monopoly of the specialties, the cost of graduate instruction is made high in time and money as compared with the means and earnings of the members of the profession. In the graduate schools, the bulk of the instruction even in the surgical specialties, which especially require actual technical training, practice and experience, is almost entirely by lecture and rote. To acquire even this special instruction, a physician must give up as much as three years of his time for a single subject, and expend thousands of dollars.

Medical education does not terminate with schooling. Throughout his life as a practitioner, a physician must continue his education. Each day adds a new bit to the meagre stock of medical science. Medical journals, scientific journals, newspapers, books and libraries are essential to the physician and to the welfare of the patients who entrust their lives to his care. All of these have been converted into rackets by organized medicine.


For the purpose of holding down competition, the number of students admitted to medical training is being severely restricted by organized medicine. Only a small percent of the total number of acceptable applicants is being admitted each year to the medical schools in this country.

For a time it was pretended that the reason for restriction was the limited capacities of the schools. The sham of this pretense became clear when the A.M.A. and the licensing boards of the various States that it controls, reached overseas and intimidated foreign universities from accepting American students. The foreign universities were threatened with removal from the list of those which are recognized as giving a course acceptable for American licensure. It was a neat bit of international blackmail that was made possible by the gang's control of the boards that license medical practice, Medical licensing powers are as often misused by organized medicine today as they were a century ago. History repeats itself.

Medical Research and the Medical Rackets

In their "reorganization" of the A.M.A. it was natural that "Doc" Simmons and his gang should consider medical research primarily from the commercial angles—advertising, publicity and resultant profits. With those objectives in mind, they proceeded to fasten their grip on research by means of every agency that they controlled. It is not surprising, therefore, that supposedly humanitarian research is now often a blind for commercialism and racketeering.

The history of the attitude of organized medicine toward medical research, even before this period, was quite shameful. Few of the significant medical discoveries, which were to change the entire future of the field, had been made by doctors. The majority of these discoveries were made by laymen.


Digitalis, for instance, was given to medicine by herb-women who recognized the virtue of foxglove concoctions in dropsy. It was pooh-poohed for centuries by the stupidly dogmatic and bombastic "doctors" who insisted that the empirical and traditional teaching of Hippocrates and Galen embodied all that there was to be known about medicine.

Vaccination that has resulted in the wiping out of the plague of smallpox was contributed by the shrewd observation and common-sense of the farmer and dairy folks. It was belatedly introduced into medicine by Edward Jenner. The "learned" medical profession bitterly opposed its use.

The germ theory of the origin of disease and vaccination against rabies were contributed by a chemist, Louis Pasteur.


The recent dramatization of the life of Pasteur has focused public attention on the hard path that confronts a research worker striking out into untrodden fields of science. Pasteur was fortunate in that he lived to see his work accepted, his struggles vindicated, and to enjoy the relatively scant and belated rewards of a scientist. He was fortunate in that the persecution to which he was subjected merely caused an apoplectic stroke and partial paralysis. Semmel Weiss, who discovered the origin of childbirth fever, was of weaker fiber. He was driven to raving insanity by the bitter persecution of his ignorant and intolerant confreres.

The discoveries of Pasteur were so patently correct that they are now accepted as obvious and axiomatic. It helps in understanding the mechanism whereby "leaders" of medicine mislead their colleagues and the public into believing untrue what is obviously true, and vice versa, to consider Pasteur's experiences.

The performance is as absurd as that of Petruchio, who in taming Katherine, the shrew, compelled her to call white "black" and black "white." The misleaders of medicine "tame" the balance of the profession. They exert over the profession a control gained by fair means and foul, to be used for whatever purposes they wish—often for selfish commercial and malevolent purposes.

The medical and scientific "leaders" of the Academie Francaise labeled "false" Pasteur's magnificent experimental work and his brilliant discoveries regarding disease. They did so in spite of the fact that they well knew that they were thereby condemning a man far more able and brilliant than themselves—a man who had saved for France several industries from disasters with which they had not been able to cope.

The proof of his discoveries which Pasteur offered the members of the Academie Francaise is the very proof that we now regard as thoroughly convincing. The "Immortals" refused even to glance at it. They insisted, without ever looking or listening, that Pasteur could have no proof for what they labeled "absurd ideas." None are more blind than those who will not see.

The "Immortals" followed a time-honored, traditional method of discrediting medical discovery. They refused to recognize obvious truth, because it stamped them as ignoramuses and fools. It hurt their vanity to be taught by a mere chemist. To recognize him and his work would mean the surrender of their falsely assumed positions as authorities, and possible damage to their practices.

It is gruesome to think of how many lives were needlessly cut short by the ignorance, stupidity, vanity, and greed of the medical "authorities," the "Immortals" of the Academie Francaise. If souls they had, these "Immortals" must be well content with the oblivion into which they have fallen. For their only alternative is to stand enshrined as samples of the blithering idiots who play the game of medical politics and set themselves up as "authorities" and false prophets. They have their counterparts in each generation of medical politicians.


One of the saddest phases of this suppression and persecution of Pasteur and of brilliant and capable scientists of each successive generation, is the damage done to mankind by the injury Inflicted on these rare individuals. Their genius, if fostered and left to roam through the fields of science, would save mankind much misery.

Denied recognition and opportunity to do their work, ridiculed, heckled, Persecuted, hampered and tormented by the professional rabble, these geniuses wear themselves out by straining at a dual leash—their inner urge, and the obstacles thrown in their path by the mercenary pack of asses and hypocrites that constitute professional authorities.

The world has good reason to be thankful that Pasteur survived these obstacles and persecutions with merely a wound, partial paralysis. How much greater might have been his attainments and benefactions to mankind if he had been spared the need of conflict with "medical authority," we can only surmise. The ideas of a genius and his discoveries may be suppressed; or they may be stolen by medical and scientific hijackers. But in practice, the world discourages, destroys, and loses the source of this spring of inspired thoughts and ideas. There is no greater enemy of medical science and its advance than the established "authority" supported by organized medicine. This has been true with rare exceptions throughout history.


In the present century the work of the biologic chemists in the field of food and nutrition was ridiculed by organized medicine. Informed and thinking men who recognized the value of this work and adopted it in the prevention and treatment of human disease, were assailed and labelled faddists and quacks. Such men as Bernard MacFadden and Alfred W. McCann have done more to introduce a sane mode of eating and living than whole packs of medical "authorities." With sound common-sense they trusted the age-old folklore and tradition of health and medicine, and observation of man, and enunciated truths which were not accepted by pompous and dull-witted "medical science" until it could understand the confirmation of rats and guinea pigs.

In spite of advances made during the past century, medicine and biology have scarcely begun to scratch the surface of their basic sciences. It is upon the foundation of these sciences and upon medical research that medicine's future of service to mankind depends. There are few, if any, of even the commoner ailments of mankind that have been studied more than superficially by modern medical science. "Colds," for instance, are little less a riddle today, than they were to the primitive medicine of Hippocrates and Galen, many centuries ago. The Yogis of ancient India understood them better than do our modern "scientists"; and they taught correctly that proper breathing, "Pramayana" they called the exercises, is essential for good health. So fundamental a matter as the body's use and exchange of water, which constitutes over 80 percent of its substance, barely has been explored.

Many of the things which have been accepted as facts by modern medical science, on further study and deeper knowledge, have proved to be dangerous half-truths, or wholly untrue. And on the other hand, many of the medical ideas and remedies which have evolved through the ages on the basis of clinical observation and judgment have been rejected categorically as "empiric" and valueless by young and arrogant "medical science"; merely to be readopted when this pseudo-science had learned enough to realize its errors and limitations.

Numerous such instances might be quoted. Thus ma-huang, an herb which has been used by the Chinese since time immemorial, was abandoned by modem "scientific" medicine as utterly valueless. Within the past decade, Dr. Chen, a young Chinese pharmacologist, isolated from ma-huang one of our most powerful and valuable drugs, ephedrine. In addition to a number of other valuable actions, ephedrine is now used to cause constriction of blood vessels and to control hemorrhage.


Half a century ago, medical science read with intolerant amusement the list of remedies which Macbeth's witches placed in the cauldron:

Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron boil and bake;

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,

Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,

Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,

Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Today this passage finds its counterpart in the catalogue of any pharmaceutical house marketing biologic and endocrine products.

These instances might be multiplied indefinitely. But they suffice to show how necessary it is for human welfare that medical research continuously explore new fields of science while not ignoring tradition.

The meaning of the traditional display of ignorance, bigotry, intolerance and stupidity, in opposition to medical discovery becomes more obvious from a study of the real and fictitious discoveries that have been accepted quickly—sometimes too quickly,


The use of liver in the treatment of anemia is an old household remedy that was scorned by "scientific" medicine. A number of inquiring students in the first two decades of this century confirmed the value of the household remedy. Their papers on the subject were barred from effective publication in the widely read medical journals controlled by the A.M.A. Dr. Victor Heiser states in "You're the Doctor," on the authority of the eminent pathologist, Dr. Wm. G. MacCallum:

". . . A man named William B. Castle had worked out why people would recover from anemia if they ate liver. But he was too late in publishing the result of his work."

Three medical school professors, Minot, Murphy, and Whipple, whose influence in the circles of organized medicine is indicated by their positions, announced the "discovery" of the value of liver in the treatment of anemia. They received a Nobel prize for the discovery, and drug firms coined fortunes from the sale of liver concoctions.


Medical research institutes became interested in the subject of the treatment of pneumonia about two decades ago. Research workers characteristically remained in the rut of orthodox medical thought regarding infection and immunity. Dr. Cronin has portrayed in "The Citadel" the dangers to which original thought exposes research workers. Diphtheria antitoxic serum and the immunologic concepts of Ehrlich have established the beaten path for the quest of the means of conquest of infections. Stubbornly and slavishly the workers followed that path in the quest of a serum for the treatment of pneumonia.

It was found at the start that pneumococcus germs could be grouped, on the basis of chemical reactions in the test tube, into four groups or types. These types were later found to owe their individual peculiarities to the overcoat, or capsule, with which Nature provides them. The death-rate of the disease caused by these types of germs varies widely. The highest death-rate is caused by what is known as group three.

Serums were prepared for each of these types of germs by their injection into horses or rabbits. When patients were treated with them, it was found that there was no material difference in the death-rate as compared with the untreated cases.

Though of practically no value in the prevention of death from pneumonia, the serum itself may cause menace to the health and life of the patient, as may any other serum.

The research workers in the field refused to acknowledge the obvious failure of the anti-pneumococcus serums. Their position and influence enabled them to maintain themselves as "authorities" and to force the acceptance of their obviously erroneous views. They created numerous refinements in the typing of germs which progressively increased the number of types from four to over thirty. This enabled them to place the blame for the failure of the serum on the method of typing. The greater number of types made it more readily possible to manipulate the results obtained in such manner as to make the serum appear a bit more successful. But the total death-rate of all types of pneumonia was not materially reduced.

On the basis of this "statistical approach" anti-pneumococcus serum was advertised to both the medical profession and the public as a success. The scrum was "accepted" by the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association and gained a place as a supposedly reliable remedy. Censorship of medical news in the lay press by organized medicine and its allies enabled intensive publicity in favor of the serum.


From the financial viewpoint, anti-pneumococcus serum has been a huge success to its marketers. A highly lucrative business in the sale of the serum has been built up by a number of drug concerns. Among them is Lederle Laboratories which is a subsidiary of American Cyanamid Co. Whether one of the earlier sponsors of the serum, the Rockefeller Institute, has any of the stock of these concerns among its holdings is not known; for the Rockefeller Institute, in sharp contrast with the Rockefeller Foundation, refuses to publish a list of its stock holdings.

Especially good business are the sales of the serums to health departments. Thus New York, following a campaign in the New York Post, appropriated in one year one hundred thousand dollars for the purchase of anti-pneumococcus serum. Presumably, it was intended for distribution to the needy. Lederle Laboratories sold the serum to the City.

Health departments have established special divisions for pneumonia which are charged with the distribution of the serum. The divisions do their utmost to make a statistical and business success of the serum.

There is a surprising uniformity in the price charged for the serum by the various manufacturers. Thanks to this price fixing, it has been estimated that the average cost of serum for the treatment of a case of pneumonia is seventy-two dollars. This cost amounts to almost twice the average cost of medical care per family per year. Obviously, serum is a good business proposition.


In 1937 a group of physicians, among whom was myself, discovered that substances of the sulphanilamide group would cut short an attack of pneumonia. I subsequently discovered that if a proper diet factor, nicotinic acid, is given simultaneously, unbelievable and miraculous cures can be effected. I made the discovery on a seventy-two-year-old patient who was suffering from what appeared to be a hopeless attack of type three pneumonia. The discovery saved his life.

It was this finding that constituted the basis for the development in England of sulfapyridine, the widely advertised "specific" for pneumonia. The use of sulfapyridine, however, is fraught with such dangers as the formation of kidney stones. It is not nearly as satisfactory as my combined use of sulphanilamide and nicotinic acid.

The development of sulphanilamide and sulfapyridine threatened the profits of the manufacturers of the "curative" anti-pneumococcus serum. They actually did accomplish the cures that could not be obtained with the serum.

Lederle Laboratories obtained for a time a monopoly of the public sale of sulfapyridine in the United States. Since the drug costs about seventy-five cents a pound to produce and is sold at the rate of about two hundred dollars a pound, the profits are fairly satisfactory from the viewpoint of the drug industry. Legal barriers of the Pure Food and Drug Act were conveniently let down for this drug in spite of the fact that it presents some menaces to health. Thanks to the influence of the sponsoring financial interests, the drug received free nation-wide publicity and immediately yielded high financial returns.

Lederle's initial monopolistic control of sulfapyridine proved fortunate for the stimulation of continued use of anti-pneumococcus serum. The advertising and literature that has been issued by the firm creates the impression that the serum is essential for the life-saving action of sulfapyridine. The lucrative serum business still thrives. Within one year the Lederle Laboratories quadrupled the size of its plant. Now that the serum business is threatened by public realization of its lack of value, it is reported that Lederle is considering the conversion its plant to the manufacture of explosives.


These instances prove how well "Doc" Simmons and his gang have used their control of the A.M.A. to make of medical research a lucrative, subsidiary, commercial racket. In this activity they have had two important allies, drug manufacturers and research foundations.

The interest of the drug manufacturers in medical research is obvious. They seek to increase profits by new discoveries or their suppression. Patents and the commercial value of medical research explain why in the past several decades medicine's greatest advances have been in the field of chemistry and endocrinology. The profits made on the newer chemical and glandular preparations are unbelievably large. Thus synthetic male sex hormone costs a few dollars a pound to produce and sells by "international agreement" which means at the behest of the German Dye Trust, at fifty thousand dollars a pound. Synthetic thyroxine, an active principle of the thyroid gland, costs even less to manufacture and sells at the rate of thirty-five thousand dollars a pound.

The A.M.A. has helped materially in increasing drug profits through its "acceptance," or testimonial, and its advertising rackets. This is well illustrated by the case of thyroxine.

Thyroxine was originally isolated from the gland substance by Dr. Kendall, a member of the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry. The patents were purchased by Squibb & Company. Biologically derived thyroxine sold at the price of thirty-five thousand dollars a pound. Professor Harrington, of the University of London, first determined the correct formula of thyroxine and succeeded in preparing it synthetically and patented the method. Thyroxine, synthetically prepared, costs about ten dollars a pound to manufacture.

False attacks branding the synthetic product as worthless were published in journals controlled by the A.M.A. The Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry held up the "acceptance" of synthetic thyroxine.

The patents were sold to a firm which agreed to maintain the price of the product at the same level as the biologic product, and to supply it to houses which marketed the biologic product exclusively. Synthetic thyroxine then was "accepted."

New discoveries enable the preparation of thyroxine still less expensively from cheese and iodine. The patents are controlled by the German Dye Trust and the price of the product is maintained at the same level as the costly biologic product.


Quite as important as increasing profits, for drug manufacturers, is avoidance of loss or elimination of competition. For this purpose medical research or its publication often must be suppressed. The censorship of medical news in the press, that has been jointly established by organized medicine and social service, is quite effective in suppressing the work of the independent research worker; and the subsidized worker is readily held in check when his results conflict with commercial interests.

In studies on the influence of proteins on growth, Dr. E.V. McCollum, in his "Newer Knowledge of Nutrition," stated that grain proteins are superior to milk. Dr. McCollum was then made a highly paid research consultant of the National Dairy Products. In 1914, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, he reversed himself and stated that the proteins of grains were inferior to milk. In 1919, their inferiority had dropped to one-third or one-half that of milk and eggs. And in 1921, he reported protein of milk distinctly superior to that of grains.

The distinguished pharmacologist, Professor John J. Abel, of Johns Hopkins University, delivered before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in December, 1933, a presidential address on the subject of poisons. He alluded to the poisonous effects of an excess of Vitamin D, in pre-presentation releases of his speech to the press. For some reason he found it advisable not to include that passage in his address when delivered. With the isolated exception of the dispatches of Mr. G.B. Lai, of the Universal Service, the passage was omitted from all reports of the speech.

What may be the possible reasons can be inferred from a consideration of the matter. The Steenbock patents for the preparation of Vitamin D constitute the basis of a large and profitable pharmaceutical business which yields a revenue to the University of Wisconsin. Under other patents for enriching bread with vitamin D, held by a baking concern, Columbia University receives an income.

Vitamin D may cause damage to the brain and idiocy in the infant by premature ossification of the sutures of the skull; or by ossification of the kidneys cause death. In the adult, when continually ingested in even moderate doses, it may cause arteriosclerosis and chronic catarrhal affections.

Those papers which published the reports of Professor Abel's unread statements on the dangers of vitamin D, received protesting letters from the company marketing vitamin D bread. These letters protested against the damage done them by the publication of the truth regarding the dangers of an excessive intake of vitamin D. The bakery letter was accompanied by an ambiguous and evasive letter by Dr. E.V. McCollum, professor at Johns Hopkins University, who is now employed by various concerns engaged in the marketing of food.


The commercial interests and alliances of research institutions are less obvious but are quite as real as those of the drug manufacturers, when they are not identical. The establishment of the Rockefeller Institute marked the firm saddling of big business and its methods on medical research. From the start an alliance was formed with the American Medical Association.

An amusing story is told concerning the establishment of the Institute. The expose of the methods which signalized the development of the Standard Oil fortunes, at the turn of this century, had made life dangerous and intolerable for John D. Rockefeller and his family, and had made of his name an anathema, John D. decided that something must be done to make himself more palatable to the public.

At this juncture, Fred T. Gates entered as almoner and publicity agent, to gild and varnish the name of Rockefeller. He was told, according to reports, that any sums expended in the process must bring financial returns equal to those which would be earned by the same sums invested in oil enterprises. John D. was in a position to know that it could be done in the medical business. His father, "Doc" William A. Rockefeller, had earned a living with his petroleum oil, quack, patent cancer cures and medicine shows.

Aside from the political and diplomatic advantages derived by the Rockefeller interests from the Institute, that have been recounted, it is obvious that they receive more direct and tangible returns from it. The Institute denies that it receives any royalties from the medical discoveries, drugs and processes that are patented by it. But that does not mean that it does not receive payment in stock of the licensed companies and dividends from such stock. The refusal of the Rockefeller Institute to make public its stock holdings make it impossible to determine this.

At any rate the Standard Oil interests and the Institute derive revenues from holdings of chemical and dye stocks. This includes holdings in the German dye trust, the I.G. Farbenindustrie and others, that interlock with the entire mesh work of chemical industries. The Rockefeller interests were represented by Walter C. Teagle, of the Standard Oil of New Jersey, on the board of directors of the American I.G. which interlocks ownership with many of the leading "American" drug companies.


An interesting drug from the viewpoint of the present anti-venereal campaign is tryparsamide. According to the legend appearing on the packages, it is "manufactured by Merck & Co., . . . under license of the Rockefeller Institute For Medical Research." Tryparsamide is a dangerous arsenical product, the use of which had been abandoned by Paul Ehrlich, its discoverer, many years ago because it so frequently causes hopeless blindness by optic nerve atrophy. In spite of its dangerous character it is being extensively used in the current anti-syphilis campaign, though it possesses no proved advantage over many safer arsenical preparations. Eye specialists are employed in the venereal clinics to watch for signs of blindness in patients being treated with tryparsamide.


Some perspective of the situation in medical research can be gained from a report prepared by Dr. S.S. Goldwater on the subject of the All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine at Leningrad (published in Science, Vol. 79, p. 206.)

"Bureaucratic dangers are encountered in every large organization, and it requires the utmost vigilance to avert them. I have no doubt that at the institute at Leningrad, precautions will be taken to prevent the blighting influence of too rigid control of the younger workers by leaders, however eminent, whose interests are fixed upon untimely or passing phases of science. I could point to scientific centers in other countries, where there has grown up among those occupying ranking positions an unfortunate sense of self-satisfaction, an inclination to continue in well-worn grooves and a disposition to look with suspicion upon resourceful thinkers and workers, who, for personal, social, or political reasons have not commended themselves to those in charge as congenial co-workers. No one knows what science and humanity have lost through the failure of the civilized countries of the world to provide adequate opportunities for all their budding geniuses."

Dr. Goldwater's report depicts mildly the havoc that has been wrought in medical science by the research racket. Sinclair Lewis's "Arrowsmith" depicts the rare exception of the medical research worker who succeeds in overcoming the obstacles placed in his way by the racket.

The capable and fertile research worker in medicine, as in other fields, is the exception and a relative rarity. He differs from the average run of graduates in medicine in that he possesses a knowledge of the subject deep and wide enough to realize its limitations, has energy and ambition enough to attempt to override those limitations, and possesses an imagination vivid enough to discern the means and methods of so doing. Thus he is by nature a rebel against accepted medical thought, which of necessity implies a conflict with established medical authority.

As if this were not sufficient handicap for the ambitious medical research worker, many other medical and social service, political obstacles are placed in his way today. It has been related how research and discovery, honest or faked, has come to be regarded as having direct or indirect commercial, advertising and publicity value, and as such it is jealously coveted by the political bosses of medicine for themselves, and equally fiercely resented and disparaged in others.

This situation was aptly described by Dr. Ellice McDonald, director of the Biochemical Foundation, in a paper read before the Franklin Institute on December 12, 1936.

"I have found," he stated, "that the University men who made up the workers (of university research laboratories) were very jealous of their plans and results, as they considered their advancement in the university to be dependent upon their reputation as gained by publication, and their results were their stock in trade . The jealousies and antagonism of the cancer research workers in this country have delayed the cure of cancer many years."

This last idea of antagonism was more clearly expressed by William M. Malisoff, Editor of Philosophy of Science, in a letter to the New York Times. He wrote:

"How can we leave the struggle (of medical research) to scattered individuals and small ill-supported groups who just plainly hate one another!"

But the solution which he offered was quite absurd and would merely aggravate the condition. Instead of suggesting some method of creating complete freedom of research Malisoff revealed his totalitarian bent by advocating the destruction of freedom and the substitution of Committee control that accentuates all the evils of the present methods. The belief that some folks have in the possibility of changing human nature merely by changing the name of the form of government to "Socialism" is extremely naive.

There is reason for belief that the bitter partisanship of the football rivalries may sometimes enter into the scientific antagonisms of university groups. Thus the work of Wever and Bray, of Princeton, on the transmission of sound by the auditory nerve of cats was attacked and unjustly undermined for a while by the attacks of Davis and Lurie, of Harvard, at the time that football relations between the two universities were severed. At about the same time the splendid work of Swingle, of Princeton, was unjustly attacked and discredited, thus robbing him of the honors due him.


Regimentation of research by the organization of "research committees" has been suggested as a remedy for the situation. It is especially favored by radicals, totalitarians, and by social service allies. Prominent among its advocates are the American Association of Science Writers and Waldemar Kaempffert of the New York Times.

Kaempffert would have us believe with Professor Alfred Kroeber: "The genius simply realizes the aspirations of society." He gives in evidence the statement of Professor William F. Ogburn that "145 major scientific discoveries and inventions were made simultaneously and independently by two or more men." For the totalitarian radical this justifies regimentation and destruction of Individual freedom.

Unfortunately these ideas are belied by experience. There has been surprisingly little "simultaneous discovery" among institutions and committees in spite of the "aspirations of society," unless one gives that name to theft of ideas and discoveries, or commonplace scientific hijacking.


Now, research committees, which are generally dominated by the A.M.A. and the social service rackets, are extremely effective devices for the suppression or theft of ideas and discoveries. They usurp and monopolize research funds from all sources, research facilities, laboratories, hospitals, clinics, and publication media. They also engineer censorship of the press in their respective fields, force their acceptance as ultimate authorities, set themselves up as dictators of "accepted practice" which has the cogent force of legal status, and advertise and publicize themselves and their practices.

They are the Grand Inquisitors of Medical Science. They are in excellent position to protect their commercial interests and to destroy "interloping" medical discoverers who might arise to offer challenge to their assumed omniscience and authority. The members of the committees generally earn large incomes by doing the scientific chores of allied commercial interests.

The committees are ideally adapted to protect the established medico-political order and to bar any threat of upset by independent medical discoverers. By virtue of their position as "authorities," the public and the press accept their verdicts. They can affirm or discredit any new discoveries, and from their verdict there is no recourse. They may suppress the announcement of discoveries and subsequently steal them and publish them in the name of the committee or of its members. A case of this type already has been cited. Few physicians would dare challenge such thefts, even though they might be subject to proof. This is the significance of Dr. MacCallum's statement on the subject that is quoted by Dr. Heiser:

"He said that it had struck him while going through medical literature how sad it was that one never heard of the people who did the real work (of research and discovery) on many diseases."

This has been brought about deliberately by medical merchants and their organizations.

Little hesitancy is shown by these groups, often, in the use of the foulest tactics for destroying discoverers and discoveries which threaten injury to their interests or purses. Libel and slander are systematically used in these campaigns of vilification. They are waged by word of mouth, by telephone, by radio, in interviews, and by syndicated columns—in the medical, scientific, and lay press.

Examples of such committees are as numerous as are the special phases of medicine. The American Otologic Society, for instance, monopolizes the funds and facilities for research in deafness. The millions of dollars which it has collected from the public have been frittered away in building up a political machine in the specialty, in drawing up a worthless and politically censored bibliography of deafness and in commercial exploitation of deafness. But nothing has been done for the relief of the deaf.


In the field of otology and of the ear, "committee research" is an old and well established practise. How such research operates is illustrated by the manner in which the "accepted" views regarding the transmission of sound into the ear were established. For over a half century, an active scientific controversy raged between two schools of thought and groups of scientists. One group was led by Professor Helmholtz and Professor Pollitzer, the former the most eminent physicist of his day, and the latter, father of modern otology. This group believed and attempted to prove by experiments, now realized to be crude in the extreme, that sound is transmitted into the inner ear by the tiny bones of the ear only. This view is obviously wrong because sound is transmitted to the ear even when those bones are destroyed or missing. The other group with less distinguished leaders adduced considerable proof that sound was transmitted to the ear through other channels.

The controversy had become quite acrimonious. Scientific evidence proved neither view conclusively to the satisfaction of the other group, however obvious the case might be that the ossicles were not essential for transmission of sound into the ear. Professor Pollitzer and a committee of his supporters decided to force the issue. At a congress of otologists in Berlin in the early 1890's, they made the theory a political issue and put it to a vote. Professor Pollitzer and his committee won because of their political influence and the support of Helmholtz. Until the present day, every text book carries the false statement that the tiny bones of the middle ear are essential for the transmission of sound to the inner ear and for hearing; in spite of the fact that millions of humans, who hear without those bones, prove the contrary. Few ear specialists or scientists engaged in the study of the ear dare question this dogma or gospel of otology. Those who do are rapidly squelched.


The same spirit prevails today in the American Otological Society. The Society has raised funds by public subscription for otologic research but operates as a private and exclusive club for a clique of otologic bosses. It serves primarily to aggrandize them and to boost their businesses. Thus when it began its campaign to raise funds, Dr. Arthur Duel, boss of the Society, announced in a publicity release in the New York World on June 9, 1929, that he was "considered the greatest ear specialist in the world.

Though the Society itself has done little to further the knowledge of deafness, it does attempt to suppress discovery and maintain dogma dictated by it. This is illustrated by an experience of mine. In 1934 I reported in Science an interesting improvement in hearing observed in a series of cases of progressive deafness in which air had been injected into the spine for purposes of diagnosis. I offered the hypothesis that possibly these cases presented adhesions of the meningeal membranes and localized accumulations of fluid in the brain cisterns which exerted pressure on the auditory nerve tracts; and that these were released by the air pressure.

Shortly after this publication I received the following note from Dr. Edmund Prince Fowler, officer of the American Otological Society, chief in otology at the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital, and consultant in otology to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company:

"Dear Dr, Josephson:

"I saw a quotation from Science about otosclerosis from meningeal adhesions, cysts, etc. I have autopsy slides of many cases of otosclerosis and no indications such as you mention. . . It might be well to write Science correcting the impression made by the quotation in question.

"Edmund Prince Fowler."


This letter demonstrates the spirit of authoritarianism and the assumption of omniscience which is as usual as it is unwarranted. It would be absurd to expect that microscopic slides would show up massive accumulations of fluid in the meningeal cisterns which are destroyed in the process of securing the pathologic specimens. I replied as follows:

"Dear Dr. Fowler:

"I am a bit puzzled by your discussion of the news reports of my preliminary note published in a recent issue of Science. . . You state that on the basis of your autopsy slides you have failed to note any cases of meningeal adhesions and cysts in otosclerosis and consequently doubt my findings in progressive deafness and . . . 'so-called otosclerosis.' It is an interesting fact that a number of the cases which constituted the basis of this study were diagnosed as 'otosclerosis' by eminent colleagues and given a hopeless prognosis. If my memory serves me correctly, one of them was a case which you yourself so diagnosed and prognosed. . . .

"If your statement is to be interpreted to mean that meningeal adhesions do not occur in deafness, because you have not found them in 'otosclerosis,' it contradicts the fact that we all know that deafness occurs in meningitis and that meningeal adhesions are often found in meningitis . . .

"If your statement is to be interpreted as signifying that no adhesions were found in cases which you diagnosed as 'otosclerosis' and autopsied, it is a bit more understandable. What puzzles me is what criteria of diagnosis you use clinically to differentiate the cases of progressive deafness which on autopsy you found presented the pathologic picture for which alone I am inclined to reserve the diagnosis otosclerosis. Also I am puzzled to understand how you explain away the finding of otosclerosis in cases which present no deafness.

"Possibly presentation of the data, before one of our specialty organizations would be in order. But unfortunately those organizations are such rackets and monopolies that it is generally impossible for those not in the inner ring to get an opportunity to present significant discoveries.

"E. M. Josephson."

Confirmation of the validity of my hypothesis has been offered by the discovery of similar conditions about the optic nerve causing cases of blindness that recover vision on release of the adhesions and re-establishment of free flow of the fluid. The American Otological Society does not encourage research work except in directions outlined by the committees of the Society for which the membership can claim full credit. All other work is disregarded or discredited, when possible, in the interest of preserving the prestige of the members of the Society. The research fund has done much, however, to create hereditary dynasties in otology and to subsidize the advancement of sons of the Society's bosses. But it has materially retarded the advance of otology.

The only product of this so-called otological research has been the brutal exploitation of the deaf by the Lempert Fenestration ("Window") Operation. These operations have lined the purses of the ring leaders of otology; and the brutal malpractice has completely deafened and maimed a multitude of victims. The story of this operation and its exploitation is told in the Appendix at the end of this volume.

The same is true of the National Cancer Committee and its subsidiaries. They have engineered, with the aid of the American Science Writers' Association, the official sanction and support of their activities by having Congress establish the National Advisory Cancer Council and the National Cancer Institute under their control.


I can most clearly illustrate the activities of the research committee, or cliques, and the perfection of organization introduced by Simmons and his successor, by citing my own experiences. These have taught me that the cliques cannot think of medicine except in terms of personal profit; also that the more closely the individual "leader" is identified with social service activities, the more mercenary are his motives.

For medical research and discovery I found that I had a natural aptitude. As a result, in a career of over two decades I have made one hundred and eighteen discoveries. The first, made while still a medical student, was a simple and obvious method of diagnosing malignancy of cancer from tissue sections. It was published in the Medical Record in 1917. Credit and acclaim for this discovery has gone to one of the shining lights of a committee on cancer.

This initial work was followed by publication of an accidentally discovered method of causing a flare-up of latent leprosy that enabled its recognition. There then followed in rapid succession a series of discoveries in connection with the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. These researches were done at my own expense and were published in medical journals in all parts of the world, including the journals published by the American Medical Association, of which I had become a member. The discoveries gained for me recognition as a scientist and fellowship in national specialty and scientific societies. My work was listed in the fifth edition of the American Men of Science.


During my membership in the American Medical Association, I consistently attacked corrupt medical politics. I became one of the original advocates of the idea of group medical care at a fixed annual fee, and organized a sizeable group of physicians for that purpose. My articles on the topic of medical organization were widely published, many in the columns of the Medical Week, the official magazine of the New York County Medical Society. In an article in Liberty magazine of April 5, 1930, entitled "Doctors and Their Ethics," Grace Robinson quoted extensively from my articles that had been published in medical channels on the subject of medical corruption. This brought down on me an editorial attack by Fishbein in the Journal of the American Medical Association which libelously asserted that I was "the would-be leader of the Bolshevik movement in American medicine."

In 1931, I vigorously attacked the sale of the worthless and dangerous infantile paralysis "convalescent serum" and compelled its abandonment after it had caused many deaths. Indignant at the failure of the Association to act to protect the public from it, I resigned in December 1931.


Shortly after my resignation, the publications controlled by the A.M.A. and its subsidiaries were closed to me. My letters on medical politics were flatly rejected by the editor of the Medical Week, the local county medical publication. I and my scientific work were calumnied and slandered both to the profession and to the public. No effort was spared to damage my professional and scientific reputation. This has resulted, unfortunately, in more serious injury to the public than to myself, as I will make clear.

In 1933, I brought to light the widespread prevalence of impairment of vision due to malnutrition, especially to deficiency of vitamin A. This condition was then supposed to be non-existent in the United States. My report entitled "Effects of Depression on the Vision of Children" was the first intimation of its prevalence published in this country. It would have been possible for me to secure aid for these children in the form of an adequate diet, if the representatives of the New York Academy of Medicine and of social service agencies engaged in eye work, Drs. Conrad Berens, Le Grand Hardy and Daniel Kirby, had not withheld their confirmation and approval. Three years later my findings had been repeatedly confirmed. The damage had been done and the situation had greatly improved, thanks to rising employment. Only then did the social service clique first voice cognizance of the problems of nutrition that had become a mere academic question.

At this time there appeared the textbook "Diseases of the Eye" edited by Conrad Berens and written by "eighty-two international authorities." In this book a few lines sufficed to relate all that these "authorities" had to tell about the already large science of the influence of diet on the eyes and vision.


About that time I discovered the cause and remedy of primary glaucoma, one of the most frequent causes of hopeless blinding of adults. The method of treatment is medical, with cortin, the hormone of the adrenal cortex gland. It eliminates largely the blinding glaucoma operations from which many of the leaders of ophthalmology derive a large part of their incomes. They therefore undertook to suppress my sight-saving discovery.

An article on the glaucoma discovery submitted to the Journal of the A.M.A. was rejected. When I published an announcement of the discovery in the magazine Science, it was widely publicized in the daily press throughout the country and came to the attention of thousands of sufferers who might have benefited from the treatment. They rushed to their physicians who knew nothing about it because it bad been suppressed in their medical journals. To protect their reputations they condemned as worthless the method concerning which they knew absolutely nothing. In their denials was mixed the element of revenge for the humiliation which they suffered due to their ignorance of the method. That was the result of suppression of publication of my work in medical channels.

Illustrative of the profound ignorance of a supposed authority on the subject was a letter written by Professor H. Maxwell Langdon, professor of ophthalmology at the Graduate School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He protested in the letter column of Time magazine of July 12, 1935, that "the effect of cortin as distinguished from adrenalin is not yet known"; though it had been common knowledge for almost a decade that their actions and properties are entirely different. On such false ground, he protested the publication of the discovery.

The A.M.A. machinery for discrediting medical discoveries that damage the purses of its overlords and elude its press censorship, promptly went into operation. In a syndicated column that he wrote for the N.E.A. and the Scripps Howard newspapers, Dr. Morris Fishbein attacked my glaucoma discovery and alleged that

"the observer in question had little real evidence to support his contention and . . . No one has been able to confirm his views."

This statement of Fishbein's was as devoid of truth as are many of his other "authoritative" comments. There appeared shortly thereafter my book entitled "Glaucoma and Its Medical Treatment with Cortin," which was based on the successful treatment of several hundred cases of glaucoma, the largest number ever covered by a single report up to that time. Also, a brilliant confirmation of my work had been published by a prominent Western ophthalmologist in the California and Western Medical Journal. It brought down on him a warning to refrain from further confirmation of the discovery.


In October 1935 I was informed by a friendly colleague at the Cleveland Convention of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, that there was a plan afoot among the overlords of the specialty to discredit my glaucoma work, without regard to facts, because of the threat it offered to their incomes from glaucoma operations.

Soon afterward, Professor Harry S. Gradle, a member of the political coterie which dominates the eye section of the American Medical Association, forwarded for publication in Science an attack on my work. It was palpably false, for the professor had not even taken the trouble to find out what is my method of treatment. The editor of Science, Dr. J. McKeen Cattell, gave me an opportunity to reply to the attack in the same issue. In the reply I proved by the contents of Dr. Gradle's letter that the attack was false. On reading the reply, the professor wired a retraction of his attack withdrawing it from publication.


One month later, as a part of a concerted plan, there appeared in the Archives of Ophthalmology, which is the specialty journal published by the American Medical Association, a nasty, libelous attack on my glaucoma work and a personal attack on me by Professor Alan C. Woods, of Johns Hopkins Medical School. Professor Woods had not taken the trouble to find out what is my method of treatment before attacking it. He treated a few cases for a period of several days by a method which he assumed was mine. But it happened to be the very method which I condemn.

The professor accidentally approximated the correct method of therapy for brief periods during the treatment of his cases. During these periods he obtained brilliant, transient results which fully confirmed my own. These he overlooked, and proceeded to operate some of the cases which had given promising response. On the basis of his misapplication of the treatment the professor condemned my method as worthless and my reports as false.


In his attack Professor Woods derided the work of Professor Swingle and Dr. Pfiffner of Princeton University on the mechanism of action of the adrenal cortex hormone, which recently has been completely confirmed. He also attacked as of questionable potency the preparation of the hormone which is marketed under the Swingle-Pfiffner patent by Parke Davis and Company, which was one of the preparations which I had effectively used. He concluded his comments on my work with the statement

"Dr. Josephson's further remarks on the relationship of the development of sex to the salt-water metabolism and to glaucoma and myopia lead us into the realms of endocrine mythology where I confess myself unable to follow."

On the basis of his confessed ignorance, Professor Woods derided my views as mythologic. Fortunately a number of research workers, including a fellow professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, George A. Harrop, have once again proved that not all is mythologic that appears so to the less enlightened and intelligent. They have adduced evidence verifying my hypothesis on the relation of salt exchange to the sex hormones.

Dr. Woods has never had the courage, the honesty or the decency to retract the false, mean and libelous attack on me and my work. I protested to President Isaiah Bowman and the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University this perversion of academic prestige and power, but to no avail. The situation portrays the "principles" which guide modern medical education and research and the depths of degradation to which it has fallen.

I promptly called the obvious errors to Professor Woods' attention. In his reply he tacitly acknowledged his misrepresentations regarding my method, but lamely defended his position. He agreed to request the editor of the Archives and its publishers, the A.M.A., to permit me to reply and correct the false impressions that had been created. I forwarded a reply and correction to the Archives, but its editor, Dr. Arnold Knapp, flatly refused to publish it.


Several months later, I was called to the Knapp Memorial Hospital to treat for Dr. Arnold Knapp a glaucoma patient, M.S_____., a Brooklyn furrier. Initially suffering from a mild case of glaucoma, he had been operated upon by Dr. Knapp five times in two months. The end result was loss of useful vision and a hopeless glaucoma that had been aggravated by the injury of the operations. I was called in consultation indirectly through a co-worker of Dr. Knapp's, Dr. Mark Schoenberg.

As a sequel to this incident, Dr. Knapp, in his capacity of editor of the Archives of Ophthalmology, invited me to submit a reply to Dr. Woods' article. This he accepted after demanding revision and elimination of the most damaging parts. Several months later, Dr, Morris Fishbein, in the capacity of managing editor of the A.M.A., overrode the editor of the Archives and barred the publication of my accepted reply.


This episode means that Fishbein and his clique are able to misrepresent to the profession an important discovery, to keep the profession in ignorance of the facts, and to deny the victims of glaucoma a means of averting almost certain blindness. So thorough is the political organization of the profession, that with rare exception, no one would dare to use the method openly or to announce good results obtained; for the clique controls the hospitals and does not hesitate to oust and, if possible, to ruin any physician who fails to do its bidding.

The hostility of Fishbein and his clique toward me was accentuated, undoubtedly, by a publication made by Dr. George Cameron and myself before the Eugenic Research Association in June 1936, of the results of our studies on congenital effects of the dangerously poisonous dinitrophenol. It has been related how Fishbein and the A.M.A. had actively sponsored it as a "harmless" reducing drug. A resolution introduced by me, that called on the Federal Government to ban the sale of the poison, was defeated by the activities of representatives of the A.M.A. The presentation of scientific papers by members was eliminated, later, in a "reorganization" of this society. Dr. Conrad Berens, an A.M.A. henchman, alone represents the eye specialty on its board.


The hostility broke out into open warfare at the June 1936 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Rochester, The Association was then still a true scientific forum where science, and not political intrigue, counted. It had not yet come under the control of the Fishbein clique. As a Fellow of the Association, I presented the results of my method in a series of several hundred cases and replied to Dr. Woods' attack.

Professor J.R. Murlin of the University of Rochester, a henchman of the A.M.A., took the floor at the end of the lecture. He pleaded not for science and the conquest of truth, but like any politician, for party regularity. He attacked me bitterly for replying to Dr. Woods, pleading his absence as a defense though the doctor had chosen to be absent with full knowledge that my paper was a reply to him. The antagonism of the A.M.A. clique was intensified because the New York Times published in full my damaging statistics on the results of glaucoma operations, the first ever compiled.


Infuriated by this breakdown of their censorship and their failure to suppress the publications of my discoveries, the A.M.A. clique immediately set about perfecting their machinery for the suppression of science. They demanded and secured from the A.A.A.S. an absolute censorship of all papers touching on medical topics in Science, the official publication of the Association; and I was notified that all contributions from me would be barred. They also took over control of the programs of the medical section at the semi-annual meetings of the Association, and converted it from an open forum for the announcement of medical discovery into an advertising campaign for their old war-horses. Thereafter the medical section programs consisted of "symposiums," a high-sounding title for rehashing of ancient textbook lore.

To perfect the mechanism for suppression of medical science in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the A.M.A. gang placed Dr. Harry S. Gradle, who has already been mentioned, in the position of representative for the eye specialty. Dr. McKeen Cattell, professor of physiology at Cornell University and son of the editor, and himself co-editor of Science, was drafted into membership in the New York County Medical Society and the A.M.A. Thus the A.A.A.S. became prostituted to the racketeering and politics of the A.M.A.

Drug houses were barred from continuing any mention in their literature of my glaucoma therapy or the results obtained with it. The A.M.A. denounced to the public as worthless all the adrenal cortex gland preparations marketed by reputable drug firms which I used in my work, in letters addressed to the inquiring public, in the following manner:

". . . The present evidence indicates that none of the commercial preparations of adrenal cortex extract contain appreciable amounts of the essential life-sustaining principle of the gland. All of them contain epinephrine, choline, histamine, and protein in greater or less amounts as contaminants. . ."

"Yours sincerely,

"Paul Nicholas Leech, Secretary

"Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry"

My name was removed from listing in the sixth edition of the American Men of Science, the directory published by the A.A.A.S. I was banned from publication or from presentation of my work in any channel controlled by the A.M.A. or by the A.A.A.S.


In the hope that some folks might thereby be saved from blindness, I wrote a book presenting the details of my method of treatment of glaucoma and the results which I had obtained entitled "Glaucoma and its Medical-Treatment With Cortin."

In the interim the A.M.A. had set up, with the aid of publishers, a censorship of science and medicine that bars the presentation in book form, of work which they wish to suppress. Book publishers submit to the censorship of the A.M.A. and its satellites and subsidiaries.

I published the book at my own expense. Newspapers that are supposedly reputable, such as the New York Times and the Journal American, and magazines, such as Time and Science, refused to accept advertisements of the book because the A.M.A., objected. This made me feel that it was a silly bit of idealism and humanitarianism that impelled me to seek to make the victims a gift of my discovery. It would have yielded me greater profits to keep my secrets and exploit them.

An advertisement of the book submitted to the New York Journal American brought the following reply:

"October 4, 1938
Dear Dr. Josephson:

"Supplementing our telephone conversation we wish to advise you that your advertisement is being withheld by our Board of Censors, pending reply from the Medical Society of the County of New York.

"Very truly yours,
I. Hunter

In reply I asked whether the County Medical Society had approved the advertisement carried by the paper of Dr. Prager's cure for deafness; and the advertisement of Carter's Liver Pills. By inference, the reply was in the affirmative.

Thus have the A.M.A. and its subsidiaries secured the full cooperation of the press in furthering their rackets and suppressing medical discovery. Freedom of thought, speech and publication, and other constitutional rights, are destroyed in medicine by the rackets built up by Simmons, his successor and their allies.


In the course of this scientific gang warfare, two honest reports emerged to confirm my work. These offer proof that there are a few men of honor and spirit in the profession who refuse to be intimidated by the gang or to toady to it.

Professor Swingle of Princeton University is one such character. His brilliant and fundamental work on the adrenal cortex hormone is basic. He announced at a meeting of the Biologic Section of the New York Academy of Science in 1938, that my cortin treatment of glaucoma had been confirmed fully by a collaborator of his, a member of the staff of the Eye Institute of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. But the publication of this confirmatory work, the professor stated, was barred by medico-political powers.

A third confirmatory report by Dr. S.L. Haseltine, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was read by him at the annual meeting of his state medical society which is one of the few that is courageous and independent enough to denounce the corruption of its parent organization, the A.M.A. This report of Dr. Hasel tine's also gained publication in the December 1937 issue of the Journal of the Society.

In the article Dr. Haseltine confirmed my discovery of the value of adrenal cortex in the treatment of both glaucoma and near-sightedness. Since the treatment of near-sightedness does not interfere with any "accepted" surgical procedure, as does the treatment of glaucoma, Dr. A, V, Prangen of the Mayo Clinic was permitted to mention it in an article in the December 1939 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology, entitled "The Myopia Problem," In it, however, the discovery is accredited to Dr. Haseltine and no mention is made of my name which is tabooed by the A.M.A.

My work on glaucoma and the incidental work on the prevention and control of near-sightedness gained international recognition when I was invited to read papers on the subjects before the International Congress of Ophthalmology at Cairo, Egypt, in December 1937. An effort was made to suppress this presentation by the same group that has suppressed its complete publication in the U.S. to this date. They were compelled to content themselves with inducing the officials of the Gizeh Memorial Ophthalmic Hospital to repeat the absurd errors of Professor Alan C. Woods and to publish an identically false report in the 1937 official records of the Egyptian Government.

As matters now stand, my method of prevention of blindness due to glaucoma is classified falsely as discredited. It has been placed on the A.M.A. and the ophthalmologic gang's "Index Expurgatorius." And rare indeed is the physician who would dare to "sin" by trying to read about the treatment or investigate it. The day still is saved for the operating merchants-in-ophthalmology, vendors of blindness-by-operation, and for their purses.


To uphold the reputed value of glaucoma operations, statistical manipulations were necessary. In my volume, "Glaucoma and Its Medical Treatment with Cortin," and in my paper read at Rochester I presented the first published results of operations on glaucoma victims by some of the leading surgeons in the country. The figures showed that fifty percent of the cases were blind after the first operation, eighty percent after the second, and all after the third. Removal of the eye after operation was necessary in over six percent of the cases. Vision was impaired and useful vision lost in the great majority of cases. My work showed that this wholesale blinding of victims of glaucoma by operation could be averted by medical treatment.

The authenticity of the report was emphasized by the fact that the name of the surgeon who operated on each case was published in the report.

The damage done by the compiling of the true data regarding the results of glaucoma operations was accentuated by their publication in the New York Times after I had presented them before the Medical Section of the A.A.A.S. in 1936, This was B.C.—Before the Censorship of the press by the A.M.A. which was imposed directly thereafter, to avert any repetition of damage to the surgical business.

A study of the results of glaucoma operations was instituted as a "survey project" by Drs. Louis Lehrfield and Jacob Reber of the Wills Hospital, Philadelphia. It was published, in the November, 1937, issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology. This study showed results little differing from those published by me, though they were interpreted, as might be expected, in favor of operations.

Such a conclusion was permitted by the fact that the survey of this eye condition interested itself in everything except how much vision was left to the patient after operation. All pertinent data with regard to vision were omitted in the publication. Believing this to be an oversight, I wrote to the authors requesting information with regard to the visual results of the operations and received no reply. The omission was not accidental.


Continued research enabled me to discover methods of checking the advance of near-sightedness, or of preventing its development. Shortly after that, I stumbled on a spectacularly successful method of treating a blinding disease of eye known as retinitis pigmentosa. This disease had been a complete and hopeless riddle. Easily recognized, the only information that the doctor could give the patient was that he would surely and inevitably be completely blinded after a limited time had passed. There had been no suspicion of its true cause and nature, or of any method of successfully treating the condition. I found in many cases that the injection into body muscles of carotene, the yellow coloring matter of carrots which gives rise to vitamin A and to visual purple in the body, would check the advance of this disease and would restore some of the lost vision.

This notable and important discovery was barred from publication in the journals controlled by the A.M.A., including Science. It found publication only in the scientific magazine Nature, published in England. It has been confirmed recently by Professor Tscherkes of Odessa. Professor Tscherlces' report confirming my discovery was published in the United States in abstract form in both the Journal and in the 1939 Yearbook of Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat. The discovery was attributed in these abstracts to Tscherkes and no mention was made of his statement that he was merely confirming my report.

The same fate was shared by my discoveries of the causes and remedies of other previously hopelessly blinding conditions—keratoconus and the Lawrence-Biedl-Moon syndrome. My discovery of the highly-successful method of treatment of pneumonia, as I have already related, was also suppressed in this country.


I have related my own experiences with the suppression of medical discovery not because they are unusual in present day medicine, but because I am more intimately familiar with their details. Rarely such incidents manage to penetrate the press censorship and come to light, as in the case of the important discovery of Drs. Arthur Steinberg and William R. Brown of the Kensington Hospital, Philadelphia.

The doctors discovered that minute amounts of oxalic acid play an important role in causing blood to clot; and that injection of the acid would save the victims of hemophilia and other diseases from death by bleeding. The discovery was made all the more momentous because it contradicted what has been taught regarding the effect of oxalic acid on blood clotting. In the test-tube oxalic acid prevents clotting. But the doctors had carefully verified their observations on more than five hundred cases in a dozen Philadelphia hospitals.

The life-saving character of their discovery made it so important that the doctors sent a report of it to the magazine Science. No doubt on the advice of the omniscient A.M.A. censors, this amply verified discovery was denied publication on the ground that it was "unproved." That meant that, in their ignorance, the "Preservers of the Faith" of the A.M.A. did not believe it. In denying publication to this discovery the editors of Science had not the excuse and alibi that they have adopted to defend their refusal to publish some medical discoveries: they state that it is their policy not to publish clinical work but only experimental work which guinea pigs and other experimental animals have confirmed. Drs. Steinberg and Brown had done extensive animal experiments verifying their report. This makes it obvious that the true reason for the censorship exercised by the editors of Science is purely political.

Fortunately for the public, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology still has escaped A.M.A. control and censorship, and the doctors were able to publish their results on April 29, 1939, at its Toronto meeting. In their publication they mentioned the censorship and suppression of their work by Science and by the American Association for the "Advancement" of Science.


These experiences are characteristic of those of independent research workers. The situation is mighty discouraging to the true research worker, who finds his work discredited, ignored or stolen by such political rings or committees. At the best, these seekers after the truth expect little enough reward for their work. They spend their own funds for equipment, material, and help, and give many a day to the quest for a single nugget of truth. In return for their labors to lighten the lot of mankind, the most that they can expect usually is the bit of glory which attaches to publication or to reading a paper; or rarely a cheap medal or prize is the reward.

It is astonishing that a small group of individual workers continue to bear the torch of truth-seeking, in spite of the denial to them of even these trifling, meretricious rewards for their efforts and sacrifices. What is even more amazing, is that it is generally these workers who lead the way of advance of medical science in the face of antagonistic "authority." They are compelled to struggle to give their life and health-saving discoveries to mankind.

A way must be found to encourage these valiant men that vested interests, politics, and commercialism will not be able to thwart. Otherwise, there will be forced on the pioneers of humanity a cynicism that will lead them to refuse mankind the gift of their discoveries and to command payment by making private secret remedies of them. This was the practice in the dark Middle Ages; and there is evidence at hand that again it is in vogue among medical merchants.


Everyone has a vital interest in the elimination of the research rackets; for upon honest and effective research rests the hope of prolongation of human life and of avoidance of disease*

The first step in the destruction of the research rackets would be the elimination of research regimentation and of monopolies of research funds and facilities. This would imply, among other things, the elimination of fraudulent associations which collect funds for the ostensible purpose of aiding research and then utilize them for payment of salaries and administrative charges; for they exhaust public generosity that supports research. Likewise, foundations which serve primarily as commercial voting trusts should be converted to public agencies.

Research and discoveries that serve public interest should be stimulated by a system of public prizes and emoluments that would pension the discoverer for the purpose of devoting himself to further researches. Such a plan might be made self-financing by a provision for patenting discoveries.

Provision should be made for demonstration and evaluation, compulsory on demand of the discoverer, of medical discoveries in municipal hospitals, after the methods first have been proved harmless in animals.


For the purpose of facilitating and stimulating the rapid dissemination of proved and valuable discoveries, accurate releases should be made for publication in the press. Freedom of thought, speech and publication in science and in medicine must be reestablished in the interest of public welfare. The words of Watson Davis, the director of Science Service, at the censorship dinner tendered by the A.M.A. to the science writers in 1937, cannot be repeated too often or stressed too greatly:

"Freedom of speech and freedom of press within the medical profession and its allied fields are just as important as the freedom of the public press. It is of public concern if dominant views within any scientific group tend to suppress minority or unconventional opinions."

Unfortunately these noble sentiments were lip homage and do not guide the policies of Science Service. The service is now completely censored by the A.M.A. rackets.

Hospital and Clinic Rackets

Because hospital facilities are often essential for the present-day practice of medicine, "Doc" Simmons and his A.M.A. crew set out to gain for themselves complete control of hospitals throughout the country. But the hospital business is rich and profitable. The A.M.A. was forced to contest control with two powerfully entrenched groups, the American College of Surgeons and the Social Service Trust. Eventually after much maneuvering and many battles, these three groups compromised and divided the hospital into "spheres of influence." In some States these "spheres" have been given legal ratification.

The consequences of their activities to the public and to the rank and file of the medical profession is strikingly illustrated by a story published in the April 13, 1929, issue of the Milwaukee News Sentinel. This report of a survey on hospitals, made among the rank and file of the local medical profession, reads as follows:


"Hospital prices in Milwaukee must come down if a crisis in the welfare of the medical profession is to be averted, many Milwaukee physicians stated. . . .

"'The hospitals have increased their price scale to such an extent that the patient of moderate means has nothing left for the doctor after he has paid the bill,' one well known downtown physician declared. 'These hospitals pretend to be charitable institutions when, in fact they are exacting top prices in a great majority of instances.

"'I am afraid to take a patient to a hospital unless I know he has enough ready money to pay the bill,' this doctor continued, 'In some instances the hospital authorities will reduce the price scale slightly if I make a special plea, and in very rare instances will take a patient free of charge. The usual reductions, however, leave the final bill still exorbitant. Either there is profit in hospital operations in Milwaukee or there is gross mismanagement'

"Physicians spoke frankly of their grievances when assured anonymity, but shut up like clams when asked to discuss the situation publicly.

"'I cant afford to get in bad with the hospitals at this time', one physician with a large practice said. 'The hospitals in this city are able to run things their own way.'

"This physician produced a bill which had been rendered one of his patients for two days' hospital care. The bill was for $30 but had originally been made out for $37.

"'Here is an example,' he said. 'This patient underwent a simple operation. When I pleaded with the authorities to cut the bill because of the patient's poverty, it was reduced $7. You can't tell me that the hospital didn't make money at the $30 rate. I could have hired a hotel room and a nurse and performed the operation in a hotel for that price.'"

The item of cost of hospitalization the quoted doctors considered primarily from the viewpoint of their own incomes, though it obviously affected in equal measure the purses of their patients. In many communities, since then, the problem of the cost of hospitalization apparently is solved in part by the adoption of group hospitalization plans. But the public is confronted by many rackets that have been developed in connection with hospitals, that affect what is more important than money—the patient's health and life.

The patient is not in the average hospital long before he senses that there is something radically wrong about its organization that vitally affects him. He may sense it in the restriction in his choice of a physician to the members of the hospital's staff, in the high fees that are exacted from him, in the attitude of indifference often shown to his comfort, convenience or even vital needs. He and his friends may regard these as fancied or imagined; but they are very real. They are inherent in the character conferred upon hospital organization by the groups that have gained control over it.


The sphere of influence of the social service group is agitation for the construction of public hospitals, financing and construction of the quasi-public or "voluntary" hospital, and the management of the business of both. The organization, construction and operation of voluntary hospitals and clinics is usually a very lucrative business for the moving spirits if sufficient voluntary contributions can be obtained.

The first step taken by the social service group to get a new hospital, or a new building for an old hospital, is to raise the cry of "overcrowded hospitals and clinics." It is a simple matter to bring about overcrowding even in communities with an excess of hospital facilities by the methods which will be described later. The control and censorship of the press which the social service forces have built up, insure ample publicity and protect them against any contradiction by informed persons. They also control the flood-gates of charity and philanthropy and can divert such funds as they choose.

The next step in the procedure generally is a joining of forces of the social service clique with a group of business men who are prospective directors, and a small group of doctors who are prospective consultants. Usually the members of the group contribute some capital or secure donations to the enterprise. This money may be invested in an old building or a plot of ground. Not infrequently the owner of an otherwise unsaleable property is the moving spirit in the enterprise and a true philanthropist the prime "sucker."

With this nucleus, the entrepreneurs then bend their efforts to impress upon the community their charitable intent and public spirit. This is requisite under the social service laws of most States for the permit to operate a clinic or voluntary hospital or to "beg and solicit funds" bequests and endowments from the public. The law of New York State, for instance, provides that no hospital supported by public subscription may be operated for acknowledged profit.

With the accompaniment of a publicity campaign, solicitation of funds from the public is instituted by volunteers and by highly paid solicitors. Commissions of fifty percent and expenses to soliciting publicity firms are not unusual.

The fraction of the funds donated by the public that is left over by the collectors is turned over to the directors. The disposition of the money in their hands depends upon the wishes of the individual board of directors. Seldom, almost never, is any public accounting ever made of the funds.

The campaign of solicitation of funds may continue for years. There are many instances of collection of millions of dollars from the public for the erection and equipment of hospitals that could not conceivably cost a small fraction of the moneys that have been collected for them.

What happens to these millions contributed by the public which never find their way into the building and operation of these hospitals? Even on superficial examination of the situation it becomes apparent that these hospital funds are either inefficiently dissipated or grossly misappropriated.

Many hospital groups readily confess to dissipation of funds. Such a confession by a prominent hospital executive, was published in the Saturday Evening Post several years ago. Those who are most intimately acquainted with the financial operations of hospitals are inclined to attribute these protestations as pleas to the lesser offense, in order to escape indictment on the greater.


Accountants have informed the writer that on many occasions they find in audits of hospitals obvious evidences of diversion or misappropriation of funds. These generally redound to the credit of firms in which "professional" hospital directors have an interest. These "professionals" shield their activities behind the fronts of reputable fellow directors who adorn the board; and they engineer their pilfering of hospital funds with impunity and skill. They retire from business and devote themselves to the vocation of hospital director, and wax rich on their loot.

A stir was created in New York City a number of years ago when a group of directors of Mount Sinai Hospital spent much money and effort to bar contributor-members from any vote in the management of the hospital. Bills were passed at Albany and appeals made to the courts of the State.

The auditor of one hospital supported by an alien group had among its directors a shrewd brewer who contributed heavily. He suspected diversion of the hospital funds and had called in an auditor in the guise of an efficiency expert. The auditor had no difficulty in discovering the diversion of funds.

"I could save half the cost of operating the hospital," he told me, "but my hands are tied. The hospital, for instance, pays ten cents a dish for the crockery used in the wards. I could buy the identical dishes in the open market for two cents a dish; but I am barred from so doing. All the dishes used in the hospital are bought from Mr. H____ who is on the board of directors,"

Mr. H_____ was a brewer who had turned bootlegger, invested in commercial concerns during prohibition, and made a bit on the side as professional hospital director.

This auditor eventually learned too much. Rather than let his dangerous knowledge wander in paths out of their control, the directors made him superintendent of the hospital at an attractive salary.

The job of hospital architect is extremely lucrative, especially if the architect happens also to be superintendent. Millions have been made in this fashion.

No field is more profitable than hospital construction. Contractors have been known to donate out of their profits as high as a quarter of a million dollars to a hospital, on the directorate of which they sat, for the privilege of constructing a single building for that hospital. In New York City, hospital construction in one year may mount to forty millions, and is seldom less than ten millions.

Hospital and clinic construction have proved profitable for some of the social service clan. One of the most prominent workers in the field of hospitals and clinics who is also head of that division of a rich philanthropic foundation, is a silent partner in a firm which engages extensively in hospital and clinic construction.

Hospital accounts are generally not available for the inspection of the contributing public. If they were, numerous startling items would be discovered. One hospital recorded in its books the payment of six hundred dollars per dozen for cotton sheets for use on its wards. Another recorded expenditure of one hundred and twenty-five dollars for several thousand envelops; and a total stationery bill of tens of thousands of dollars, all paid to the firm of a director. Hospitals are big business for the merchants who control their purchases even when merchandise is honestly priced.


When the hospital is constructed, it becomes the duty of its social service clique to build up business and income. Many devices are unscrupulously employed in this process. Though a hospital is by its very nature a self-advertising business, intensive advertising and publicity are usually used for this purpose.

As has been related, high priced publicity men are employed by hospitals to aid in building up their businesses and those of their staffs. Sometimes the publicity is centered about one or a group of staff physicians or surgeons whose "great deeds" are exploited. In other cases, the publicity centers about the hospital's specialty or some discovery, real or bogus.


Clinics—free municipal, so-called "charitable," or pay—are the most effective bait for hospital business. Their services are represented to the public, falsely, as superior to those of the self-same rank and file of the medical profession who man them. Until the clinic is crowded and overtaxed, all comers are welcomed.

The 1927 report of the group of social service agencies combined in the United Hospital Fund of New York City stated that one and a quarter million people, or one in every five of the population of the city, were treated in the clinics of the city. The incidence of serious disease, requiring medical care, does not average over fifty percent per annum of the populace. It therefore becomes apparent that about half of the sick of New York City were treated in its "charitable" clinics.

These figures are striking, in view of the prosperity of those times. The purchase of luxuries then ran higher than ever. The average New York family boasted automobiles, radio sets, permanent waves, tickets to fights, and bootleg liquor.

Most folks at that time would have resented the imputation that they were poor. They were receiving higher wages than ever before. Automobiles were frequently traded; and when in need of repair they were entrusted, circumspectly, only to highly paid skilled mechanics; for autos were valuable and costly.

These same folks parked their cars as closely as numerous other autos, with the same destination, would permit. They took their own bodies into the crowded clinics for "free" or "cheap" medical care. It is obvious that folks place a low value on their lives as compared with their automobiles. For they would not dream of entrusting their cars to cheap services of the type that they sought for their own bodies.

Even in those days of prosperity medical panhandling had attained vast proportions. Few were the clinics which had not on their lists patients earning between fifty and one hundred and fifty dollars per week, who asserted that they could not afford to pay for medical services. The prevalence of medical panhandling was given official recognition by Dean William Darrach in his report on the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, in the year 1927. He announced that panhandlers applying for services at the clinics of the Center would be compelled to pay the physician rendering services.

Several years later, Miss Dwight, a social service executive of the Center, explained to me the barriers against "panhandlers" set up by the overcrowded Vanderbilt Clinic. The patients were classified in three groups, and dealt with accordingly. Group A could pay the full clinic fee and were admitted without further question unless it was discovered that they could afford to pay high fees for private medical attention; and in this event they were turned over directly to one of a specially privileged group of doctors who maintained their private offices on the premises of the Center. Group B could pay only part of the fee immediately, and the balance at a later date; and they were admitted with discretion. Group C could not pay any part of the high clinic fee; and except for a few who were of special interest for teaching purposes, none was admitted, but all were referred to free municipal clinics. With the advent of government paid Relief, the procedure was modified. This demonstrates the charitable spirit of hospital social service, which serves in voluntary hospitals primarily as a collection agency.

Some of the patients who are lured into the clinics are sent into the hospital to fill its beds and provide for it a revenue. Even in the municipal hospital, the clinics of which are free, all patients who can possibly do so, are compelled to pay for their hospitalization. By thus filling the clinics and hospitals, the social service workers earn their livelihood; for they are well paid out of hospital funds. The number of jobs increases with the number and size of the hospitals and clinics, and salaries rise in proportion to the revenues of institutions.


The American Medical Association and the American College of Surgeons share the monopolistic control of the medical and surgical business of hospitals. Their initial antagonism has resolved itself. The members of the A.C.S. are all members of the A.M.A. whose prime interest is monopoly and protection of the surgical business of the hospitals. The A.M.A. seeks and usually secures for its bosses, control of all the facilities of hospitals.

The organization of this monopoly of clinics and hospitals is elaborate. Every phase is designed to concentrate into the hands of the members of the Association exclusive control of the use of the facilities of all the hospitals and clinics of the country; and into the hands of its bosses and ruling cliques, all lucrative medical and surgical business. The American College of Surgeons yields to the A.M.A. in all matters except the control of the surgical business. It is a powerful Surgical Chamber of Commerce that protects the business of its members from any type of encroachment.

The first step in the upbuilding of this monopoly was to gain absolute control of all existing clinics and hospitals and of the advertising, publicity and business-building forces that are "inherent in clinics. Originally all clinics were private affairs. They consisted of hours set aside by physicians for the treatment of patients who could not afford to pay full fees for medical services. During these hours, the physicians treated those patients privately in office or home, for nominal or no fees. This was the doctor's charity rendered directly to members of the community.

Prior to 1890, a large number of physicians conducted such private clinics in all parts of the country. Today they survive only in the West. A number of physicians acquired fame and large and lucrative practices through the medium of private clinics. In the Eastern States, this inflamed the greed of groups of merchants-in-medicine who were steeped in the tradition of medical "big-business." To monopolize the advertisement and the business-drawing powers of the clinics, they placed on the statute books of a number of states, including New York, laws which outlawed private clinics and permitted only clinics organized with lay boards of directors and with the sanction of the "welfare" officials.

These laws placed the clinics squarely in the control of social service groups and of medical merchants allied with them. The unscrupulous physicians guaranteed themselves even greater benefits than they had derived from their private clinics. They appointed themselves bosses or "chiefs" of the "reorganized" clinics. As their part of the agreement, the social service gentry undertook to build up the business of the clinics and their "chiefs,"


Through this arrangement, these merchant physicians gained for themselves and their hospitals a monopoly of the most direct, intensive and lucrative forms of advertising and "steering" of medical business. Patients are lured to the clinics and hospitals by publicity and advertising. From the clinics they are steered into the private offices of the clinic doctors. In some clinics this solicitation and steering is done openly, bluntly and directly, as at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center's Vanderbilt Clinic, where the patients are led by the hand directly to favored doctors who maintain offices on the premises of the Center. These physicians are "in excellent position to secure inordinately high fees.

Thus the late Dr. John Wheeler refused to see privately a patient who would not pay him in advance a minimum fee of twenty-five dollars per visit. With the aid of the cleverly engineered publicity centered about the King of Siam, whom his operation left blind, the Eye Institute at the Center has levied an enormous toll on the public.

In the majority of clinics, the process of dragging patients into their doctors' private offices is not so direct, but is done by clinic card advertising. These clinic cards are issued to the patients to be preserved under the penalty of a fee for issuance of a duplicate. They bear the names and rank of the clinic physicians; the rank is frequently emphasized by larger and more legible type. Some clinic cards also bear the addresses of the physicians.

In some of the clinics, the name of the chiefs of clinics appears alone on the clinic cards, and patients are steered only into their offices. In others the direct solicitation of patients is prohibited. But this is circumvented through the device of solicitation of patients by employees, such as porters, who work in cahoots with the chiefs of clinics or by solicitors.

There is nothing hit-or-miss about the clinic advertisements. They go directly to patients who are suffering from diseases. They are tantamount to straightforward invitations to the patients: "Come to our private offices if you want superior treatment and if you can afford to pay our fees."

Nevertheless these doctors pretend that they do not advertise. And their "code of ethics" alleges that these advertisements are not advertisements. It has been aptly written by Dr. A. L. Wolbarst:— "while this rule (prohibition of advertisement and publicity) is made to apply by the County Medical Society and the governmental authorities to the modest practitioner, it does not seem to affect some of the leading members of the profession who somehow manage to bask in the light of profitable publicity with no detriment to their 'ethical standing."


Most vital in the monopoly of medical and surgical business is the control of the hospitals of a community. People inevitably discover that the physician who is barred from effective utilization of hospital facilities usually cannot serve them with complete efficiency. This is not due to lack of capabilities of the physician. It is due to the need for hospital facilities in the care of the patient. As a consequence, the physician who is barred from access to hospitals can be throttled and his competition destroyed. Destruction of competition, monopoly of medical advertising and publicity, monopoly of the surgical and medical business of communities, and the maintenance of prices, especially for surgery, at a high and exorbitant level are the prime objects of the "closed hospital" system.

There is no more efficient way of advertising the services of a physician or surgeon than to let it be known to the community that Dr. Skinem, for instance, controls its hospital; that to secure medical or surgical services in the hospital (often even to get into the hospital) it must go to Dr. Skinem and pay him whatever price he may choose to ask. It matters not whether Dr. Skinem is a mediocrity and has bought or wheedled his way into control, or whether he is competent and has earned his position; for the people who are dependent upon the hospital he is the surgeon to whom they must entrust their lives. His name is bandied about on every lip. His successes survive, because or in spite of his services, to sing his praise. His failures damn him; or they die and are buried, and dead men do not talk. In any event the community must come to him, for he controls its hospital. His patients multiply so fast that he scarcely has time to glance at them before ripping open their bellies or snatching out their tonsils. He waxes rich and powerful through his control of the hospital; and eventually puts out of the running his less fortunate colleague whom he bars from the hospital.


The most important device in establishing a monopoly of hospital facilities of the country is the "closed hospital." The "closed hospitals" are private medical monopolies for the exploitation of the public. In them the privilege of the use of facilities which have been provided by the generosity of the public is restricted exclusively to small cliques of physicians whose objective it is to make the greatest possible profit out of their monopolies. This is equally true of both categories of "closed hospitals" the municipal, that are entirely supported by public funds, and the "voluntary" that are supported largely by voluntary contributions of the public.

Thus the "closed hospital" system is the basic and the most vicious hospital racket. These hospitals operate primarily for the aggrandizement of small, self-perpetuating groups of physicians and lay directors, and consistently betray the interests of both the profession and the public.

The "closed hospital" medical staffs are dominated by groups of attending physicians and surgeons, chiefs of staff. The profits to a chief of the control of a hospital service may run very high from the business which it steers into his private practice. The position of chief in a larger metropolitan hospital, such as the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, or Mt. Sinai, or Roosevelt Hospital, may mean the power to gouge patients enough to earn a quarter of a million to a million dollars a year. The struggle for this swag is naturally ruthless.


The chief of staff is boss of hospital and clinic, and autocratic dictator in his realm. He is subordinate only to the social-service-dominated administration, the lay board of directors. If the hospital is "approved" by the A.M.A. or the American College of Surgeons, the chief of staff must also accept orders from those organizations.

Subject to these limitations, the position of chief is hierarchical. His whims and desires are laws. The chief dictates what physicians in the community shall be permitted to use the hospital's facilities for the care of his patients, and what they may do. He dictates what methods of treatment shall be used. He dictates who shall be promoted in rank, and who shall be ousted and denied the use of the hospital facilities.

Staff positions in "closed hospitals," though they carry no direct emolument, are eagerly sought by the medical profession. The hospital is in itself an advertisement of medical services that lures medical business; a place on the staff of the hospital may mean to the physician a share in the monopoly of the advertisement, or of the business, or of both.

Staff positions are rarely obtained solely on the basis of merit. They are sometimes obtained by mediocrity and plodding years of service in menial capacity. In this event the doctor may serve the institution for many years before he is permitted access to the use of the facilities of the hospital for his patients. Usually staff positions are secured by physicians for "considerations." Nepotism or politics may suffice in some cases.


Staff appointments are most usually a matter of direct or indirect purchase. It is quite common practice for staff positions in hospitals to be bought and sold on the open market. The prices paid by doctors to render services without direct pay, to the hospital and clinics are sometimes surprisingly high, until one considers the indirect profits. The doctor who pays the highest price as a rule receives the staff appointment without regard to qualifications.

Dr. Louis I. Harris, former Health Commissioner of New York City, commented on this widely recognized matter as follows:

"I know a number of men who stand firmly entrenched in some closed hospitals and some of them contribute much to scientific knowledge.

"On the other hand, I know some who could not stand scrutiny in a light that would reveal them honestly.

"Some of them are men who have acquired much material wealth or influential connections which apparently have helped them secure positions in hospitals."

It is not unusual for the position of chief of staff of a hospital connected with a medical school, which carries with it the rank of professor," to sell for sums as high as twenty-five thousand dollars or more. It was common practice in the post-graduate medical schools of the country, such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons, (subsequently incorporated into the University of Illinois) to give the appointee stock for the money paid in.

Whether the purchase of staff position ensures any permanence of tenure of office depends entirely upon the extent or lack of principle and honesty of the members of the lay and medical board of directors. It is common practice in hospitals in New York City to demand of the members of the staff that they repurchase their positions at intervals. These intervals depend upon the rate of diversion of hospital funds by the board. The gouging and extortion perpetrated upon the members of the medical staff of these hospitals is sometimes outrageous.


This traffic in hospital appointments has been highly developed by the social service dominated hospital managements. Some hospitals could be operated profitably if they had no other source of income than that derived from appointment of physicians to staff positions. Whenever the cliques who operate the hospitals want to get themselves more funds, they demand from the doctors on their staffs additional contributions. Thus out of a clear sky, in the middle of the summer of 1932 the vacationing members of the staff of Bronx Hospital, of New York City, received telegrams informing them that they must immediately contribute one thousand dollars to the hospital if they wished to retain their staff positions.

A favorite method of sale of hospital staff positions is through dinners for which tickets must be purchased by physicians or must be sold by them to their friends at extortionate rates. Dinners at costs ranging from twenty-five to one hundred dollars a plate are quite common. The latter rate prevailed for the tickets to the dinners of a Bronx hospital given prior to removal to its new building several years ago. The profession was openly apprized that positions on the staffs of the clinic and the hospital could be bought on the basis of the number of tickets purchased by the physician or sold to his friends. The scale started at five tickets, or five hundred dollars, for a lowly clinic position; and ranged to five thousand, or more, dollars for the position of chief of a hospital staff.

At the Beth David Hospital, of New York City, the price range of the tickets and of the jobs was more modest. The hospital eventually opened after raising large sums over a period of a decade or more for the building which merely cost several hundred thousand dollars when completed.

It is generally the younger, junior physician and the politically lesser fry who are most consistently and extortionately plundered. The requirement of the medical practice acts of several states that a graduate in medicine have one year of hospital internship has proved an excellent device for extortion. It has made the sale of the position of intern a lucrative business for many hospital gangs.


The purchase of a staff position, or its acquisition for other considerations, does not insure promotion or even continued possession. Especially in the hospitals and institutions in which the direct purchase of position is spurned as crude and offensive to the sensibilities of the grafters and racketeers who dispose of appointments, the coin of payment has often become quite debased. The subordinate members of staffs are entirely dependent for their tenure of position upon the whim of their superiors. They must "aim to satisfy."

The superior, the "chief," must be wooed by his subordinates. In exceptional cases they may hold their positions by influence with the board of directors or by social or business position. Otherwise they must hold the superior's good will in any way that it can be held—politics, friendship, service, flattery, purchase or other means.

An absolute requisite for securing and retaining hospital appointments is to build up the medical businesses of the chiefs of staffs of the hospital by sending them patients for operation or consultation. The junior staff member must refer to his superiors, patients who will pay them their high or exorbitant fees, no matter how low may be their professional caliber, if he wishes to retain his appointment.


As a direct consequence of the hierarchic hospital organization, hospital staffs generally are manned by physicians of the most mediocre caliber. Staff members in most instances dare not show exceptional ability or originality for fear of arousing the chiefs' jealousy. If a subordinate happens to make a discovery, even if it be published as usual, under the name of the chief, he has raised suspicion. He is suspect as a menace to the position, reputation and practice of the chief, and he may be ousted on any pretext. If he publishes a discovery without the consent of his chief or of the hospital, even though it contains no reference to the hospital, he is certain to be ousted. Mediocrity fares best in a "closed hospital," For this reason there seldom emanates from any large metropolitan hospital a substantial contribution to medical science.

I recall asking a physician occupying a junior position on the staff of the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital why he did not publish an interesting observation that he had made. He replied:

"I do not dare. I would be fired from the staff. During the ten years that I have been connected with the hospital I have published nothing. If I am promoted next year, according to my expectation, I will have attained a position which would make it safe for me to publish."

Sad is the abasement which has been wrought in medical and hospital organization by politics and commercialism. The subjection and subservience of the rank and file of the medical profession to its political hospital bosses is rendered more startling by the fact that in a great majority of cases no emolument, salary or other reward is ever received by them for their services. They live in the often forlorn hope that they may succeed to the job of chief and enjoy its rich rewards.


They are forced to serve by a subtle form of slander of the profession which has been engineered by collusion of hospital organization, social service and organized medicine. It has been bruited about the community that the physician who does not serve in hospitals and clinics is "incompetent and not to be trusted;" that a physician "requires the experience of continuous service in hospital and clinic." The public have come to firmly believe these falsehoods and propaganda. The rank and file of the medical profession are intimidated thus to man the hospitals and clinics even though they derive from them no benefits or compensation.

This practise was brought out into the open in the inaugural address of Dr. Douglas, former president of the New York County Medical Society. He frankly advocated that the rank and file of the profession be forced to man the clinics and hospitals, which could not be run without them. One can sense from this attitude the contempt which the bosses of medicine have for the rank and file of the profession.


Coupled with the propaganda of slander is promotional propaganda to create faith in hospital staffs. In many closed hospitals, especially those catering to clannish and neurotic foreign or religious elements, much publicity propaganda, innuendo, planning, plotting and maneuvering is spent in the effort to induce their public to believe that the mere association with the institution endows the physician with superior virtues and abilities. They treat their colleagues with aloofness and contempt. Among themselves they form clans with the dual purpose of deriding and riding down all colleagues, and of mutually bolstering their reputations and practices.

They are, in reality, medical gangs intent upon fleecing the public. Their tactics, which are a shrewd commercial pose, do not fail to impress their public who gullibly turn to them. Once a patient falls into their clutches, he is bandied to and fro among the clique, often until his purse is drained; then he is cast out. One, or more, such gang can be found in every town or city.

Denial of admission to patients of physicians who are not on their staff even in event of emergency, on the false ground that "there are no beds available," is a contemptible trick regularly used by voluntary hospitals to discredit and penalize physicians who are not on their staffs; and to enhance the reputations and practices of their physicians. Within some hospitals discrimination is exercised in favor of a few of their physicians. The public soon learns that beds are always available for the favored physician. This betrayal of the public is often a telling factor in rivalry for practice.

The fear of being destroyed by adverse propaganda, and the hope of sharing the rewards of staff membership and regularity, make the rank and file of the profession flock to serve the clinics and hospitals in building up their businesses. Through control of these institutions and the rule which bars from their staffs physicians who are not its members, the A.M.A. exerts a powerful control over the country's medical business. The "closed" hospital is fashioned into a device whereby medical overlords rob the rank and file of the profession of their patients and incomes.

The American College of Surgeons and the Hospital Rackets

The Surgical Chamber of Commerce

Jn the field of surgery, the American College of Surgeons shares with the A.M.A. control of the monopoly of hospital business. The College is a surgical trade organization which combines the functions of labor union and chamber of commerce. It is a device whereby its members establish for themselves a monopoly of the surgical business, restrict the number of surgeons allowed access to hospitals, maintain the fee scale and costs of surgery at a high level, and otherwise protect their incomes and prevent any encroachment on the field of surgery by the adoption of non-surgical methods of treatment that might develop from medical discovery.

The origin of the American College of Surgeons (A.C.S.) like that of the A.M.A. found its roots in business competition. Barbers monopolized the field of surgery for centuries. Surgery was spurned by the medical profession as beneath its dignity. A survival of this attitude is the British custom of denying to the surgeon the title of doctor.

In the latter part of the eighteenth century and in the early nineteenth, the barbers' practice of surgery had become quite lucrative. The medical profession began to cast invidious eyes at surgery and openly engaged in battle with the guilds of the barbers and "chyrurgiens" for its monopoly. Then cognizance was again taken in the mid-nineteenth century of the ancient and "sinful" practice of anesthesia, and it was reintroduced. Later recognition of Pasteur's proof of the bacterial origin of infections was forced upon medicine, and became the basis of safer, aseptic surgery. These developments made it possible to open and drain abscesses of the abdomen, such as appendicitis, with some hope of survival of the patient. When surgery was thus made more pleasant and lucrative, the organized medical profession grabbed it from the barbers.

Surgery soon became acclaimed as a cure-all. The surgeon became transformed from a scorned barber-butcher to a popular hero, and accordingly his fees and income rose. This brought a grand rush of recruits to the field of surgery.

By the end of the first decade of this century, competition in the surgical business became very keen. Surgical fees dropped steadily to lower levels. Surgeons competed openly for business by paying their colleagues for services rendered them in preparing the case for operation, and in building up their reputations, practices, and incomes. As competition among surgeons grew keener, they offered for these legitimate services a steadily larger share of their fees. Not even the "closed hospitals" and their monopoly of hospital facilities could stem the tide of competition.

At this juncture, a group of politically influential surgeons got together to protect their businesses. They formed the American College of Surgeons. This was about the same time the A.M.A. was engaged in protecting the incomes of its bosses, and reducing competition with the aid of the General Education Fund, by putting out of business the majority of the country's medical schools.

The A.C.S. plan is to lead the public to believe by intensive publicity and advertising that its members are the only honest and competent surgeons, and that they alone are intent upon protecting the lives of the public. The initial membership was restricted to a group of surgeons controlling the hospital facilities of communities, who would pay the initiation and twenty-five dollars membership dues, and, most important of all, who would sign a pledge not to "split fees." They conferred upon themselves the title and trademark, F.A.C.S. (Fellow of the American College of Surgeons).


As a part of the program of the F.A.C.S. to protect their incomes, they deliberately restrict the number of surgeons to whom they extend the stamp of their approval and the hospital privileges which it implies. They do this more with an eye to a monopoly of surgical business than to the needs of the community. The A.C.S. acknowledged a shortage of its brand of surgeons at its 1939 convention, and announced that it was planning to increase the number by five hundred Fellows a year.

The device that the A.C.S. employs to restrict the number of surgeons and to protect the business of its Fellows is perfect. Through its joint grip on the hospitals shared with the A.M.A. and the Social Service Trust, it bars non-members from appointment to significant surgical positions that yield material returns directly or indirectly. Membership is limited by local boards composed of F.A.C.S. engaged in practice in the same community as the applicants, often in competition with them.

As might be expected under the circumstances, a great majority of the applicants are rejected by the boards composed of their competitors. Thus in October 1929 about six thousand surgeons who had served for years on the staffs of hospitals throughout the country applied for acceptance and fellowship in the A.C.S. with full proof of their experience and skill. Five thousand were turned down and returned to their communities to continue to practice surgery, many in "approved" hospitals, without the seal of "approval" of the A.C.S. The College did not undertake to protect the public from their supposed lack of skill; but the F.A.C.S. did protect themselves from business competition.

The need for this type of restriction for maintenance of large, monopolistic surgical businesses for a small group of F.A.C.S. surgeons is manifest. Surgery per se is a simple mechanical art that can be learned readily by a moron. There are few operations as complicated as rebuilding a pair of shoes. Far more important are diagnostic ability, medical judgment and skill, which require infinitely greater ability than the mechanics of surgery. But these contraindicate operation and dictate medical treatment so often that they are not favored greatly by the surgical gang, for they hurt business.


An example that illustrates how little exceptional ability is required by the mechanics of surgery is related in a tale, forwarded to the New York Times from Russia by Walter Duranty, about a cobbler, Ivan Kolesnikoff, who posed as a surgeon for eight years. He acquired the documents of a Dr. Nelskij and on their strength became assistant surgeon at the Tashkent Hospital. He was rapidly promoted to the rank of chief surgeon at Samarkand and later made chief surgeon of a group of hospitals around Kieff. Even after he became known as an impostor and prosecution was urged by local physicians who resented the competition, superiors supported him as a man of practical efficiency. When he finally was sent to prison for six years, it was brought out that he was a very rapid operator and that the mortality rate of his six hundred major operations was lower than the average of competing surgeons.


There are very distinct advantages to fellowship in the A.C.S. Because of its acceptance of social service domination* the A.C.S., its appointments to fellowship and its "Approved Hospitals" are widely publicized in the press. This serves as free advertisement of the Fellows as they are appointed.

This selective advertisement of its brand of surgeon does not satisfy the A.C.S. Periodically it attacks the balance of the profession in the press with false and libelous allegations which directly, or by innuendo, stamp all who are not F.A.C.S. as incompetent, dishonest, and not to be trusted.

On this score one of the Fellows of the A.C.S. wrote a letter of protest in 1931 to the magazine Medical Economics reading as follows:

"To the Editor:

"I believe that it may fall to the lot of your publication some day to point the way to the broader methods of business in our professional attitude* instead of our covetous one from which a change is needed if we are to hold public respect and confidence.

"Personally I cannot bring myself to believe that the closed hospital is a just restriction to the younger men. I, as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, believed that standardization of our hospitals would work for betterment of all concerned. But I was wrong. "It has made mean and narrow political cliques. It has become a great factor in the creation of medical trust. J. O."


The A.C.S. seeks to justify its activities by asserting that it protects the public by certifying to the superior competence of surgeons on the staffs of hospitals that it advertises as "approved." These representations are often false. When political convenience dictates, the A.C.S. "approves" hospitals from the staffs of which its "approved" brand of Fellows are ousted and replaced by surgeons whom those Fellows openly denounce as incompetent.

Such was the case, for example, at Harlem Hospital of New York City a number of years ago. The surgical director, a political appointee, was publicly charged with "incompetence, inexperience and poor surgical judgment" by veteran members of the surgical staff who were also Fellows of the A.C.S. The protesting F.A.C.S. were ousted together with a large part of the staff of the hospital. For political motives, some were replaced by surgeons who had been denied fellowship by the A.C.S. on the grounds of lack of experience or competence. The allegedly incompetent director retained his position. And the Harlem Hospital continued to be "approved" though neither reply or denial was ever made to the charges, and in spite of deplorable conditions of overcrowding, inadequate equipment, and abuse and neglect of patients.

The A.C.S. misrepresents facts in still another manner. Even the most honest F.A.C.S., the "specialist in surgery," is certain to be biased in favor of surgery, for self-interest compels it. He is emotionally opposed to non-mutilating medical therapy. The most eminent surgical specialists of the A.C.S. perform many needless operations.


Cases readily come to mind. The most flagrant is that of Mrs. Sadie Rosenberg. She suffered from a serious ailment that progressively paralyzed the muscles of the eyelids so that she could not open her eyes; the muscles of her eyes so that she could not move her eyes; the muscles of her face and jaws so that her mouth would fly open involuntarily and she could not close it; the muscles of her throat so that she could not swallow food, except in the early part of the day, without the sensation or danger of choking; and the muscles of her body so that she tired rapidly and could scarcely muster enough energy to care for herself.

In the first stage of the illness when she suffered only from drooping of the lids, Mrs. Rosenberg placed herself in the care of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and its associated Neurologic Institute and Eye Institute. There she was treated over a period of four years almost continuously. She was admitted to the hospital eight times. Thirteen different diagnoses of her condition were made by the hospital and professorial staffs, none of which proved correct.

She was operated for correction of the drooping lids and the paralysis of the eye muscles three times by Dr. John Wheeler, one of the most widely and spectacularly advertised eye surgeons in the world; and later was slated for a fourth eye operation by an equally prominent, recently deceased Mt. Sinai eye surgeon. Dr. Byron Stookey, professor of brain surgery, made a tentative diagnosis of tumor of the brain following injection of air into the patient's spine and the taking of encephalograms. Dr. L.M. Davidoff ordered x-ray treatment of the head for one year, at the end of which time cataracts had developed in both eyes. Though numerous x-rays were taken, a tumor in the mid-region of chest was entirely overlooked. Dr. George Crile, called into consultation, diagnosed the patient's condition as glandular but beyond hope on the same day that the patient was brought to me.

In three weeks after I added several items, including vitamins A, B, C, E and G, salt, manganese, and liver to her diet and placed her on glandular treatment, complete motion was restored to eyes and eyelids except where the scars of previous operations interfered. Thirteen years later, still under treatment, Mrs. Rosenberg is active, free of myasthenia and performs fully her household duties.

The correct and obvious diagnosis in this case was myasthenia gravis, a medical disorder which required no operative interference. The treatment which I used was largely my original discovery.


It is characteristic of the bias of the American College of Surgeons that its first activity, according to the story which it has published in numerous newspapers and magazines, was directed against "fee-splitting"

"Fee-splitting" is an epithet which has been coined by the clever publicity men of the A.C.S. for their propaganda to cast a stigma upon the intrinsically honest practice of the payment of a fee by one physician to another for services rendered. This publicity has led the public to believe that though payment for services rendered is honest in every other vocation, if the parties involved be physicians it is dishonest.

They represented to the public that the practice of "fee-splitting" stimulated much needless and incompetent surgery. The truth of the matter is the reverse. The presence of the family physician in surgical cases is often a protection for the patient against incompetent and needless surgery. For the family physician is dependent for his future and his income on the continued relations with a satisfied patient; and no intelligent physician would risk his relations with the patient, his family, and his associates by deliberately jeopardizing life.

The surgeon who gains his cases by virtue of the position conferred upon him by the A.C.S. and his monopoly of hospital facilities can disregard the sensibilities and the vital interests of the patient as completely as he disregards his obligation to the colleague who has had the responsibility and work of preparing the case for him. Certainly there is more inducement to such a dishonest surgeon to do needless surgery in a whole fee than there is in half a fee.

The falseness of the pretended motive of the A.C.S. and its Fellows in their war on "fee-splitting" becomes more apparent when one discovers that among its founders and officers were some of the most notorious fee splitters of their day. One of the ranking executives of the College built up his practice, at the beginning of the century, by paying commissions, or "split fees", to barbers, bootblacks, janitors, bartenders and any merchant who would send him cases.

It is notable that Fellows of the A.C.S. have been leaders in the movement to legitimatize "fee-splitting" during the past decade. A recent president of the New York County Medical Society acknowledged in his inaugural address that "fee-splitting" is not an evil; that it is a necessity under present medical and hospital organization; and that many abuses could be eliminated by placing "fee-splitting" on an open and honest basis, as in the other professions.

The A.C.S. itself acknowledges that its attitude towards "fee-splitting" is false. It acknowledges in its publicity releases that its Fellows, who are not honest enough to openly pay for services rendered to them by colleagues, cannot be trusted not to do needless operations when they receive the whole fee. It confesses the need of a check on its Fellows and asserts that it demands a check-up on the work of its advertised brand of surgeons, in the form of a report of the pathologist's findings on the tissue removed at operation and by other equally ineffective methods of control.

But it is common knowledge how very frequently ill-advised and needless operations, also abortions, are performed upon patients in the most representative "closed hospitals," with apparently full justification in the pathologist's reports. Pathologists must live; and to do so they must continue to hold their jobs. The surgeon in the "closed hospital" is protected by a cloak of secrecy and has only his own conscience to consult on the question of operating. It is but natural that his judgment should be prejudiced in his own favor, especially if the fee be sizeable. This is the significance of the proposals for "scoring" of operations made before meetings of the A.C.S., most recently at the October 1939 meeting in Philadelphia.


It safely can be said that there is no member of the American College of Surgeons, or of any other group of physicians, who does not pay directly or indirectly, in some manner, for services rendered to him by some other physicians. In some cases the payment is made socially; in others it is made by deliberate losses in a game of chance, cards or dice; or it may be made by exchange of consultations, many of which are undeniably a needless tax upon the patients' purse, which practise goes by the name of "purse-splitting."

An amusing variant of the formula for evading the "fee splitting" injunction has recently come into vogue, originated by Dr. B____ a wealthy veteran surgeon who like many others is a "reformed fee splitter." A doctor went to him and said;

"Dr. B____ I wish to refer to you an operative appendix case who is willing to pay one thousand dollars for his operation. What will my share be?"

"You know I do not split fees. I am beyond that," said Dr. B____ with an appearance of indignation.

"Never mind. Do not grow indignant. There is many another equally capable surgeon that I can get to do it who will not hesitate to pay me for my services in the case," said the doctor, walking out of Dr. B____'s office.

When the doctor arrived back at his office, he found a message from Dr. B____ asking that he call back. He called.

"I bet you five hundred dollars," said Dr. B_____ "that your diagnosis of acute appendicitis is wrong."

Needless to say, he got the operation and lost the five hundred dollar bet to the referring physician.

The consultation method of "sharing" the patient's purse is approved, endorsed and recommended by the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association and other representative, "ethical" societies. With tongue in cheek, medical "leaders" inform the public that these consultations are all "in the interest of the patient." The patient whose purse is flattened by needless consultations knows otherwise.

The arrant hypocrisy of the pretenses of the American College of Surgeons regarding "fee-splitting" becomes obvious when one considers in how many ways its Fellows pay for the steering of business into their offices. To the extent that the publicity of the A.C.S. in favor of its Fellows serves to build up their business, even the twenty-five dollar annual dues which they pay the organization constitutes "fee-splitting."

The purchase of hospital positions, with whatever coin, constitutes "fee-splitting" with the hospital. It constitutes payment for the advertising, publicizing and boosting by the hospital, and payment of commission for the direct reference of patients to the doctor's office.

Evidently cupidity, that very human failing, made painful to the "fee-splitting" surgeons who had become bosses of the surgical racket, the process of paying out to colleagues of the rank and file money collected. But they did not dare to refuse as individuals to pay their colleagues for the services rendered. They feared that the latter would take their cases to equally competent surgeons who would adopt a more honest attitude. They therefore found it necessary to make "fee-splitting" a sin and a crime, to protect their incomes. "Medical ethics" thus serves medical business.

It is significant that a hypocritical attitude toward "fee-splitting" has gained legal recognition in New York State. In 1927, Henry Stern bequeathed his estate of more than two hundred thousand dollars to seven New York hospitals on the condition that the members of the hospital staffs should donate to the hospitals ten percent of the incomes that they earned in the hospitals. This proviso merely takes cognizance of the fact that doctors regularly do purchase hospital positions and the business which emanates from them. In a contest by the hospitals, the courts overruled this clause of the will on the pretense that such "fee-splitting is not permitted by medical ethics."


The full extent of the hypocrisy and the dishonest commercialism of the situation comes to light in other activities. The A.C.S., jointly with *he American Medical Association, has annually publicized its "approval of hospitals." They have represented to the public that they inspect the hospitals with an eye to their safety, the quality of accommodations and services rendered, and the protection of life and stimulation to recovery which they offer. Each year the A.C.S. releases for publication in newspapers a list of "approved" hospitals which it advertises to the public as follows:

"Before seeking the services of a hospital, be sure to determine that it has been approved by the American College of Surgeons, so that you may be sure that its condition will in every way contribute to your rapid recovery."

This representation of the American College of Surgeons and its allies often is absolutely false. Kings County Hospital of Brooklyn, for example, became notorious for maltreatment of patients. The food was not fit for humans, and the buildings were dilapidated rat- and fire-traps repeatedly condemned by the Building Department of New York City during more than a decade. The horrible conditions in the hospital were fully exposed in the report of the Commissioner of Accounts Higgins in 1928.

A Grand Jury composed of laymen said of the hospital in a presentment handed up to Judge Algernon I. Nova:

"The chronic and incurable male patients, numbering about three hundred, are housed in a building that was erected in 1869. Fire doors have been installed, but they are not self-closing.

"The chronic and incurable female patients, numbering about two hundred and sixty, are housed in a building that was erected about 1860. The eastern wall of this building is shored up with timber and the eastern wards have been cleared of patients because of the danger of the walls falling.

"Large numbers of these chronic and incurable patients are bedridden. The only outlook in life for all the patients is the day when they pass to their eternity. Pending that day, the County of Kings keeps them in two fire-traps. Could a more horrible picture be painted in words than this? . . .

"No doubt, in making these criticisms we are following the footsteps of many grand juries."

The A.M.A. and the American College of Surgeons gave this Kings County Hospital its highest rating, "Fully Approved." I filed a protest with the American College of Surgeons against the travesty and betrayal of public trust involved in certifying the safety of this hospital. Dr. M.T. McEachern, Director of Hospital Activities of the A.C.S. replied. He acknowledged that the "physical plant of the hospital is not the most desirable but justified the false recommendation of the hospital to the public as desirable and safe because "it has a staff of outstanding physicians, surgeons, and specialists," a majority of which surgeons were honored members of the A.C.S. and the A.M.A.

Dr. McEachern's reply implied that the criterion of the A.C.S. in certifying a hospital as "Fully Approved" is primarily, principally or solely this:

"Is a monopoly of the facilities of the hospital given to surgeons who are F.A.C.S., who have signed the pledge not to honestly pay for services rendered them by colleagues, not to split fees, and to maintain the surgical price scale?"

The degrading picture is not complete without comment on the "outstanding physicians, surgeons and specialists," F.A.C.S., on this "closed hospital's" staff. Not one of them had dared to expose the ugly situation of which they were well aware, or to uphold their "Hypocritic Oath" and protect their patients in a manner commanded by honesty and humanity.

On the contrary, they issued to the press a statement denying the existence of these conditions which were so well confirmed as to constitute a public scandal.

The Kings County Hospital case is not an isolated instance. The Cumberland Hospital of Brooklyn, for instance, had always been rated as "Fully Approved" though it was repeatedly condemned, and was finally closed down by Commissioner of Hospitals, Dr. J.G.W. Greeff as in momentary danger of collapse. Many hospitals that are recommended to the public by both the A.C.S. and the A.M.A. are scandalously unsafe, insanitary and a menace to the health and lives of their patients.


Numerous hospitals widely advertised by the American College of Surgeons as "Approved" place in jeopardy the health and lives of their patients and should be condemned and torn down. And it is equally true that the accommodations, food and treatment accorded the patients in numerous of those hospitals can only serve to impair their chances of recovery.

At the Metropolitan Hospital in New York some phases of surgery were practised, as recently as a decade ago, with no regard to asepsis and as crudely as they might have been a century ago. As a consequence of disregard of asepsis and sanitation, over two hundred cases of cross-infection of scarlet fever, measles and diphtheria, with a number of deaths of children, on one occasion forced quarantining the entire building in which the children's wards were located.

With a reporter for a New York newspaper, George Kenney, I inspected, about that time, the tuberculosis wards of the Metropolitan Hospital. We found that less than half the patients were provided with sheets or blankets. In order to keep the patients warm, the windows of the wards were kept closed at all times. Even the nurses and medical staff agreed that the food which was given to the patients was not fit for humans. The tuberculous patients of the hospital were getting neither fresh air nor proper food, the two essentials for the treatment of the disease.

One amusing episode brightened this grim tour of inspection. News of our inquiries about blankets was relayed to the superintendent of the hospital. On ringing for the elevator at the end of our inspection, the response was long delayed. When the elevator finally arrived, it was loaded with blankets hurriedly brought from a warehouse located on the same island on which the Metropolitan Hospital stands. The Metropolitan Hospital was "approved" by the American College of Surgeons,


These conditions are not unusual in hospitals. Children admitted for tonsillectomy have been known to leave the hospital with a cross infection of syphilis. The firm which supplied the municipal hospitals of New York City for many years, was successfully prosecuted on several occasions for furnishing to those hospitals milk which had been condemned as unfit for human use. This milk was fed to sick babies. The hospital epidemics among infants, which are publicized from time to time because of an excessive number of deaths, are generally due to such milk causing dysentery or cholera infantum.

When the interns of the City Hospital (New York) complained that roaches floated in their soup and cereals, they were told that they had no reason for complaint, since the patients did not complain about it.

In 1918, Miss Mildred Blackney, a city nurse in Ward CI-E of the Cancer-Neurological Hospital shocked the members of the New York City Board of Estimates by a description of conditions which prevailed in the hospital.

"I had one case of amputation of the breast," Miss Blackney said. "When I came on duty I was told to watch that case. I lifted up her arm and found hundreds of ants crawling over her."

"This should have been brought to the attention of the Commissioner of Hospitals," Councillor Newbold Morris suggested.

"The Commissioner knows about it. I reported it and the night nurse came to me and said, 'Why did you tell on us?'"

"Why can't this be stopped?" asked Deputy Mayor Curran, who represented junketing Mayor LaGuardia.

"You can't stop it because they are coming out of the walls," replied Director Luciel McGorkey of the C.I.O. "That hospital has rats, mice, bedbugs, cockroaches, ants and everything else. This has been brought to the attention of officials repeatedly."

This hospital was "approved" by the American College of Surgeons—lice, ants, rats, mice and everything else. Though the LaGuardia administration has pretended that the City of New York lacks the funds to remedy these wretched conditions, it has found millions to spend on building pretentious Health Centers that serve largely to provide offices for social service agencies and boondoggles. These facilities provided in these wasted and almost empty edifices would do much to relieve the hospital overcrowding. But hospitals do not serve the ends of social service agencies, milk companies, insurance companies and allied organizations that now control health departments. In the meantime the helpless sick are left in wretched misery.

Some idea of the universality of such hospital conditions is given by the preamble of a resolution adopted at a meeting of hospital workers organized in the SMWCA in 1939. It reads:

"Whereas: the twelve and even thirteen-hour shifts prevail in the majority of hospitals; and

"Whereas: hospital employees are frequently required to live in unsanitary fire-trap dwellings; and

"Whereas: the food served hospital employees is usually unpalatable and lacking in nourishment; and

" Whereas: responsibility for the care of 80 to 100 patients is not infrequently placed upon one nurse and one orderly; and

"Whereas: low salaries, long hours, and understating vary in hospitals throughout the country only in degree; and

"Whereas: these conditions do not permit of adequate, safe care for the sick; . .


The commercial motives which underlie the A.C.S. hospital activities are obvious in its attitude toward the generally luxurious private hospitals, which extend their facilities to all doctors and consequently are a menace to the monopoly of surgery which is sought by the A.C.S. This menace was intensified during the depression because the charges of the "charitable," voluntary hospitals were so much higher than those of the private.

To eliminate the competition, the publicity men of the A.C.S. and of its social service allies launched venomous, libelous attacks on the private hospitals, which were freely published in the daily press, though all replies were barred by censorship. It was alleged among other things that all private hospitals endanger the health and lives of the public. The president of the New York County Medical Society, local representative of the A.M.A., in his inaugural address told the public that the majority of operations performed in the private hospitals are needless and illegal. The truth of the matter is that the greater number of such operations is performed with impunity in the "closed hospitals" where the friendly consultations and the cloak of secrecy protect their perpetrators.

The motive for these attacks was clearly announced by the United Hospital Fund, through Assistant Director Dr. Eleanor Conover, as an attempt to remedy the loss of business by the voluntary hospitals and their doctors. The falseness of the charges against the private hospitals was proved conclusively when the A.C.S. was forced to place numerous private hospitals on the "approved" list because of the slump in business of its Fellows who refused to treat patients in the superior and cheaper private hospitals. It is a tribute to the great power of the organization that none of the libeled private hospitals dared to sue for damages done to their businesses. Subsequently when business again slumped, many of the private hospitals were again removed from the "approved" list.

The fight on the private hospitals was continued for a while in a treacherous and underhanded fashion. Social service organizations, such as the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City, sought to intimidate and restrain the staff members of hospitals which it supports from patronizing private hospitals by demanding a detailed report of every case which they there treated. The pretended reason was fear that the doctors might "split fees" in the private hospitals, and the Federation-supported hospitals might lose thereby their A.C.S. approval. The falseness of this pretense is made obvious by the fact that physicians do not remain on the staffs of many of those hospitals long, if they fail to make contributions deemed adequate.


Another demonstration of the commercialism of the A.C.S. and its social service allies was the war waged in 1932 by the voluntary "closed" hospitals on the municipal hospitals of New York City for Workmen's Compensation Insurance business. A ruling of the State's Attorney General had permitted the insurance companies to hospitalize injured employees as charity cases in municipal hospitals. This cheap business, at which the surgical merchants sniffed in times of prosperity, depression converted into an enviable morsel.

Under these circumstances the F.A.C.S. and the voluntary hospitals, with their social service allies, awakened to the discovery that injured employees were not getting adequate care and were being swindled out of their compensation; also that hospitals were not being adequately paid for the care of the cases. A Committee on Workmen's Compensation Insurance was appointed to investigate the situation by Governor Roosevelt. Mr. Howard E. Cullman, president of the Beekman Street Hospital, a director of the Flower Hospital, director of the Port Authority of New York, and champion of the social service interests, was appointed chairman of the committee.

The American College of Surgeons with its social service allies, issued publicity releases which lamented at great length the abuse of the injured worker; and advocated its "Approved Hospitals" and its own biand of surgeon as a remedy. It failed to state that the municipal hospitals in which these frauds and malpractices were being perpetrated were also "Approved Hospitals"; and that the perpetrators were also F.A.C.S.

The active interest of Mr. Cullman, and of his committee and its allies, in the abuses of the Workmen's Compensation Act ceased when the law and its administration had been changed to bar compensation cases from municipal hospitals, and turned the business over to the voluntary hospitals at a higher per diem rate. In spite of the fact that the injured workers now are being treated under the amended law even more mercilessly than formerly, the F.A.C.S. and their allies are no more interested in the abuses of the law. The American College of Surgeons and the insurance companies are once again allies and "approved" voluntary hospitals are perpetrating the same abuses which were condemned in the Crusade; but now influential F.A.C.S. are profiting from them.


Competition for medical business is widespread between the "closed" hospitals themselves, as well as between cliques within the hospitals and between individual members of the hospital staffs. Commercial interests of the profession stew continuously in the corrupt mess of hospital politics, a game of dog eat dog." It matters little to the principals that innocent third parties, the patients, lose their lives in the fray.

On rare occasions the continuous guerilla warfare of the "closed" hospital brigands, that normally is sheltered by the secrecy of the system, flares up into bitter and open battle and emerges into the courts. The press then brings it to public attention. Thus the Fifth Avenue Hospital of New York City, which was built and endowed as a homeopathic hospital, has staged a public battle for the control of the business attracted by that well-built and attractively located institution. The battle has run through the courts for a decade or more.

The homeopaths made the mistake of extending the courtesy of the use of their hospital to allopathic confreres. The latter soon banded together, and with little regard for principle, ethics or decency, proceeded to oust their hosts from the hospital. When Frank N. Hoffstott, with other contributors to the institution, sued the clique to prevent them from eliminating the homeopaths, Supreme Court Justice Peter Schmuck gave them little comfort. They did not regain control of the hospital and its business until depression threatened its bankruptcy. They were enabled to recapture it by virtual foreclosure, thanks to a windfall bequest of millions from the Wendel estate to the homeopathic Flower Hospital Medical School.

Then another allopathic clique, the Johns Hopkins Medical School crowd, gained control of the business of both the hospital and the medical school through the Rockefeller Foundation. A young henchman of the Johns Hopkins group, Dr. Ferdinand Lee, was made the Dean of the Flower Hospital Medical School. He promptly appointed fellow alumni and chums to the heads of the various staffs and they proceeded to demand the wholesale resignation of the veteran staffs.

Similar wars between factions closed the Italian Hospital and rocked the Harlem Hospital in New York City at about the same time.


How the A.C.S. serves its ringleaders and their allies is illustrated by the affair of the "approval" of the Beth David Hospital of New Yore City, the conduct of whose business already has been related. In spite of its widely known business methods and in spite of the dilapidation and squalor of its buildings, the hospital was "approved" by the American College of Surgeons.

After collecting unknown amounts of money for many years, the Beth David Hospital moved, in 1936, into a large and modern building that was close to the affluent residential district. This meant competition to the established hospitals and surgeons in times that were trying.

Within a short time after its removal to the new building which was as suited for hospital purposes as the old had been unsuited, the Beth David Hospital found itself in difficulties with the American College of Surgeons. It found its name omitted from the list of "approved" hospitals that is widely published by the A.C.S. in local newspapers. Due to the intense adverse publicity that the College can bring to bear on any institution that it desires, and due to the fear of the F.A.C.S. and those who aspired to that label, the business of the hospital rapidly fell off and it faced another of its series of financial crises.

The management of the hospital entered into negotiations to repair the severe commercial damage which the A.C.S. had inflicted on it. The A.C.S. demanded that the hospital's surgeons be ousted and replaced by other F.A.C.S. In January 1939, the chief of the surgical staff, who was one of the founders of the hospital, was ousted and his place given to one of the influential henchmen of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Frederick W. Bancroft F.A.C.S. He was given the rank of surgical director, which means boss of the surgical business of the institution, and he brought with him a clique of friends who displaced other staff members. At the very next meeting of the A.C.S. in October 1939, the Beth David Hospital was "approved" and included in the list published in the New York City newspapers.

Among the surgeons whose ousting was required by the A.C.S. were the more reputable members of the hospital staff. The excuse offered was that they were honest enough to pay other physicians openly for services rendered them—"fee-splitting" the A.C.S. calls it. The surgeons with whom the A.C.S. replaced them do not pay directly or openly. The influence of the F.A.C.S. is powerful enough to compel the hospital and its staff to turn over its surgical business to them.

A number of phases of the situation emphasized its glaring character. The hospital was founded and supported by a Jewish sectarian group. The surgeons whom they accepted as the price of A.C.S. "approval" were non-Jews.

Among the surgeons originally on the hospital staff who were acceptable to the A.C.S. were a number of men who are notorious for their Workmen's Compensation insurance activities. One of them has been brought up repeatedly before state officials on charges of solicitation of business, fraud perpetrated upon patients, perjury, and others; and has been threatened with the loss of his license to practice. Though held in disdain, he is employed by Workmen's Compensation insurance companies to do a lot of dirty-work.

Under the new regime, many casualties of industry, Workmen's Compensation cases, have been referred into the Beth David Hospital. Under the amended Workmen's Compensation Law, insurance companies are barred from influencing the choice of physician by the injured; but this does not mean that they can not arrange the appointment of surgeons in their employ to the staffs of hospitals to which the injured are sent.

An interesting phase of the background of this incident is the fact that Dr. Frederick W. Bancroft F.A.C.S. played a similar role, more than a decade prior in the capture of the Fifth Avenue Hospital from the homeopaths. He was ousted from his office on the premises of the hospital and from the position of surgical director and boss when the homeopaths re-seized the pirated hospital with the aid of the Wendel bequest.


One of the most malodorous hospital scandals that has come out into the open in recent years, that illustrates the bitterness of commercial rivalry which the lofty pretensions of the American College of Surgeons mask, is the affair of the Sydenham Hospital of New York City. The hospital had been founded by some of the lesser rank medical politicians in conjunction with a group of business men. The doctors on the staff paid for their hospital jobs in proportion to their ranks by contributions and by the purchase of dinner and benefit tickets and their sale to friends, and by soliciting donations and bequests. In return they split among themselves the business lured by the hospital, each man fighting for himself under rules which barred no hold. Though some of the hospital surgeons were F.A.C.S. and the hospital was "approved," they were either sufficiently honest to pay for services rendered them by colleagues, i.e. to "split fees," or were compelled to do so by competition.

When depression hit the medical profession with full force, medical politicians and gangs reached out to hijack and grab the business of less powerful rivals and their hospitals. It became the custom of the more powerful medical and hospital groups to seize control of competing institutions, oust the staff and to turn over the business to their lesser fry. These hospital raids were generally carried out under the banner of the American College of Surgeons on the pretense of "abolishing fee-splitting," and one of the weapons generally used was the threat of withdrawing "approval."

In line with this policy, the entrenched gang reached out and grabbed control of Sydenham Hospital and its business in 1938. Through the American College of Surgeons they threatened to withdraw "approval" of the hospital and to ruin its business unless they were given control of the hospital. They forced over half of the Sydenham's surgeons out on the charge of "fee-splitting" and replaced them with their "purse-splitting" Fellows and their henchmen. The victorious medical clique counted in its ranks such "leaders" as Dr. Alfred M. Heilman, influential politician and president elect of the New York County Medical Society, who became the chairman of the hospital's executive committee; and Dr. David J. Kaliski, past president of the same Society and Director of the Workmen's Compensation Committee of the New York State Medical Society. Workmen's Compensation was one of the baits.

Friends of the ousted physicians withdrew their support from the hospital and it soon was run to the verge of bankruptcy. To regain the old supporters of the hospital, Gustavus A. Rogers, one of the original board of the hospital was made president of the lay board of directors. He undertook to put a stop to the high-handed procedure of the medical gang in packing the hospital with their henchmen and riding rough-shod over other physicians who had built up the hospital's business.

Illustrative of the "high moral, ethical and cultural level" which characterize all the dealings of the American College of Surgeons and of organized medicine was the widely publicized brawl at the mass meeting of the hospital's medical staff reported by the New York World-Telegram of January 10, 1940, as follows:

". . . the case of the physician charged . . . with 'brutally attacking' an other member of the hospital staff . . . breaking two of his ribs. Apparently this was an encounter between Dr. Heilman and Dr. Julius Jarcho, an attending obstetrician, at the hospital. There are various versions of what happened, one being that Dr. Heilman merely shouldered Dr. Jarcho aside, and another that Dr. Heilman used his fists with vigor. "

Dr. Jarcho was appointed chairman of the executive committee in Dr. Hellman's place, even though he did take the count. But the fight was "fixed" by the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Ralph Colp, the local head of the A.C.S. is reported to have threatened Dr. Jarcho with the loss of his F.A.C.S. if he did not surrender his chairmanship and join the insurgents. As this book goes to press, this hospital gang war, like many others, is still under way.


The monopolistic control of hospital facilities by the A.C.S. and its social service allies has been made complete and absolute in New York by the Hospital Survey. The Committee is completely dominated by organized social service and it allies, and in spite of its private character, has official standing. Its decisions determine whether a hospital shall receive public and charitable support; whether it shall be permitted to appeal to the public for funds; or whether it is to shut its doors or to continue to exist. As a consequence of its activities it can be expected that in the future the diversion of hospital funds will be channeled into the coffers of certain groups represented well on the Committee; and that the monopoly of hospital facilities and their use will be concentrated in the hands of their allies. Judging by past performance, profits rather than public interest will determine the future policies in an ever greater degree. The Rockefellers are represented on the Committee by Mrs. Winthrop W. Aldrich and David McAlpine Pyle.


In still other manners than setting up a monopoly of surgery and upholding needless consultations, does the American College of Surgeons increase the cost of surgical care.

It has added to the mounting cost of hospitalization by requiring many wasteful items such as the keeping of needlessly elaborate records. It requires a multiplicity of "staff conferences" that tax the time of the profession and yield scant benefit other than the publicity derived from advertisement and from announcements, bearing the names of physicians permitted to present cases, that are mailed to the profession.

The gravest cost of the American College of Surgeons is the cost in human life. It is related elsewhere how organized medicine used all the machinery at its disposal to prevent the adoption of methods of treating ear and mastoid infections that would eliminate the need for mastoid surgery and to discredit a method of treatment of glaucoma that would wipe out any excuse for the blinding surgical treatment.

Operative scores, or statistics, required of surgeons and hospitals by the A.C.S. contribute heavily to its toll of lives. Though these statistics be innocuous in themselves, the consequences of the efforts of individual surgeons to hold down their scores results in numerous deaths.

When there is admitted to an "accepted" hospital a grave surgical case involving high operative risk and requiring the most skilled attention, there is a grand rush of surgeons, wishing to uphold their scores, to avoid the case unless it be lucrative. Three methods of escape are usual: either the case is turned over to a member of the intern staff to operate; or is left to die without operation; or is transferred to another hospital.

In either case the life of the patient is jeopardized by denial of the most competent attention available when it is most needed. Transfer is the method of choice in case of patients who appear to be dying after operation. So high is the rate of transfer in some institutions that it is hard to understand why their surgeons' scores should show any mortality; for the cases which die after transfer are not reckoned on the score of the transferring institution. The callous brutality involved in this traffic of the dying, beggars description and cries for a halt.

Such are the contributions of the American College of Surgeons and its allies—social service organizations and hospital associations—to "protection of the health and lives of the public."

The Public vs. "Closed Hospitals"

The rise of hospitals to their present state of physical development has served to improve the care of the ill. Under modern living conditions, such as the small and crowded apartments of our cities, hospitals are essential for the care of the seriously ill. Many cases of illness can be cared for efficiently only in a hospital; for the hospital makes available many of the more complicated and cumbersome devices used in modern medical practice.

The very dependence of the public on its hospitals that compels it to accept what is given, makes the abuses which have grown up in them just so much more critical and less excusable. Nevertheless, it has become the custom of the public to veer away awesomely and foolishly from the dread topic of hospital abuses. The traditional attitude is:

"We must have the hospitals in spite of their abuses. Since we do not know what to do to remedy the situation and no one who does know is willing to tell us, we may as well accept it and make the best of it."

This attitude of condoning the abuses merely serves to aggravate the situation. Therefore, I shall not discuss merely the dangers of hospital abuses, but also the remedies.

The nature of the work done by hospitals and the high physical state which some of them have attained has served to hide from public gaze some of the serious defects and abuses which have crept into hospital organization and management. But the discriminating patient can quickly discern that much is wrong in hospital and clinic organization. He feels that he is regarded merely as a cog necessary for the operation of the hospital machinery. If he has spirit and demands needed attention, he ranks as a nuisance. He feels that he is recipient of as much individual attention and interest as a bolt emitted from an automatic lathe. He is right in this feeling. In addition to the reasons which have been related, there are others that are rooted in the nature of the hospital rackets that account for it.

The hospital has become a business device for "mass-production," advertising and selling medical and surgical wares. Human values consequently may assume curiously distorted proportions in hospitals. Neither patient, physician, nurse or personnel count for much in the views of the present-day "closed" hospital administration. Its motto is: "Folks come and go, but the hospital goes on forever."

It is only when hospitals seek to lure funds from the public that there is any pretense of catering to it. The hospital is represented to the public as belonging to it. "Contribute to build your hospital" was the typical slogan coined by the clever publicity men that raised the funds for the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. The patient who has contributed to the hospital in response to the fraudulent plea that the hospital belongs to him and to the community, may well wonder on receiving his bill whether he is not being called upon once again to buy the hospital.

This phase of the hospital situation is thrown into sharp relief by a very pathetic case that has recently come to light. A wealthy contributor who had liberally endowed a prominent hospital lost his fortune during the depression. He was refused admission by the very hospital that he had endowed because he could not pay its minimal charges. The high cost of clinic and hospital care gravely concerns many folks.


The monetary cost to the public of clinic care, in contrast to hospital charges, is often quite nominal. In municipal clinics no charge is made. In the voluntary hospital or pay clinics, the charges may range from pennies to dollars. In some of the Medical Center pay clinics charges are sometimes higher than in private practice. But the actual total cost in loss of working time and wages may run very high.

An illustration of this cost is case 58 of the One Hundred Neediest Cases reported by the New York Times in December 1927. The father of a family of three was required to attend a clinic each morning. As a consequence, he lost his pay for half days; and by exactly that sum he was pauperized. Public charity was called upon to donate that sum. The man might have had treatment at the hand of a physician privately at a time which would not have interfered with his work, and avoided pauperization. Eventually his clinic medical care made him a public charge.

A similar case is that of Leonard P. who suffered from a trivial disorder of the nose which he was told by the clinic physician required treatment twice a week. He was employed as a cook and earned a fairly good salary, but wished to save the relatively trifling cost of private medical care. To attend the free Bellevue Clinic he was compelled to drop work at midday and take off the balance of the day. As a consequence, he regularly lost his job and was more often unemployed than employed. In the end he became a public charge.

Many needless visits are required of clinic patients for mercenary and other reasons. It is established practice for cities to pay clinics for the care of charity and relief cases, a small sum for each visit. Most voluntary clinics extend little charity. Inasmuch as the physician is not usually paid for his services, these sums represent profit to the clinics and hospitals. Consequently, it is demanded of the doctor that he compel the patient to return often, however unnecessary that may be, in order that the sums collected by the institution may be larger. In addition, the larger the number of patients lured into the clinic, the greater will be the business lured into the hospital. Even in municipal clinics, the management and the social workers like to show ever increasing attendance to justify increasingly larger appropriations.

Every town has its army of clinic-bred paupers of the type above described, They do not stop to realize that in seeking cheap or "free" care, they are losing their jobs and livelihoods. Hospital social service workers do not disillusion them, for they know that clinic attendance butters their bread. They feel that reference of these sick folks to physicians privately would be suicidal. Private practice furnishes no social service jobs; and it is therefore the avowed goal of social service to destroy private medical practice, no matter what the cost to the community. How little charity is extended in the clinics of the voluntary hospitals is indicated by the 1932 annual report of the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital. It shows that the hospital made a profit of almost forty thousand dollars on eyeglasses that it furnished its "charity" clinic patients.


It is tragic irony that "charitable" hospitals often mean financial ruin for the very individuals who have generously contributed to their building and support, when they require the services of the hospital. Instances of this can be found in almost any large city. In New York City, for instance, no one factor has contributed more to the impoverishment of Jewish families in normal times than the excessive charges for medical care in the very institutions which they build and support.

Most notorious is the case of Mt. Sinai Hospital. By adroit publicity and politics, it has built up for itself a reputation for quality of service and excellence of medical personnel that it has not earned or deserved for many years. When lured thereby to seek the services of the hospital and its staff, the subscribers who seek private care are often excessively charged; and cast out or thrown into the wards when their funds are exhausted. It might be said, with considerable justice, that the most serious disease affecting the Jewish folk of New York is "Mt. Sinaisitis."

The irony of the situation is intensified when such social service organizations as the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies aid and abet the establishment of rapacious "closed" hospital monopolies. Its complexion is not improved by the fact that physicians do not remain on the staffs of institutions that it supports, if they fail to contribute to the "charity" sums of money deemed adequate.


"Closed" hospital monopolies, fostered by organized medicine, the A.C.S., and organized social service raise the cost of medical and surgical care to the public. They are not designed to foster either honesty or fairness nor do they protect the health and life of the patient. For they compel the family physician to surrender the care of his patient who enters a "closed" hospital and turn it over to the hospital staff and deny the patient the benefit of truly responsible and personalized care.

The surgeon's responsibility to the patient however is slight and his dealings sporadic and occasional. A surgeon's reputation is little affected by individual mishaps or deaths. Patients are forced into his hands by the "closed" hospital monopoly and must accept his services. He is protected by the code of secrecy to which members of the staffs of "closed" hospitals are pledged. There is no better way of covering up needless criminal or careless surgery than to perform it in a "closed" hospital.

"Closed" hospital staff members generally charge patients highly for their monopolistic services. They also do their best to wean them away from outside family physician who loses caste by being excluded from the hospital and the care of his patient. If and when the patient is returned to the family physician he is often so stripped of funds that he cannot pay for further services required.

The interest of fairness to the patient and his family would be served if they were given an all-inclusive fee for operative services which they might prepare and budget. That fee should include the charges for the very real services rendered by the family physician to both the surgeon and the patient, such as making the initial observations and diagnosis, inducing the patient to seek the surgeon's services, arranging the fee, attending the operation, watching over the aftercare and following up the results. This should be done openly and with the cognizance of the patient.

Such a plan implies the continued care of the patient by his family physician in the hospital. This means elimination of the "closed" hospital monopolies. There would result protection of the health and life of the patient and a material reduction in surgical costs.

The relatively high cost of surgery to the American people is amply attested by the report of Lee K. Frankel to the Committee on the Cost of Medical Care. This report indicated that the average cost of medical care among 2,678 families was $37 for a half year. The average cost of surgical care in 212 families was $74 exclusive of hospital expenses for the same period. In other words, the average cost of surgical care was found to be twice that of medical care.

The monopoly of surgery established through such agencies as the "closed" hospitals and the American College of Surgeons contributes largely to the high cost of surgical care. But it is by no means solely responsible.



Needless hospitalization costs the public heavily. The physicians and surgeons who are given monopolies of facilities by "closed" hospitals are expected to boost its business and keep its beds filled. Since it is a convenience to busy practitioners to have their patients concentrated in hospitals, instead of having to visit them in their scattered homes, they are not at all loath to impose this item of unnecessary cost on their patients while boosting the patronage of their hospitals.

In the great majority of "voluntary" hospitals interns and nurses-in-training receive little or no pay. Pay, and working and living conditions of the other workers are so unbelievably poor that even their unionization has not succeeded in New York in bringing the average wage level up to fifteen dollars per week. The hospitals which continually appeal to the charity of the community and play on its gullibility, show little or no charity in these dealings. The social service workers and superintendents, alone among the workers in the hospitals, are amply or munificently paid.

Barred by law from showing a profit, these hospitals generally manage to show a deficit on their books. They are built and exist on the charity and philanthropy of the community, continually begging funds. Though they often extend little or no charity to the public, they are exempted from taxation and are subsidized by the taxpayers as "charitable institutions."


The exorbitance of the "closed" hospital charges becomes more apparent from a comparison with those of the commercial, proprietary, or private hospitals. These hospitals are privately financed and built, and are operated for the frank purpose of netting their owners a profit. The contrast is sharp.

The modern private hospital is a high class hotel for the sick. It receives no endowments or contributions from the public. It is erected on valuable ground which is purchased for the purpose. The construction is generally luxurious, fire-proof and ultra-modern. It is expensively and comfortably furnished, and its appointments are the best. The equipment is complete and the last word in modernity. No expense is spared to insure the safety, comfort and well-being of the patients. They generally pay their help better wages than do the voluntary hospitals, and hire help of higher caliber. Unlike the voluntary "closed" hospitals, they pay taxes. Nevertheless, private hospitals generally charge the patient less for the same caliber of service and accommodation. And when properly managed, they generally show excellent profits.

The public has discovered that the cost of the superior accommodations of the private hospitals is less than in the supposedly "charitable," voluntary hospitals, and the treatment better. The patient in the private hospital is not called on to surrender his rights as a man and as a citizen. He is allowed to freely choose the physician to whom he will entrust his care. The patient is not denied the trusted, competent, and reasonably priced services of a physician of his choice as is the case in the voluntary hospital merely because that physician is not a member of a monopolizing clique.

In many communities the voluntary, "closed" hospitals have been able to hold their own against the competition of the private hospital only with the aid of the corrupt powers of the A.C.S., A.M.A. and social service allies.

It is not surprising that the private hospitals show good profits when properly managed and times are propitious. They are merely hotels for the ill. Though the menage of good hotels is even more luxurious and expensive than that of a hospital, they generally manage to show good profits when well patronized. Not even the plea of expense of special hospital equipment can be interposed as an item that imposes higher costs on the hospital; for many modern hotels have completely equipped hospitals on their premises for the use of their guests and for the help. It had become the custom of many physicians in cities such as New York to refer their operative patients to hotels for superior hospital service at lesser costs. But the hospital lobby stopped this devastating competition by prevailing on the licensing authorities to deny licenses to hospitals maintained in hotel premises.


The surprising feature of the situation is that the voluntary hospitals can manage to show such large deficits in spite of their exorbitant charges.

When questioned on the matter, hospital authorities point to their "charity work" as a justification for the losses. But the voluntary hospitals generally extend little charity to the community which it does not pay for. The ward cases either pay an average of three and a half dollars a day for their hospitalization, or the community pays it for them. When no payment is available, the voluntary hospitals transfer the cases to public hospitals, often at grave risk to health and life. The relatively small amount of occasional charity extended by institutions is outbalanced by the charitable contributions obtained from the community by appeals and "drives."

Charges made by the voluntary hospitals for services in their wards should not involve any loss to the institutions if they were efficiently and honestly managed. This is made apparent by a comparison with the charges made in the second rate and the workmen's hotels. In hotels of the latter class, a modestly furnished room and three meals a day which are adequate for a healthy man, may be had at one and a half to two dollars a day. For a bed to sleep in, three simple, meagre meals a day, medicine costing a few cents, and the moiety of service which costs them little or nothing, the hospitals of New York and of other cities charge the ward patient from four to six dollars a day; and they cry that "charity" is exhausting their funds.


"Hospital funds," which offer group hospital care for fixed annual charges in many cities, have partly solved for some of the public one aspect of the problem of hospitalization cost. But none of these plans provides for the largest item in the cost of illness—private nursing care. Partial breakdown of the hospital plan in New York City, which has resulted in cancellation of many contracts in 1939 and modification of others, indicates that more fundamental remedies are necessary. The situation is further aggravated by the custom of hospitals of imposing excessive charges for "extras" on the "hospital service" cases. The hospital funds also exclude from participation persons over the age of sixty-five years, leaving the hospital problem completely unsolved for this growing group.

"Hospital fund" plans, however, do aggravate the problem of the cost of medical and surgical care. For they have enabled the tottering "closed" hospital system to survive, and have saddled on the public the high costs of medical and surgical care which its monopolies foster. This will become even more intensified if the American College of Surgeons, the A.M.A and their social service allies, who are powerful influences in these plans, succeed in their efforts to restrict the benefits solely to "approved" hospitals. The solution of the problem of hospital costs rests primarily in the elimination of dishonesty, corruption, and rackets—in honest administration.


As a result of concentration of the ill, and the crowding together of the non-infectious and undiagnosed infectious and contagious ailments, the clinic often serves as a focus of spread of infectious and contagious disease. A child taken to a clinic with a minor ailment may readily return home with the beginnings of scarlet fever or measles.

Even thoughtful laymen can appreciate this potential menace to public health. The Grand Jury of the Bronx, on the 28th day of November, 1937 handed up to Supreme Court Justice Tierney a presentment charging that the clinics of the Bronx were a focus of spread of contagious diseases.

Tragic delay in diagnosis and treatment of ailments often result from clinic organization. An instance is cited in records published by the New York City Health Department in 1928, in a survey of deaths due to diphtheria that were observed in the contagious disease hospitals of the city. The case reads as follows:

Diagnosis was not made on a child suffering from very early stages of diphtheria in the clinic of a hospital. When the child was returned on the following clinic day, two days later, advanced toxic diphtheria was obvious. The child died shortly after admission to the hospital.

A physician in his private practice would have continuously and repeatedly observed the child. Clinic organization made this impossible and was responsible for the death.

The barrier offered to follow-up of patients by clinic organization, the resultant irresponsibility of care, and its menace to health and life are freely acknowledged by even the staunchest advocates of the clinic system. The United Hospital Fund of New York stated in its 1927 report that the care given the public in clinics is not thorough. This is a mild statement of the situation, as will be discerned from the following case:

A.G., a man about 24 years of age; occupation, bricklayer; earnings ten dollars per day plus overtime. Admitted to clinic with infection of a finger. After the finger was dressed, the surgeon hesitantly told him to return on the following clinic day. The surgeon hesitated because he faced a dilemma. He realized that though the infection was slight, there was a possibility that it might spread rapidly. Though under the rules of hospital admission there was no justification for immediate admission, the hand should be watched twice a day. The surgeon would have been glad to refer the patient to his office for observation without charge; but by the rules of the clinic he was barred from so doing.

When the patient returned to the clinic on the second day following, he presented an angry infection of the hand and forearm which necessitated immediate amputation of the hand. This amputation might have been avoided if the victim had had adequate attention during the first two days of illness.

This case is one of many which may be found daily in the clinics of any large city. It constitutes criminal neglect and gross malpractice; but under the law of most states both doctor and clinic are immune from prosecution. The tragedy to the individual and his family is an outcome of neglect forced by the very nature of the clinic and of its rules and regulations. Such cases impress forcibly the fact that the most valuable item which the patient may require and secure from his physician is his personal care and the solicitude which accompanies the sense of individual responsibility. This is barred by clinic and institutionalized practice of medicine.

Nothing is more false than the idea that clinics offer a physician experience superior to that of private practice. The reverse is the truth. Clinics generally breed in their physicians habits of haste, inaccuracy and negligence. For the clinic doctor is a cog in the machine of medical "mass production." He is not paid for his services, is denied any voice in the management of the clinic, and must submit to the indignity of punching a time clock. His clinic hours are determined by those of the paid porter.

The clinic doctor, like the hospital attending, is the counterpart of the laborer on an assembly line. He is required to specialize and treat only a single organ or disease. In order to secure his appointment, he must be a man who is trained in the specialty. Since most clinics are woefully underequipped, he must furnish needed equipment at his own expense and risk.

Clinics generally require of their physicians that they see, and make at least a pretense of examining and treating all the "customers" before the clinic closes. Closing hours are determined by the hours of the paid personnel. Hurried and careless work is generally forced upon the physician. Often the pressure of work taxes the endurance and mental poise of the physician, which is so requisite for careful, thoughtful work. The very nature of clinic organization forces neglect and deception of the patient. Under these circumstances, the physician learns little more than careless, hurried methods of work which become fixed habits. It is idle to expect anything but negligence and malpractice of the clinic physician.


The most significant element in the cost of "closed" hospitals to the public is the sacrifice of human life. Though medical advances have improved the caliber of medical care and increased the expectancy of life, often patients fail to derive benefit from them in many "closed" hospitals. This results from the very faults that are inherent in the "closed" hospital systems.

The medical boss is expected to lure or drag his patients into his hospital, especially if they are wealthy or if the case involves much publicity. Not infrequently this is done at the expense of the patient's life. A notorious case of this character was that of a wealthy Long Island polo player who was thrown from his horse and suffered from a fracture skull and intra-cranial hemorrhage. He was taken to a local hospital. If he had been a poor man he would have been left there to rest and would have had an excellent chance to make an uneventful recovery. Instead a prominent professor of brain surgery from a nearby Medical Center was called in. He hastened to rush off his prize to his Medical Center. As might be expected, the jouncing sixty-five mile ride to the Center was too much for the patient. He died, a victim of the "superior" medical care which his wealth and prominence inflicted on him.

Authorities agree that in some types of cases hospitalization means an added risk of life to the patient. This is especially true in obstetrical cases, in which the risk of acquiring puerperal infections is intensified in hospitals.

Few "closed" hospitals have medical staffs large enough to care adequately for all of their patients, because of the desire of dominating cliques to restrict and monopolize the use of their facilities. Rather than dilute their monopoly by permitting competent outsiders to care for the patients in the hospital, the staffs turn them over to untrained, inexperienced and often unsupervised interns. The opinion of these self-same hospitals of the competence of the interns whom they entrust with the lives of patients is made clear by the fact that after they have graduated, they are denied for many years the privilege of performing in the hospital the operations which they performed as interns, on the ground of inexperience.

To the public, the "closed" hospital cliques pretend that their object in excluding the outside physician is the protection of health and life of the patient. The falseness of this claim is obvious. When no members of the staff are available, the patients of the "closed" hospitals are forced to accept the services of inexperienced interns even for dangerous operations rather than permit the outside physician, no matter how experienced he may be, to render competent services.

The lives of others have less value to merchants-in-medicine than their business monopolies.

This endangering of life for commercial advantage is an almost universal custom in the "closed" hospitals of the country. A prominent surgeon, Dr. A.J. Rongy F.A.C.S., has stated that over 50% of the cases on his service were operated by interns with or without adequate supervision. He stated that the inexpertness of the operations and the prolongation of the anesthesias spelled a grave risk to the health and life of the patients. This surgeon's accusation was amply confirmed in Commissioner Higgins' Kings County Hospital report which already has been mentioned.

The toll of death and disability due to the inexperience of the intern often is accentuated by the tremendous volume of work forced on the personnel. In many larger hospitals interns are compelled to work from twelve to eighteen hours a day; and in case of emergency they may be compelled to work a day, or more, without sleep. Nurses are also compelled to work sometimes for comparable periods. Fatigue of hospital workers contributes to the toll of human lives in hospitals.


Malpractice and error of diagnosis occur with especially high frequency in connection with ambulance services. Rarely do these cases attract any attention except when they form the basis of social service propaganda. They are so common-place that the newspapers do not favor them as news. In the early years of the depression, the social service forces conducted a publicity drive for the support of the ambulance services of the voluntary hospitals in New York City. As a result, some cases of negligence of ambulance surgeons were published in the press; they became "news" solely because of the activities of the social service publicity men.

On December 8, 1931, the New York Journal reported that Clark Starbuck was treated at a hospital for a supposed laceration of the scalp and discharged. One hour later he collapsed and died at the Mt Sinai Hospital from what was later discovered to be a fracture of the skull.

On January 1, 1932, the New York Times reported that John Mul queen died in the East 126th Street Police Station, shortly after he had been refused as a patient by the Harlem Hospital ambulance surgeon.

On January 18, 1932, the New York Times reported that Robert Francis was discharged from the Fordham Hospital, with a diagnosis of mere lacerations after being struck down by a truck. Promptly after returning to his home, a summoned private physician diagnosed fractures of the skull, arm and leg.

The individuals described as the "ambulance surgeons" in these cases were, as usual, young, inexperienced and unpaid interns working under high pressure, for long hours, risking life and limb in the service. The failure of correct diagnosis was not their fault, but the fault of a system which forces inexperienced youngsters to do work which would often tax the skill of a veteran physician. Nevertheless, in all the publicized cases the young interns were made the scapegoats of the system and their records and reputations damaged.

It was not until September 1933 that interns at Bellevue Hospital summoned up sufficient courage to rebel against being made the scapegoats of the ambulance system. They protested against the suspension and reprimand of two of their number for fatal errors in diagnosis on ambulance calls.

One of the cases was Edward J. Sullivan, whose condition was diagnosed by the intern as "alcoholic gastritis." At death intestinal obstruction was found.

The other case, Norman Frankel, involved two interns who, on three successive ambulance calls over a period of twenty-four hours, persisted in diagnosing what proved to be a ruptured appendix as a mere stomach ache.

One can well understand the resentment of the interns on being made the scapegoat of the publicity attending these cases. In every large hospital with its mass production system, such cases are commonplace even at the hands of experienced staff physicians.


The attitude of the hospital authorities to the death-toll from negligence is one of supreme indifference, if it involves no publicity. They receive no publicity and are accepted as a part of the daily routine.

I recall an experience which illustrates this attitude. While in my third year at medical school, I was asked by a friend, a young intern at Bellevue Hospital, to substitute for him during his leave of absence. Though my knowledge of medicine was as scant as that of any third year medical student, I was entrusted with the care of a large ward of surgical patients.

One night I was called, after a long and hard day, to quiet a noisy, obstreperous and delirious drunk who had been admitted with a fracture of the thigh. I ordered the nurse to administer a fairly large dose of paraldehyde.

About two hours later, I was again awakened and told that the patient was once again disturbing the ward. I ordered another dose of paraldehyde.

About five o'clock in the morning, I was summoned to the bedside of the patient who was comatose and in collapse. The cumulative effect of the alcohol and the unwisely large doses of paraldehyde had been too much for him.

I promptly administered oxygen and artificial respiration and continued it over a period of four hours. At the end of that time, the patient was resuscitated and I was exhausted.

When I went down to breakfast, I was chagrined to find myself twitted and derided by superiors for having concerned myself about the possible death of an old drunkard. A death more or less in that mass of ailing humanity meant little provided it did not show in the operative mortality score.

Loss of life or impairment of health resulting from the high pressure of hospital and clinic work, accident, carelessness and negligence is quite commonplace in institutional medicine; the hospital code of secrecy hides them and rarely do they emerge into public notice. The attitude of hospital authorities toward deaths of this type is a pose of severity in the few chance cases which receive publicity. They stage a tremendous indignation which vents itself on intern, nurse or other subordinate, who is made the scapegoat; and a career is damaged or ruined. It is interesting to recall a few of the cases which have been given widespread publicity in the press of the nation because they served the purposes of the dominant cliques in medicine and social service.


Three infants were put to death at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, in December 1932, by the injection of boric acid into their veins. An overworked nurse had injected the acid instead of salt solution ordered by the doctor.

Dr. Eleanor Conover, director of the Hospital Information and Service Bureau, a social service publicity bureau whose function it is to propagandize hospitals and clinics, told the press that accidents and errors are rare in hospitals. She said:

"The nurse who has made a serious mistake is no more granted another chance than the captain who has lost his ship. The patient who submits to treatment in any reputable New York hospital has the assurance that none of the nurses who will attend her have been found guilty of negligence to date."

More truthfully, Dr. Charles Norris, then chief medical examiner for New York City, informed the public

"Something like this happens every two or three years."

He referred to the matter coming to public attention; not to the rate of incidence of such accidents. Anyone can realize that persons who are over-worked and tired are certain to make errors. There is an inevitable toll of mass production and fatigue in hospitals and clinics,


Four infants were asphyxiated by steam in the nursery of the Perth Amboy General Hospital, on October 23, 1939. According to the statement of the hospital, a steam valve with worn threads had been affixed to a radiator in the nursery with adhesive tape. Immunity of hospitals and clinics from liability for negligence contributes to the frequency of such incidents.

Some of the truth with regard to the conditions in "closed" hospitals began to leak out after the hospital personnel were afforded protection in tenure of position, in 1936, by organization into labor unions in the municipal hospitals of New York City. Thus Miss Marion Martin appeared for the hospital nurses before the Board of Estimate in October of that year. She revealed that in Harlem Hospital, during the month prior, nineteen babies died of infantile diarrhea while one nurse cared for fifty of them.

Occasionally, sensational cases leak into the press. Such a case was reported from Elizabethton, Tennessee, several years ago. Two surgeons who were intoxicated and in no condition to operate undertook to remove the appendix of a youth. After fumbling about, they closed up the abdomen, leaving the patient to die as a result of their malpractice. At autopsy, the coroner removed a perfectly normal appendix.

Though the above-cited case is extreme, operations by surgeons who are not in fit condition are almost regular occurrences under our present system of medical and hospital organization. The chief of service in the "closed" hospital is absolute monarch in his domain, and no subordinate who values his job or reputation dares question the sobriety or state of competence of the "Chief."


Overwork of staff physicians and surgeons who seek to care for all the cases that their hospital monopoly brings them also accounts for much malpractice. For they are not robots. They have, like other human beings, their "below par" days. Seldom does it happen, however, that a surgeon refuses to operate, or turns his work over to a colleague, because he does not feel fit. This would be regarded as evidence of inefficiency in a Medical Center or "health factory." There have been surgeons who have jeopardized their own lives, and collapsed and died in the midst of an operation, rather than yield to another. Whipped on by the "mass production" machinery of the hospital, surgeons attempt to work on schedule as operative robots.

The organization of medical service for mass production—whether it be by the state or by social service agencies, whether in clinics, hospitals or medical centers—is inevitably signalized by a heightened disregard for the value of human life. In the mass production of objects, spoilage of a certain percentage of production is taken for granted. Accuracy is sacrificed to speed, The imperfect or damaged product is cast aside. But in the "mass production of health," spoilage means maiming or death of humans. "Mass production of health" readily translates itself into "mass production of disability and death."

The ultimate victims of the hospital rackets are the public, who pay the bill doubly in the "closed" hospitals. They often are compelled to surrender their rights as men and as citizens, and to permit themselves to be robbed and maimed, in order to enjoy the facilities of the very institutions which they support.


Regard for human life should dictate painstaking and careful personal care of the ill. But the social service clique and merchants-in-medicine equally pooh-pooh the personal element in medicine. One can understand their attitude when one regards it in the light of self-preservation. An organization of the medical profession for careful and reasonably priced medical care provides no fat incomes for parasitic social service workers; and it also provides no immense and supremely lucrative incomes for individual physicians and surgeons.

In the private medical practice of the average physician a respect of human values, the health and life of the patient, is compelled by commercial considerations if it be not by humanitarian. If the physician be not excessively busy and hurried as are some "merchants-in-medicine," he treats the patient as an individual and not as a case; each individual patient assumes for him a human as well as financial significance. The law, financial interest and other considerations impose on the physician a high sense of personal responsibility. The disablement or death of a patient under circumstances which raise the slightest suspicion, however unjustified that suspicion may be, spells damage to reputation, loss of income and legal liability.

So heavily does this responsibility and its sense weigh upon the rank and file physician that there have been cases in which physicians have been impelled to commit suicide by the accidental death of a patient arising out of treatment. It is in part the anxiety which arises out of this, as well as the moral responsibility for the patient, that accounts for the high incidence among physicians of the dread and deadly heart disease, angina pectoris.

The clinic and hospital, and often the private practices of medical "leaders," are organized for continuous working of the personnel under intense drive and pressure for "mass production." Not even the legal responsibility, that weighs down on the average physician in his practice, exists in these forms of practice.

Though the medical "leader" is theoretically as liable under the law as any other physician of the rank and file, his responsibility for the patient under the law is far less real. For under the interpretation of the law, a physician who treats his patient in accord with "accepted practice" is free of liability even though that "accepted practice" be a clearly demonstrable cause of disability and death. The "medical leader" is the arbiter of "accepted practice."

Legally, life loses value as soon as the patient passes into the portals of the hospital. Under many circumstances, virtual murder may be committed entirely within the law and with absolute impunity in the hospital and in other forms of institutional medical practice.

In the "closed" hospital all safeguards that serve to protect the health and life of the patient in private practice are wiped out. This is especially true in the case of the poor charity patients in the municipal and voluntary hospitals; their cases do not even present a commercial interest to the staff physicians.

The "closed" hospital with its "closed" staff, its bond of common interest and its stringent discipline, makes possible and enjoins secrecy in regard to mistreatment and malpractice. Falsification of hospital records to protect the hospital from even a suspicion of such abuses is not an unknown practice. The difficulty that interested parties have in gaining access even to the hospital records thus "doctored" is well known to any practicing attorney.


To cap the climax, the law, in most states, absolves the hospital of any legal responsibility for malpractice perpetrated upon its patients. If it has exercised "reasonable care" in the selection of its personnel, which means if the doctors and nurses on its staff be graduates, no matter what injury may be done the patient as a result of defects of hospital management, the hospital is exempt from liability. "Charity" patients are also barred in many states from any claims against hospitals as a result of hospital and clinic negligence. It has become the custom, in those states, for voluntary hospitals and other institutions to parade as "charities" though they do little or no charity work, by meeting the scant requirements of the welfare or charity law, in order to avoid legal liability for negligence. There is an added inducement, in most communities, for this act in the provision of tax exemption, and sometimes public grants, for hospitals which register as charitable institutions. Even in cases in which there does exist legal liability for negligence of the hospital, awards are seldom granted the injured, so great is the aura of "charity" about the hospital.

The removal of legal check against negligence of hospitals is a menace to the health and life of the public. There is no justification for granting to any group in the community exemption from the laws safeguarding human life. Particularly should these safeguards be preserved in hospitals and clinics, where life so often hangs in the balance, and where even minor neglect of the patient can accomplish murder. A draught of air playing upon a patient rendered unconscious, by anesthesia or narcotic, may induce pneumonia and death. Error or over-dosage in medication may accomplish murder with little suspicion of foul-play. The possibilities of injury to health and loss of life by real or simulated negligence in the hospital are innumerable.

The law on negligence and malpractice and all other phases of the law leave absolutely no justification for the exemption of institutions from negligence liability. Liability for negligence by the hospital perpetrated through its nurses or its other agencies is placed squarely upon the shoulders of the physician in charge of the case even though he may be unpaid for his services and denied any voice in the appointment of the nursing or other personnel of the hospital.

Patients burned by excessively hot bottles of water applied by the hospital nurse have sued their doctors, who were in no wise directly responsible for the deed or the resultant injury. The physician, in such cases, found himself facing malpractice suit and damage to reputation and livelihood even though his own treatment of the patient was faultless and rendered absolutely free of charge.

The extent of the negligence and abuse suffered by patients in "closed" hospitals is unbelievable in some cases. A classical instance is that of the A.C.S. "approved" Kings County Hospital of Brooklyn. Brutal assaults upon helpless patients by orderlies and attendants brought to a head smoldering public resentment against the shameful and horrible conditions prevailing in the hospital.


The public, in its resentment at the hospital rackets, has placed the blame for them on the medical profession as a whole. In this they have been entirely wrong. For the medical profession at large has been as much victimized by the dishonest "closed" hospital system as has the public.

The rank and file of the medical profession has suffered doubly. They suffer in the role of patients. For the hospital seldom extends to the doctors either grace or mercy in the matter of costs. They also suffer in the role of physicians. High hospital costs force the public to accept the "charity" of the hospital wards; and physicians generally receive no fees for the work done in the wards. The monopoly of the facilities of hospitals results in unfair competition by the merchants-in-medicine with the rank and file of the profession.

Open Hospital—A Remedy

The remedy for the "closed" hospital and allied rackets is obvious and simple. It consists in the elimination of hospital monopolies and their conversion into "open" hospitals.

The "open" hospital gives the patient complete freedom of choice of physician from the ranks of doctors licensed to practice. Competition, made possible by freedom of choice of physicians, puts an end to exorbitant fees and charges demanded by the merchants-in-medicine and the hospital bosses. The patient is no longer forced to content himself with neglect and medical treatment of inferior caliber in order to secure the advantages of hospitalization. No longer is he robbed by numerous needless consultations, the object of which is often solely the physician's desire to retain or purchase hospital position. No longer are the health and life of the public subject to the convenience, whims and caprices of a monopolizing group of merchants-in-medicine.


The advantages to the patient of the elimination of the racketeering "closed" hospital system and its replacement by an honest "open" hospital regime were made clear by a letter written, on October 1, 1926, by the late Dr. Royal S. Copeland, U.S, Senator. Professor of Ophthalmology of the University of Michigan and of the Flower Hospital Medical School, and former Commissioner of Health of New York City, for publication in the Medical Alliance Review. Senator Copeland wrote as follows:

"I have always believed that the hospitals should be more generally used by the medical profession. At many times hospitals have closed wards to the detriment of the profession and of the public.

". . . There should be worked out some method by which a reputable physician could take a patient to a nearby hospital, I recall an experience of my own. A patient came to me for an operation for a cataract. He lived right next door to the hospital. When I asked the privilege of operating that patient in that hospital, I was told it was impossible because they had a "closed" staff. This poor old man was obliged to come way over to Manhattan to a hospital where I operated, in order that he might have an operation which could have been done in his very door-yard. I hope some way may be worked out by which hospitals may be given a greater usefulness, by permitting the profession generally to make use of them.

"Cordially yours,

"Royal S. Copeland'


Senator Copeland drives home by illustration some of the significance to the public of the "closed" hospital racket which is expressed in a more abstract form by an authority on the hospital problem, Commissioner of Hospitals of New York, Dr. S.S. Goldwater, who wrote as follows:

"The key to nearly everything that makes for efficient medical practice today is in the hands of the hospitals. Their duty is plain—they must open wide the door of opportunity so that the entire medical profession may enter in, for the fruits of medical progress belong of right to the many, not to the few."

"It is to the credit of the open hospital that it brings into touch with an organized medical institution many physicians who under a more restricted or exclusive hospital system would be deprived of those helpful and stimulating medical contacts without which they are in danger of deteriorating in medical knowledge and proficiency."

The political pressure of the medical and social service rackets led Commissioner Goldwater to forget to put his theories into practice in the hospitals of New York City.


Former Commissioner of Health of New York City, Dr. Louis I. Harris, aptly depicted the significance of the "open" hospital reform to the public, as follows:

"The public is entitled to the highest type of diagnostic skill and treatment that are available.

"Now, if the hospital facilities in any community be monopolized by small groups, then an array of doctors must, willy-nilly, carry on their bedside practice in thousands of homes without guidance and without the benefits of that diagnostic equipment and intellectual knowledge which services in the hospitals give.

"The public have much to complain about in this situation.

"The public have a very peculiar interest when it is treated by a great army of doctors who are denied the opportunity to acquire skill in diagnosis and treatment because hospitals are closed to them. It is necessary , therefore , to have hospital privileges f open to all physicians in the community "


The late Newton D. Baker, Ex-Secretary of War, on the Wilson Cabinet, pointed out that hospitals which are tax-exempt and solicit funds from the public are the property of the public and that their private management and monopoly constitutes a usurpation of public function. He urged that these hospitals be operated as publicly owned utilities for the benefit of the public.

The merchants-in-medicine, the A.M.A. and the A.C.S., are bitterly opposed to the "open" hospital system. It would mean an end to their monopoly of hospital business. Without that monopoly they would no longer he able to extract from the public extortionate fees. They would also lose the selective advertising which the hospitals now give them. Their business would suffer severely; and that is one thing that the medical merchants cannot stomach.

As might be expected, all types of false and specious arguments in defense of the "closed" hospital and in attack on the "open" hospital have been made by medical bosses and organizations. Foremost among these fallacious defenses is the pretense that the "closed" hospital protects the patient and his life.


If the hospital bosses were really sincere in their pretended desire to protect the health and life of the public, they would "open" their hospitals to all the physicians of the community and their patients. Especially would they "open" their hospitals to the physicians whom they pretend are not adequately competent. For those physicians are licensed to practice medicine and do render services to the ill in their offices and in the patients' homes under difficulties, without check or supervision. If they were invited, or induced, to bring their patients into the hospitals, their work could be watched and supervised, and the patients protected.

Another argument advanced against the "open" hospital is the allegation that it cannot be efficiently administered. This is belied by the hundreds of "open" hospitals in all parts of the country— in large cities and in small towns—that are efficiently providing hospitalization for the public. Many of the leading hospital administrators, one of whom has been quoted, are among the staunchest advocates of the "open" hospital system.

The conversion of the hospital monopolies of the country to "open" hospitals is entirely within the power of the public. The public should repossess themselves of their hospital property and convert it to their own use, instead of permitting it to be monopolized and used against themselves. By increasing the number of effectively available physicians for service to it, under the oft superior conditions offered by properly administered and utilized hospitals, the public would assure itself of responsible and competent services at reduced costs.

For protection of the health and lives of the public, the provisions of the law which shield hospitals against the consequences of negligence should be eliminated.

These reforms would be as welcome to the rank and file of the medical profession as they should be to the public; and they would redound to the benefit of all concerned. The hospital would become an institution for the rendition of considerate, personal and responsible care to sentient human beings instead of a medical and surgical factory.

Barring aid from the hospital funds or from the government, the monopolistic "closed" hospital system is on its last legs. It has been dealt a knock-out blow by the depression and by the growth and recognition of private hospitals and sanitaria. This is the true significance of the petition of the Committee of 4^0 which was falsely publicized as a plea for the reduction of the cost of medical care, to the public. The petition actually constituted a plea to the government by a group of dominant medical merchants to prevent injury to their businesses which would result from bankruptcy of their "closed" hospital monopolies, by governmental subsidy of the monopolized hospitals.

The signers of the petition were some of the "leaders" of the "closed" hospital monopoly. Instead of seeking to reduce the cost of medical care to the public, this group of supposed "revolters" are merely seeking a perpetuation of their hospital monopolies for further exploitation of the public.

If the public will take full advantage of the financial embarrassment of the hospital which gave birth to the plea of the Committee of the 430 bosses of medicine, it will force into bankruptcy the "closed" hospital system and destroy it.

There should be no difficulty in the community taking over the voluntary hospitals. It has built and supported them by its contributions from both private and public purses. By tax exemption alone, the community presents these hospitals each twenty to thirty years with a gift equal to their entire value. In its 1940 budget, for instance, New York City is providing over four million dollars for payment to voluntary hospitals for the care of the indigent. Obviously these hospitals are rightly the property of the public and can be repossessed from their usurpers with little legal formality.

The Specialization Rackets

There is a popular definition of the word specialist that with much truth aptly describes medical specialization. It reads:

"The specialist is a person who knows more and more about less and less. The perfect specialist therefore is the man who knows everything about nothing."

For a long time it has been said that medical specialization is the outcome of the vastness of medical science. This is false. For medical science, in the sense of pertinent facts actually known about man and his diseases, is very limited. It can be readily mastered in a relatively short time. The limitation of the science of the medical specialties is in some instances almost grotesque.

The specialists in skin diseases specialize in a field that lies on the surface of the body. Nevertheless nothing basic or fundamental is known to medical science about the skin; and little more is known by the dermatologists about its diseases. Nothing is known concerning the true nature and cause of such common skin diseases as psoriasis, except that the administration of chrysarobin ointments may sometimes clear up the lesions temporarily. But they invariably recur, for no known reason.

The specialty of dermatology consists principally of hurling names at diseases—some of them bad names, but invariably a multitude of names. An assembly of dermatologists can get very excited about flinging these names. But in many cases they can do little or nothing to relieve the patients ailments.

The nose and throat specialists know little more about the cause and nature of colds, the commonest ailment in their domain, than does the rest of the populace. They may do much to aggravate the condition, or to mutilate the patient's nose by oft needless operations. But they can no more certainly prevent a cold than they can cure it. The cure is left to the great specialist—Nature.

My recent researches on colds dictate the discard of most of the medication, manipulations and operations which have been the backbone of the "sinus racket." They reveal that the majority of colds do not begin as infections as the "authorities" now allege. They are caused by mechanical obstruction of the nose due to faulty breathing and faulty diet. The nasal obstruction and the colds can be prevented or cleared up by breathing exercises and a proper diet in the great majority of cases. Incidental to the improvement of the nasal obstruction, the rings about the eyes that are formed by the varicose veins which it causes, also vanish. This discovery enables each man to be his own rhinologist and may wipe out much of the specialty of rhinology.

The specialty of allergy is another instance of high-sounding name serving to cover dismal ignorance and to impress the gullible public. All that is now termed allergy used to be classed under the name "hypersensitivity." This commonplace name failed to impress or to yield the high fees that resounding "allergy" nets its "specialists." About the fundamental causes and the true nature and treatment of "hypersensitivity," alias "allergy," there is still known little or nothing.

Public health work is an instance of specialization that would be absurd if there did not lie behind it a deliberate design. Public health work consists of applying some simple phases of the science and art of medicine to the prevention of disease in large groups, i.e. "mass production." Much of it is a simple, mechanical routine. But public health officers dominate many phases of commerce, such as the distribution of milk. To insure domination of public health officials by milk and other industrial interests, public health work is being made a full-time specialty controlled by those interests as has been related.


Each and every part of the body is a part of the whole organism and influences the balance of its parts; and, vice versa, every part of the body is influenced by the body as a whole. A competent specialist must know all of medicine; he must therefore not be a specialist at all. Also the more versed a man is in the entire meager realm of medical science, the more competent he is to serve as specialist.

In some phases of the art of medicine a justification for a relative degree of specialization is to be found in that they require special technical training and experience in kindred arts and sciences, or elaborate, costly and bulky apparatus. Thus x-ray work requires technical training in physics and photography as well as expensive equipment.

As a rule, there is little or no justification for specialization either in the extent of medical science or in the technical demands of the application of its art. Most diseases do not confine themselves to specialty zones. Disease of the pancreas, for instance, may cause disease of the eye or foot. Disease or deformity of the nose may cause the disturbance of sexual functions. The man who specializes in diseases of a single region of the body often disregards the remote parts of the body which give rise to the disease under treatment and is doomed to failure.

The practice of general medicine with special interest in some region of the body, for the purpose of study and research, constitutes a basis for intelligent and justifiable specialization. It is this form of specialization and research that is most productive of results.

Such intelligent specialization is highly unpopular with the rank and file of the medical profession, and a form to which official recognition is denied. "Accepted" specialization requires that the specialist shall confine his practice to one section of the body, such as the eye or the heart; or to one group of disorders, such as allergy; or to a single disease, such as diabetes. The specialist who transgresses the bounds of his specialty in treating the patient referred to him by colleagues finds that the word spreads around rapidly. His colleagues no longer refer work to him and his practice dies off. This form of specialization finds its root in commercialism and the intense struggle of the profession for existence.


Both organized medicine and the social service rackets have contributed largely to the development of the specialty rackets. The commercial exploitation of medicine by the social service forces in clinics operated for mass production lent the earliest impetus to specialization. The mere mechanics of the physical handling of the mobs of patients who are lured to the clinics with a pretense of rendering medical care requires a division of labor. In the clinic the specialist is the medical mechanic of "mass production"; and like a mechanic on the assembly line he must confine his activities and interest to a single series of motions, procedures and operations. Any other than the grossest defects outside of the specialty zone escapes him in the steady grind and routine of the clinic "assembly line."

A serious defect in "mass production" in medicine is the fact that the human organism differs radically from the usual objects of mass production. The interrelations of the parts of the human body are infinitely more complex than are those of the parts of an automobile. Many of these interrelations are not yet known or suspected. As a consequence the "assembly line" specialization in medicine leaves a whole mass of mankind and their ailments in a No Man's Land, shuffled about between specialists who dawdle with the local manifestations of a general disorder which is usually neither discovered nor suspected.

The "closed" hospital system also has served to impose specialization upon the medical profession for commercial reasons. In order that the doctors of the staffs of hospitals may enjoy maximum incomes and collect the maximum number of fees from the limited number of patients in their hospitals, each doctor is required to confine himself to a single subdivision or specialty of the patients' ailments. Medical specialization has become a covert and "approved" form of "fee-splitting" imposed upon the profession by the "closed" hospital system. Physicians seeking appointment to hospitals and clinics are required to select a specialty to which they will confine their activities.

The popularity of specialization that was thus foisted upon the profession has grown rapidly. For just as the mechanical routine of the assembly line in industry is admirably adapted to the average moronic intellect, specialization in medicine matches the wits of the modern medical graduates who are hand-picked on the basis of ability to pay graft to secure admission and "intelligence tests." To the mental level of these medical morons are attuned undergraduate, graduate and specialty education. Members of the profession who are capable of sufficient independence of thought to realize the evils of this specialty system are now regarded as "crack-pots."

Specialties in medicine consequently have bred and multiplied rapidly. It is regarded extremely unusual and "irregular" for any ailment, however minor, to confine itself within the zone of a single specialty, if the patient has any money. This proves very fortunate and profitable for the medical staff of the hospitals. Without specialization many of them would starve.


Specialization has proved a bonanza for the merchants-in-medicine. Under the guise of protecting the public they have established numerous specialty organizations that serve the functions of chambers of commerce which boost their businesses and protect them from competition in much the same manner as does the American College of Surgeons. These organizations generally accept the domination of the A.M.A. and interlock with its specialty sections. The multiplication of organizations increases the advertising and publicity of their bosses to both the public and the rank and file of the profession and correspondingly enlarges their practices and their teaching businesses.

For restriction of competition in the specialties and for enhancement of incomes from Specialty teaching, the organizations in each specialty combine to form Boards. These Boards are self-appointed groups of specialists, generally in the post-graduate teaching business, who undertake to dictate who may practice the specialty and how it must be practiced. They constitute the backbones of Specialty Trusts. The members of the Boards make large incomes from the high fees paid by applicants for examination as well as from their allied teaching rackets which the applicants find wise to attend if they wish to pass.

The dominant cliques in the specialties are placed on the accredited list by the Boards, and in return accept its jurisdiction for the purpose of protecting their businesses. All others must submit to examinations consisting of trick questions often on subjects that have not the slightest practical bearing on ability to relieve the ill. The answers must comply with the "accepted practice" fixed by the Boards; or in questions on which no such dogma exists, they must match the pet theories of the arbitrary examiners. Since there is no appeal from the judgment of the Boards, the applicant must waste much time and pay into the pockets of the examiners or their schools much money taking courses in which the examiners sell their views to prospective examinees. They travel about the country peddling "review conferences" at fifty or a hundred dollars a head.

Validity is given to the actions of the Boards by the imposition on "closed" hospitals of the rule that only specialists "accepted" by them may be appointed to staff positions. They are now seeking the passage of bills in various states that will give their Specialty Trusts the support of law, for more effective mulcting of the profession.

Thus when medical business began to slump in 1930, the medical specialty bosses got together and attempted to pass a bill in New Jersey which would establish a monopoly of specialists under their domination. An intensive publicity campaign, in which Lowell Limpus and the Daily News of New York played an active part, was undertaken in favor of the bill. But the bill so obviously violated public interest that it was defeated.

Boards have been organized in the specialties of ophthalmology (eye), otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), obstetrics, dermatology (skin), psychiatry, pediatrics (children), radiology (x-ray work), orthopedics (bone), urology, general medicine, pathology, surgery, and anesthesia. More are constantly being organized. Specialties are being subdivided within themselves, and no doubt will give rise to new Boards. The Boards have joined in organizing an Advisory Board which publishes a volume that advertises the specialists who have been "accepted" by the Boards.

As in the case of the American College of Surgeons, the applicants are passed upon by a local group of competitors. Insiders who "belong" gain acceptance without regard to competence. All others can expect little grace or mercy. Many capable physicians who refuse to bow to the autocrats of the Board are being libeled systematically by publicity in newspapers, magazines, and other publications which insinuates that all specialists who have not been "accepted" by the boards are incompetent and not to be trusted. The Boards are some of the many devices that have been fashioned to force the medical profession into line for the profits of the rackets of organized medicine. However much I may be opposed to this Board racketeering, in a moment of weakness I accepted the dubious honor of certification by one of the boards.


One of the favorite methods of restricting competition in the specialties is to make specialty education exorbitant in its cost, and to compel physicians who wish to enter the specialties to meet totally unwarranted requirements. The Boards and specialty bosses exert their influence to prevent the teaching of their specialties in the course of a regular medical education; and they carve out for themselves fortunes by operating post-graduate medical schools. These serve both as business ventures and as advertisements for their private practices.

The usual post-graduate course can be expected to net its professor numerous profitable operations and consultations derived directly or indirectly from advertisements or from students. The profit of the post-graduate institution for its bosses explains why some doctors are willing to pay thousands of dollars for professorships in those institutions. It is not unusual for doctors seeking professorships to invest twenty-five thousand dollars or more in these institutions. These were generally very profitable investments that in normal times often netted the investors as much as a half a million or a million dollars annually, mulcted from the public as well as from colleagues.

With the object of diminishing competition in the specialties the cost of specialty education is being raised higher each year. The graduate in medicine who has completed his internship has undergone a process which goes by the name of education during a period of twenty to twenty-five school years at an estimated cost of twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars. To enter some specialty, especially the surgical, he must be prepared to spend three years or more in a post-graduate medical school, during which time he receives no income but must pay from six to ten thousand dollars additional. During these years he will have much opportunity to draw pretty pictures and make clay models; to fill endless notebooks with lecture notes and with speculations and theories; occasionally to see a case of a patient suffering from a specialty disease, rarely if ever to operate on one.

When this process has been completed the graduate turns loose on the community and seeks to force it to pay him a return on this enormous and needless investment in time and money. Small wonder the public complains of the high cost of medical care at the hands of products of the specialty racket.

Things were not always so. In years gone by the specialties were learned, as was the balance of medicine, by young graduates who acted as assistants to older men in office and clinic, at home and abroad; or by serving an internship in a specialty hospital. After a number of years of apprenticeship during which the novice had sufficiently proved to the physician whom he assisted, that he could be entrusted with all phases of the specialty, he went off to some post-graduate institution or took a trip to Europe. This was primarily for the purpose of comparing notes and methods, and acquiring the glamour and halo of "study abroad."

For some the pace was more rapid. Tiring of general medical practice the physician decided to devote his interests to one phase of the profession which he had been practicing with special interest. Primarily for the marking of the transition between the two phases of his practice, general and special, and for "a breathing spell," the physician would go abroad and announce himself as a specialist upon his return.

If this group of self-declared specialists had originally enjoyed an adequate medical training and had conscientiously taken interest in their specialties, they might have become quite as competent as the balance of the crew. But their failure to pay tribute, in the form of thousands of dollars in tuition fees, to the bosses of the specialty gangs, and the competition which they offered, aroused intense antagonism on the part of vested specialty interests.


While this process of raising the barriers against acquiring education or experience in the specialties has been in progress, advances in medical and allied sciences have thrown in sharp perspective the absurdities of specialization.

A striking instance is a specialty of urology. Important aspects of the domain of the urologist and important sources of his income were kidney stones, enlargement of the prostate, and gonorrhea.

The usual treatment of kidney stone was operative interference. It has been shown recently by research workers in nutrition and general medicine that the formation of kidney stones can be prevented by a diet adequate in vitamin A and glandular therapy. Thus the kidney stone threatens to be thrown back into the domain of general medical practice.

The traditional treatment of enlargement of the prostate has been local manipulation and operation. Recent contributions to medicine have shown that enlargement of the prostate can be prevented or cleared up by treatment with endocrine glands, such as ovarian hormone, the hormone inhibin, or testosterone. Another domain of urology is being thrust back into general medicine.

The treatment of gonorrhea and its complications has been one of the chief sources of income of the urologist. If gonorrhea had no complications most urologists would starve. Recent success reported in the treatment of gonorrhea with sulfanilamide threatens to remove the treatment of this disease from the repertoire of urology to that of the general practitioner. This tragedy consummates the undoing of most urologists and their specialty.

A prominent urologist bitterly complained that the specialty is being wiped out by modern discovery in other fields of medicine. He seriously suggested that there should be a halt to medical discovery to avoid technologic unemployment in the specialties.


The suppression of medical discovery in the interest of sustaining the incomes of racketeering specialists in medicine is exactly what is being accomplished by many of the specialty organizations. Original research motivated by the desire to dispel the abysmal ignorance of fundamentals that characterizes all the specialties is regarded by their overlords solely in a commercial light. They can be regarded as putting to themselves the question: "Will it further my business?" Suppression of discoveries that do not serve to enhance their businesses and their incomes, especially if they do not emanate from their cliques or cannot be stolen by them, is the universal practice. And so vast is their autocratic power that none of the rank and file dares to disobey their dictates and use methods which they do not sanction.

It has been related elsewhere how bitterly the highly successful medical treatment of chronic ear infections and chronic disease of the mastoid is being fought by the specialists in otology to protect their operative income.

It has been related how the unscrupulous bosses of ophthalmology have resorted to suppression of publication, libel, slander, falsification of data, and to the imposing of censorship on such a representative scientific organization as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in order to prevent the highly successful adrenal cortex medical treatment of glaucoma from becoming universally known and accepted. It matters not to the high-minded specialists that the treatment is the only method of preventing blindness in thousands of victims of the disease. The one thing that counts with them is that if the method should be accepted, the bosses of the ophthalmologic specialty would lose their high fees and incomes from blinding glaucoma operations. Such is the defect in the nature of the law, that a callous group of specialty bosses can force the profession to continue to blind, deliberately, knowingly and with impunity, thousands of victims each year with their operations; and can withhold from them the medical therapy which would save their eyesight by the mere device of refusing to acknowledge the truth—that the medical therapy is effective but would reduce their incomes.

Medical specialization has become a gigantic commercial racket, jointly maintained by specialty organizations, by the American College of Surgery, by the American Medical Association, by the Medical-Social-Service Trust, and by the educational institutions controlled by them. They serve enormously and needlessly to increase the cost of medical care; to block effective education of the medical profession for complete and rounded service to their patients; to prevent the public from enjoying the benefit of medical discoveries when those discoveries serve to reduce specialty incomes, especially by eliminating need for operations; briefly, to plot against public interest for their own private gain.


The immense powers of the overlords of the specialties are greatly enhanced by the delegation to them by organized medicine and social service of the powers of control and censorship of both the medical and lay press in their fields. They use these powers to boost their business, to undermine their competitors and rivals, and to gloriously shield their nefarious activities with the shibboleth "protection of health and lives of the public." Scarcely a week passes by without the issuance to the press for publication releases drawn up by highly paid publicity men announcing that their competitors are in competent and require post-graduate instruction of the type that the gang has to offer.

In all of this publicity, each specialty group insists that the rank and file of the medical profession is incompetent to practice in its particular field. When one adds up the sum total of all the fields claimed by the specialties one begins to have serious doubts about the caliber of modern medical education. For one finds that there is nothing that they are willing to entrust to the unspecialized medical practitioner except the work of acting as business agent for the specialists.

The specialty business slumped heavily in 1930. The New York Academy of Medicine clique in its annual report adopted that year suggested that its simon-pure specialists alone should enjoy the medical business of New York. The report implied that none other could be trusted. It did not state that business was poor, which is what the report really meant.

On January 29, 1938, the New York Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital announced in the press that medical specialists needed more training of the variety that the institution had to offer. The motive can be found in the fact that it has found business so lean in recent years that it was compelled to surrender its control to Columbia University in order to gain support. The newspapers' publicity gave the Post-Graduate many thousands of dollars of free advertising and undoubtedly boosted its business.

At the dinner from which this publicity was released Dr. Walter D. Dannreuther, F.A.C.S., professor at the Post-Graduate and member of the Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, announced that more of the superior brand of specialists approved by his Board were required. The superiority of the recommended specialists and the success of the Board in raising specialty standards is made clear by a report made by its members a short time before this incident that indicated a steady rise of maternal mortality in the United States to the highest childbirth death-rate in the world. (The report was deliberately falsified, for it included deaths from abortions in the childbirth figures.) The mothers of the Nation probably feel that if there were many more of them, ever ready to grab a knife and to do a Caesarian section, their chances of survival would be reduced to nil.

Representatives of other specialty boards also held forth on the topic of the need for more education at the Post-Graduate Medical School of their various brands of specialists. With such intensive publicity and advertising, business should have improved at the Post-Graduate Medical School.


If these specialist groups were really interested in protecting the health and lives of the public they would seek to make common knowledge to every member of the medical profession the specialties which they now seek to exploit as private monopolies. Instead of multiplying the costs and reducing the opportunities for the members of the medical profession to become versed in all the specialties, they would seek to make the knowledge freely available to them at no cost

Instead of shouting from the housetops that the medical profession, especially their competitors, are incompetent they would invite them into their schools and "closed" hospitals and teach them free of charge in the interest of improving the care of the ill. That is the purpose for which philanthropically inclined individuals have endowed the hospitals and medical schools.

They would speed up dissemination of information on medical advances and discoveries in their fields and seek free distribution of that information and its publication in the press, instead of suppressing it.

To be sure the specialty bosses do invite the medical profession to lectures, to "Fortnightly Reviews," and to specialty conventions which are primarily designed to advertise themselves. But the data presented at those meetings are generally of ancient vintage and are to be found in any older textbook; and are so old as to be generally accepted in the specialty, and known to be not wholly true.

"ACCEPTED PRACTICE" DOGMAS "Standardization" and establishment of "accepted authority" and "accepted practice" constitute the prime functions of the Boards. The "accepted practices" are often legalized methods of committing mayhem and manslaughter. The absurdity of such "standardization" and authoritarianism in a field such as medicine, in which so little is definitely known, and so much of what has been regarded as true in the past has proved to be absolutely false, is too obvious to require comment.

The tendency toward authoritarianism in medicine and surgery, and the specialties, has become intensified in the last seven years of government authoritarianism. This movement increasingly threatens modern medicine with stasis and stagnation similar to that which it suffered in the Middle Ages. It violates the interest of each and every person, and a halt should be called.

As a phase of "standardization" of medical practice designed to serve the dual purpose of control of announcement of medical discovery to protect their reputations and vested interests, and of advertising themselves, the specialty bosses have established "Research Committees." These committees assign to each of their members the investigation of a designated subject and the establishment of the "accepted" faith and dogma for that domain. Once this "faith" has been established it may not be questioned with impunity; it must be accepted, however erroneous, until the committee decides to take cognizance of its error.

Historically autocracy and dogmatism in medicine have always retarded its advance and victimized the public. The ascendancy of Hippocrates and Galen, Jenner and his vaccination against smallpox, Semmelweis and his proof of the cause of puerperal fever and its prevention, Pasteur and his proof of the origin of disease, are classical instances of the sacrifice of millions of lives that authoritarianism, bred of commercialism in medicine, has cost mankind.

Today authoritarianism and commercialism in medicine have become intensified a thousand-fold in the name of the "protection of public health." The specialty rackets lead this development.


It is not difficult to understand what lures the younger generation of physicians into medical specialties. They are forced into specialization by their hospitals and clinics. Specialists have opportunities to earn more than a mere living.

If a specialist sticks to his last, and either "splits" fees or repays his colleagues in other manners, he can even hope to make a fortune. Some of the extremes to which "fee-splitting" has gone in the specialty racket are illustrated by the case of the New York otolaryngologist who has adopted the practice of visiting general practitioners, looking over their furniture and announcing that he is ready to supply a needed item, as advance payment for cases to be referred to him at a future date. It is the keenness of competition which is primarily responsible for the denunciation of "fee-splitting."


The public itself is largely responsible for the growth of the specialization rackets. It has been mal-educated in the belief that the specialist is the last cry in medical care, and is alone to be trusted. The public has acquired the habit of going directly to the specialist or demanding of a general practitioner that he refer them to the specialist.

Laws on specialization have been passed in some states. Such laws have reached the highest stage of absurdity and racketeering in the New York State Workmen's Compensation Act, which makes a special specialty of compensable injuries sustained by workers. Thus the injuries of a man who is struck by a car while at work belong to a different specialty than identical injuries sustained while not at work.

Instead of supporting such racketeering by law the state should seek to eliminate it entirely. It should seek to raise the caliber of medical education; should compel free access to hospitals of all physicians; should maintain free opportunities for post-graduate medical education; should provide the medical profession with literature and should arrange prompt publication of latest advances in the science of medicine; and should rigidly enforce laws which provide for proper punishment of malpractice and stimulate the provision of the most beneficial and least injurious methods of treatment known.

The New York Academy of Medicine


About the time that the sponsors of the New York Tuberculosis and Health Association began organizing the Social Service Trust, they also took hold of the New York Academy of Medicine. They made it the spearhead of their drive to "muscle in" on the very profitable rackets of Organized Medicine and to gain control over the profession.

The Academy had existed for many decades as a sleepy, musty club for the more affluent physicians and medical merchants of New York. In essence it was a rich man's club, operated by the financial highlights and political bosses of medicine. For its members it maintained a library to which nonmembers might gain admittance. Meetings were held which gave members an opportunity to advertise and display themselves to the profession.


Preliminary to conversion of the Academy to their uses, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation, allies of Organized Social Service, offered it a grant for a new building on condition that it would raise part of the funds by public subscription. For the purpose of an appeal to the public for donations, bequests and contributions, the Academy posed as a charitable and educational institution devoted to the protection of the health and life of the public. The ruse succeeded and the public contributed liberally to the erection of an imposing edifice.

Dr. Linsly R. Williams, son-in-law of Kidder of the Morgan affiliated Kidder, Peabody & Co., was made Director of the Academy. Dr. Williams frankly acknowledged his incompetence as a physician, his inability to make a success of the practice of medicine and his hatred of the medical practitioners engendered by his sense of inferiority. As a compensatory device, he devoted his life to a campaign against private medical practice, as the medical boss of Organized Social Service, undertook to dictate how the practice of medicine should be conducted, and became "King's advocate" of Socialized Medicine and of commercial and political domination of the medical profession.

As soon as its marble halls were completed, the New York Academy of Medicine abruptly ceased to be a "charitable" institution. Once again it became a less exclusive but more expensive club. Physicians and others who are acceptable to the membership, usually by virtue of personal friendship or frequent consultation, may belong, so long as they pay the fifty dollars annual dues and obey the rules.


At the heart of the alliance of the bosses of social service and medical bosses is the Academy's Medical Information Bureau. It was established by the New York Tuberculosis and Health Association on the pretense of supplying the press with "reliable medical information" through its executive secretary, Dr. Iago Galdston erstwhile Isidore Goldstein, whose salary is said to have been paid originally by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The Association's president, Dr. Linsly Williams, the medical boss of Organized Social Service and interlocking Director of the Academy, saddled it on the Academy and on the New York County and State Medical Societies. It engages now, in a censorship of medical news that extends throughout the country.

Attractive bait was offered the medical bosses by the social service clique in this deal. It offered to continue to pay the salary of Dr. Iago Galdston when the Academy took over the Bureau, out of the Christmas Seal pennies. Subsequently one of the allies of Organized Social Service, the Milbank Fund, liberally endowed the Bureau, i.e. the wages of its officers, with some of its Borden Company milk funds, which was no doubt earned well by the censorship activities. The press censorship of the Medical Information Bureau has given the Social Service Racket a monopoly of publicity on important medical aspects of milk and on medical economics, which has virtually barred the press to Organized Medicine and to the members of the medical profession on these topics. This has been an important factor in facilitating its Bismarxian propaganda, especially in the field of Socialized Medicine and Compulsory Health Insurance. The releases of the Medical Information Bureau have played a significant role in undermining public confidence in the medical profession and vilifying it.

At the same time the Bureau has undertaken to act as a high-powered agency for publicity and advertising of the medical bosses of the Academy and their henchmen, the value of which is intensified by the censorship which makes their press releases exclusive. In this manner the medical clique have monopolized the right to advertise and boost their reputations and practices.


The "Fortnightly Review" that is held each year by the Academy plays an important part in the business-boosting. Though it is professed that these Reviews are intended for the education of the medical profession they are advertised and publicized to the lay public and the names of the bosses of the Academy featured and headlined. They virtually state: "Behold, we are learned men, the 'authorities', who are educating the profession. For superior medical services come to us."

Until the Review of 1939, when a five dollar registration fee was imposed, the bulk of the attendance of these meetings consisted of laymen attracted by the advertising. They came to hear the oracles of medicine hold forth in a fashion that would lure to their offices lay listeners as patients.

Few informed members of the medical profession attend the sessions, because they well know that very seldom will anything new be heard. Always the same "authorities" recite from the same textbooks. This annual advertising stunt is supplemented by weekly radio broadcasts by various members of the clique. Occasionally an authentic medical scientist and authority presents a subject that is new before the "Fortnightly Review." But thanks to the censorship of the press maintained in the name of the Academy, it is only the drivel of its overlords that has been released by the Bureau and publicized in the press.


But these forms of advertisement do not exhaust the repertoire of the publicity and business agency of the Academy. The Medical Information Bureau invites the public through the press to seek its advice about physicians and to accept its recommendations. The Bureau steers the inquiring public into the offices of the bosses of the Academy. This custom is very profitable and brings them much high-priced business. Occasionally a case is thrown "to the dogs," i.e. the rank and file members of the Academy.

In this activity the Bureau is guided by ethical standards lower than those of East Side merchants and their "steerers." Cases are not referred to the members unless they pay their dues and remain in "good standing." Since the payment of dues is the prime requisite of membership and enjoyment of the organization's benefits, all members of the New York Academy of Medicine who have cases steered into their offices by it are guilty of "fee-splitting."


The bosses of the New York Academy of Medicine, and their social service allies, use the Bureau to ruin the practices and reputations of their competitors and enemies. The rank and file of the medical profession are consistently discredited to the press and to the inquiring public by inuendo or slander over the telephone. It is not unusual for the Bureau to do this even to members of the Academy. On one occasion that has come to my attention the spokesman of the Academy informed the press that one of its own members was a quack and was not to be trusted.

This slander is hard to scotch or prosecute because it is usually done over the telephone. It would be difficult to prosecute successfully because there are no reliable witnesses possible in a phone conversation. The Bureau and its officers generally refuse to reduce their statements condemning a physician to writing, no doubt on advice of counsel. Drs. Iago Galdston and Samuel J. Kopetzky have been the guiding spirits of the Bureau.


In matters of medical publication, news reports are censored on the same basis. The most trite nonsense of the officers of the Academy passes censorship and is headlined in the press. The most important discoveries of outsiders or of enemies of the Academy are discredited without regard to truth, and are censored by the Bureau.

Such newspapers as the New York Times abide rigidly by the censorship of the Academy. All the editors of New York city newspapers and magazines are fearful of the pressure which the Academy clique can bring to bear against them. The MacFadden publications alone are free of its full censorship and dare publish medical truths that Organized Medicine desires to suppress. The pressure of the Federal Trade Commission supports the medical censorship and forces rebellious media into line.

Since Galdston has been employed at a salary of five thousand dollars a year as syndicated medical columnist and censor by the Associated Press, the other news syndicates and many newspapers have rightfully become distrustful of the Bureau's neutrality. But fear of reprisals by the Academy and its allies has kept most lay editors in line.


The chief result of the press censorship of medical news by the Galdston-Kopetzky Bureau and its social service bosses has been to discredit the medical profession in the eyes of the public through the agency of what the public regards as the profession's own organizations. Periodically the social service forces issue for publication false and misleading data highly injurious to the rank and file physicians and to the good name of the profession. This persistent libel is no doubt a puzzle to the public who do not realize the perfidious control of the Medical Information Bureau by Organized Social Service.

This libel of the profession continues with impunity because the members at large of the Academy of Medicine have absolutely no voice in its administration. They are merely puppets who pay fifty dollars a year for being undermined, discredited, and libeled like the rest of the profession. They also enjoy the privilege of attending meetings at which they must not be too free in speaking up or expressing themselves; the boon of borrowing books from the library; the dubious pleasure of basking in the reflected glory of the often spurious renown of the bosses of the Academy; and an occasional boost to their businesses by cases referred to them by the Medical Information Bureau.


In one respect the "aristocratic" Academy has become quite plebeian. It has entered the real estate business in competition with less fortunate landlords of New York City and has taken in boarders. It "philanthropically" rents meeting rooms, built with funds donated by the public, to medical societies of its own selection and approval, at the rate of twenty five dollars to one hundred and fifty dollars per evening.

This did not stop the New York Academy of Medicine from claiming and receiving exemption from taxes on the amusing grounds of being a "charitable" institution. Exemption from real estate taxes was granted by the Board of Assessors of New York City after there had been blocked, at my instance, a bill introduced in the New York State Legislature to exempt the Academy from payment of taxes.


As an example of the charity and philanthropy which the New York Academy of Medicine bestows on the public, the Infantile Paralysis Serum Racket is outstanding. In connection with the epidemic of infantile paralysis which occurred in New York City in 1931, the New York Academy of Medicine announced to the public a quack "cure" for the disease consisting of human blood serum. It obtained the serum at little or no cost and sold it to the public at twenty-five dollars or more a dose. In this activity it had the support of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was a close friend of Dr. Linsly R. Williams, the Director and Chairman of the Poliomyelitis Committee of the Academy. Georgia Warm Springs, also, was the source of some of the serum which was sold by the Academy, according to published reports.

At this point it suffices to mention that more deaths resulted from the use of the serum than from the disease itself, and rather than take the matter to court, the parties involved settled a suit for the death of Marvin Zanger, a victim of the serum, out of court, even though there was considerable question whether the technicalities of the law did not exempt them from liability in the matter.


Most questionable of the pretenses of the New York Academy of Medicine, made to secure tax exemption from the City of New York, is that it is an educational institution and makes available to the profession medical literature by operating a public library. A small fraction of the Academy's marble halls is used for library purposes. But this is a private library for members of the Academy which is open to the public and to the balance of the medical profession for reference purposes only, during a limited number of hours per day. The hours were originally from nine to twelve a.m. For the purpose of making its plea more plausible to the Board of Assessors of the City of New York the hours were extended to five p.m. The rank and file of the medical profession may only consult the library of the Academy during hours that conflict with their office and working hours; and they may not borrow books as may the members.

Access to publications of medical advances is as important for the education of physicians as is free and uncensored publication. With the price of medical publications high, and mounting ever higher in spite of the depression, the cost of keeping abreast of medical advance today is beyond the means of a large part of the profession. Libraries that give the medical profession free access to medical literature are essential to the public for the protection of health and life.

The Academy does extend the privilege of borrowing books from its library to non-member physicians—for the modest sum of forty dollars a year. This is far beyond the means of the average physician. To all intents and purposes, the medical and social service bosses of the Academy bar the rank and file of the medical profession from effective access to medical literature.

The Academy is aided in converting its library into a lucrative monopoly by the public library system of New York City and by the Carnegie Corporation, and by the Rockefeller Foundation and its General Education Board, by the support which they give it. I discovered this, much to my chagrin, in 1931 when I pleaded with the New York Public Library and with the Carnegie Corporation to make available to the medical profession a free circulating library. Mr. Anderson of the New York Public Library replied that his organization would not enter into competition with the library business of the New York Academy of Medicine, Mr. Frederick Keppel of the Carnegie Corporation replied that he would take up the matter with his associates. Nothing came of my efforts.

A curious light is thrown on Organized Medicine's attitude toward its rank and fiie and toward public interests, by my attempt to induce the New York County Medical Society to take action to obtain a free circulating medical library for the profession of the City. The resolution was barred from introduction as new business by the chairman at a meeting of the Society; and the omnipotent Comitia Minora of the Society, all of whom were members of the Academy of Medicine, refused to take any action in the matter.

The need for such a library is still urgent, and would require but a small fraction of the large sums of money being wasted and frittered away on useless and stupid pretenses of public health work. Money should be promptly provided for this purpose.


On the eighth of January 1940 Dr. Malcolm Goodridge, President of the New York Academy of Medicine, made a plea to the public for contributions to its support as a charitable and benevolent public institution. He drew a heart-rending picture of the Academy trying to scrape along on a mere $220,000 a year income. He did not make it clear how much of this money represented the salaries of social service parasites, propagandists and business steerers who clutter the Academy.

Dr. Goodridge announced a plan to cut down the limited access of the rank and file of the medical profession and of the public to the medical library. He confessed that there might be raised the question "that the Academy is not properly an educational institution." He revealed that on the basis of such misrepresentations the Academy had been exempted from income, social security, state unemployment insurance and real estate taxes. This is in line with the custom of Organized Social Service to specifically exempt itself from all the burdensome taxes and regulations which it helps impose on the nation.

The doctor also revealed that the Federal government had suspected the misrepresentations of the Academy and had raised the question of its tax-exemption but had continued the exemption because of the "educational" character of its business-steering agency, the Medical Information Bureau. With equal justice the government could exempt from taxes all advertising agencies or the New York Stock Exchange or the Union League Club,

How the "educational" Medical Information Bureau acts to suppress the truth and to protect the business interests of the Academy is illustrated by the fact that letters relating the truth about the activities of the Academy correcting the statements of Dr. Goodridge, which were forwarded to the New York Times, Herald Tribune, World-Telegram, Post, Journal and American, Daily Nezus and Mirror, were censored and suppressed. Such suppression of the truth is an odd concept of "education." The Federal government could render the public a great service by taxing the malodorous and anti-social activities of the Academy out of existence.


What Price Life?


The medical and social service rackets cost the public enormously in terms of money, health and life. In money, the cost is many billions of dollars each year. The public of New York City alone expended on its hospitals, for example, forty-five million dollars in 1927, and sixty-four million dollars in 1930. The cost of hospitals and allied medical rackets amounts, in the country, to not less than one billion dollars per year. Contributions to philanthropy and to social service "charities" such as the New York Tuberculosis and Health Association amounted to an additional two billion dollars in 1933. The wages of the forty thousand workers, which the Welfare Council estimated were engaged in social service work in New York City alone in 1928, amounted to over seventy-five million dollars. It is considerably higher now.

The milk racket, with its artificially maintained high price of milk, costs the country tens of millions of dollars each year. Workmens' Compensation Insurance abuses cost the public many hundred million dollars each year. The industrial insurance racket costs the nation almost one billion dollars per year. The cost of abuses of unemployment relief amounts to fantastic figures. Drug monopolies and rackets levy a toll of hundreds of millions each year.

It is the cost of these rackets in terms of human lives that is most significant. Vis-a-vis the interests of Organized Social Service and Organized Medicine human life literally has no value. The taking of lives by these activities ceases to be murder; it becomes "an unavoidable necessity of social progress," and legalized by custom. As in the case of war, the more wholesale the scale on which lives are taken as a result of these rackets, the safer and more respectable the process becomes.


In this respect our democracy contrasts sharply with the autocracy of the Fascist states, in which individual lives count for naught whereas mass murders are subject to legal prosecution. Several striking cases of mass murders of an accidental nature, arising out of medical activities, have been reported from abroad within the past decade. These illustrate the contrast.

From the provinces of Venice and Rovigo in Italy there came reports of the deaths of ten children and the illness of many more, resulting from their injection with a defective vaccine. The vaccine had been marketed by the National Institute of Serum Therapy, at Naples. Though the incident was due to accident and carelessness, the directors of the Institute which prepared the vaccine, Camillo Terni and Mario Testa, were placed under arrest.

In Germany, Professor George Deycke and Dr. Ernst Alstadt were convicted for their responsibility in accidentally causing tuberculosis in two hundred and forty children, of whom seventy-six died. The casualties resulted from an error in preparation or administration of a vaccine intended to prevent tuberculosis.


In both cases, the deaths were accidental in the course of administering treatment of proved value. Though one may deplore the severity of the punishment visited on these eminent physicians, one cannot help feeling that it is correct that the State do its utmost to prevent injury to life and health of its citizenry. Even accidents should be carefully investigated and those responsible admonished. This helps to prevent recurrence of such incidents and to prevent deliberate jeopardy of human lives by dangerous and futile experimentation.

Under our law in the United States, however, even mass deaths due to unwarranted and indefensible human experimentation under the auspices of Organized Medicine or of the agencies of Organized Social Service is not treated as a crime. Many lives have been needlessly sacrificed in this manner within the past decade. Freedom from prosecution of the individuals and groups responsible for these murders is becoming well established by dangerous precedents. If the country fails to act promptly to upset these precedents, all safeguards against the taking of human lives by these groups will vanish.


One of the most flagrant instances of this nature was the death of scores of humans resulting from the administration of the so-called "immune serum" in the treatment of the cases suspected of having infantile paralysis during the epidemic of 1931. This was a case of deliberate risk and sacrifice of human life by experimentation, engaged in by a Committee of the New York Academy of Medicine which was headed by the late Dr. Linsly R. Williams, whose position interlocking Organized Medicine and Social Service has been recounted. Dr. Williams also was mentioned as the prospective incumbent of the post of Secretary of Health which it was reported was to be created for him on the Cabinet of President Roosevelt, after he had written an article, published in Collier's magazine, certifying that Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt was physically and mentally fit for the Presidency of the United States.


The sale of the fake cure and the attendant publicity was designed to build up Dr. Linsly Williams as a national figure and to publicize the Medical-Social-Service Trust which he dominated as a prelude to his expected political advancement and as a prelude to turning over the control of medicine, under national legislation, to the Trust. The infantile paralysis epidemic was used also as a pretext for raising the price of milk to the poor of New York City in the midst of the depression to a higher figure than prevailed in times of prosperity, by the elimination of loose milk. The Milbank Memorial Fund and the Rockefeller Institute played dominant roles in both campaigns.

In this exploit, the Medical-Social-Service Trust, under Dr. Williams, was up to one of its old tricks—stealing the stale thunder of medical experimenters as a pretext for a wild burst of quackish publicity. The "immune serum" was known to be worthless and dangerous long before the human experiment was started. Within two weeks before the date when it was advertised and publicized as a "cure" for infantile paralysis the National Health Institute of the United States Health Public Service reported on a series of cautious experiments and studies made with it on monkeys over a period of three years. The Institute reported that the serum was both worthless and dangerous when used in many of the manners suggested.

The serum goes back to the days of the French investigator, Levaditi, who discovered in 1911 that the virus contained in nasal drippings of victims of the disease, which would cause infantile paralysis when injected into the nervous system of monkeys, could be neutralized and made harmless by the blood of adults or of persons who had had infantile paralysis, when the two were mixed in a test tube. In the New York City epidemic of 1916, Dr. Herman Schwartz had tried out such a serum on a group of his patients. He reported that he had found it not only worthless but actually injurious and deadly when used in certain manners.


The best informed authorities on the subject, including Dr. Josephine Neal and Dr. William Parks of the New York City Health Department Research Laboratories, both of whom were members of the Committee constituting a minority, had unequivocally condemned the serum on the basis of accumulated data. They pronounced it to be of questionable value and actually injurious when used in certain manners. As early as 1929, Dr. Josephine Neal had pointed out in her publications the danger of the use of the serum in poliomyelitis, and had condemned it in no uncertain terms. All the cumulative evidence pointed to the fact that this supposed "cure" exploited by the Academy was both worthless and injurious.

Dr. Williams, himself, characterized the use of this serum at a hearing, of the Board of Censors of the New York County Medical Society of March 11, 1932, as a "clinical study," or experiment on humans, undertaken by the Committee to prove or disprove the value, or lack of value of the serum. Dr. Williams stated at the hearing,

"This study was made, really, upon the recommendation of Dr. Simon Flexner and Dr. George Draper. Dr. Flexner and Dr. Draper were particularly interested and also was Dr. Amoss and Dr. Aycock. DR. NEAL DID A GREAT DEAL OF WORK ON THIS SUBJECT SOME EIGHT OR NINE YEARS AGO IN THE 1918 EPIDEMIC, AND I THINK SHE HAS ALWAYS HAD THE FEELING THAT THIS SERUM WAS OF VERY DOUBTFUL VALUE."

In other words. Dr. Williams placed the responsibility for this disastrous experiment squarely on the Rockefeller Institute, of which he was a director, and on its staff.

At a discussion before the Society of Medical Jurisprudence on October 12, 1931, Dr. Josephine Neal said:

"I have always opposed the use of serum intraspinally on account of the consequent meningeal irritation that so often follows . . . sometimes with disastrous results."


Dr. Sobel, an eminent pediatrician, confirmed Dr. Neal's statement in the following words:

"If the truth were told about the use of the serum intraspinally I am afraid that some sad stories would come out. I have some good reason to believe that several deaths have occurred as a result of its use in this way, and while names such as status thymolymphaticus have been used for the cause of death, it has been more directly attributable to meningeal irritation than anything else."



In spite of its worthlessness and its known danger, the Committee on Poliomyelitis of the New York Academy of Medicine undertook to experiment on humans with this "cure" in manners that were known to be most dangerous, including injection into the spine. It solicited the serum from former victims of the disease among the public, most of whom contributed their blood free of charge. Governor Roosevelt contributed 500 c.c. of serum. In the role of an "authority" on the subject, he wrongly informed the public that doctors who would not use the "cure" were ignorant and not to be trusted. This statement proved as true and reliable as have many of his other statements on the subject of health, medicine and other topics.

The Academy then sold this serum to the public through its agents, young and inexperienced physicians, for as much as the traffic would bear, usually twenty-five dollars a dose. In violation of the municipal law of New York City, even charity patients in municipal hospitals were compelled to pay a minimum price of twenty-five dollars for this supposed cure; and were led to believe that failure to use it meant death or worse.


The outcome of this experiment was exactly what might have been expected on the basis of accumulated data, highly disastrous. The published report of the Committee stated that the serum had been used only in cases which had developed no paralysis. This means that many of those cases did not have infantile paralysis to begin with; for there is no positive method of diagnosis of the disease until paralysis develops. The death rate, however, among the group treated with the serum was considerably higher than among the proved victims of infantile paralysis. The incidence of paralysis among the former was also higher than among those not treated with the "cure."


The case of Marvin Zanger illustrates the danger of the serum. The story is best told in a letter which his mother wrote me.

"November 28, 1931.
Dr. E. M. Josephson
Dear Sir:

"I Read your statement in the papers of a week ago pertaining to the serum which was used during the epidemic. May I state my case, please.

"On August 19, my boy, nine and a half years old, became ill, . . . We took him to the Morrisania Hospital at 168th Street and Walton Avenue, The Bronx. While admitting my child who was so, so very ill, I was told that it was necessary to use serum and it would cost twenty-five dollars. I'm an American woman, and had been reading the paper, but had never noticed a fee for serum mentioned. I spoke of this to one of the doctors and he informed me there was a charge for it at all times. Of course, being a mother and so frightened, I borrowed the twenty-five dollars to pay for it. I sat with my dear child for three hours before Dr. [an agent of the New York Academy of Medicine] came.

"My child died anyway. I have not been able to write you before this, as my heart is broken. But in order to help others who may not be able to borrow as I did, and to help you who are brave and big enough to come forward [I write],

"Mrs. Diana Zanger 1025 Gerard Avenue"

The circumstances and the records of the case left little room for doubt that the death was directly due to the irritation of the serum and its mode of administration.

Another equally tragic case was related by another mother who wrote to Mrs. Zanger:

"Several weeks ago, I read in the New York American about your suit against the New York Academy of Medicine for the loss of your child from infantile paralysis.

"Your sufferings find an echo in my heart, for I am also an unfortunate mother who lost a four-ycar-old son. I have a daughter aged twenty, in the hospital, who is a sufferer from the same dreadful scourge.

"My boy was running around well in the hospital until the serum was administered. He died within five days.

"My daughter was paralyzed following the serum. She is in the hospital for the past seven months. God, if I could only lose my memory completely!"

The suit brought by Mrs. Zanger for the death of her child was settled by the parties out of court.


To stop the sale of this quack cure, I filed charges with Governor F. D. Roosevelt against the Academy and its Committee, accusing them of sacrificing human lives in what they chose to call an "experiment." The Academy pleaded "charity" in defense and extenuation of its acts but stopped the sale of the serum. The fate of these charges reveals in its full extent the sincerity of Roosevelt's "humanitarianism."

My indictment of Dr. Williams, and of the Academy Committee and their serum was very embarrassing to Governor Roosevelt for many reasons. First, Dr. Williams was a personal friend and an important political ally. Second, his Georgia Warm Springs enterprise had been widely publicized as supplying some of the serum used for the "cure." Third, Roosevelt and his campaign managers had used the serum as the basis of large number of "human interest" press releases, and his campaign had played up his "humanitarianism" thus manifested.

For obvious political reasons, the Governor failed to act on the charges himself. He passed the buck to New York State Commissioner of Health, Thomas Parran, now Surgeon General of U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Parran owed his appointment as Commissioner to Dr. Linsly R. Williams, and had himself actively advocated the use of this infantile paralysis "cure."


As might have been expected. Dr. Parran refused to hold hearings on the charges. Several months after they had been filed with him, Parran brushed aside my charges in a letter released to the press, in which he stated that he himself was involved in the charges, consequently they could not be true. Dr. Parran's denial of the truth of the charges followed closely upon the tacit acknowledgment of the Committee in its own report that my charges were absolutely true.

Commissioner Parran recommended, furthermore, that my zeal in protecting the health of the public and in preventing human sacrifice should be rebuked. He recommended that I be censured for my efforts.


I protested in vain to Governor Roosevelt against this formerly un-American procedure of permitting a man accused of a crime, and confessedly guilty, to be his own judge. The Governor replied affirming, in substance, the value of the "cure," directly contradicting the report already rendered by the Committee.

Not content with the white-washing given them by their confederate, Drs. Linsly Williams and Iago Galdston took seriously the recommendation that I be censured. They filed charges against me with the New York County Medical Society from which I had already resigned because of indignation at its failure to lend support to my life-saving efforts. Dr. Williams' charges against me were based on the charges that I had made against him and his Committee, which Dr. Parran conveniently had dismissed on the very day that Dr. Williams was served with a summons in the suit brought against him and the Academy of Medicine for damages for the death inflicted upon Marvin Zanger by the serum.

[Text of Letter] from Your Life is Their Toy by Emanuel Josephson

"This letter was received in reply to my protest against State Commissioner of Health Dr. Thomas Parran's dismissal of my charges branding the infantile paralysis "curative" serum a worthless and dangerous quack remedy, the use of which resulted in many deaths. This letter constituted in substance an animation of the value of the serum. It is dated months later than the report of the Poliomyelitis Committee which fully supported my charges. Dr. Parran has risen to greater heights of authority and power since this incident, on appointment by President Roosevelt. The use of the serum has been abandoned.


Dr. Galdston's charges, however, clearly set forth the anti-social purposes to which the medical-social-service mob put the code of pseudo-ethics which they have established for the medical profession. Dr. Galdston stated that in making the charges designed to protect the public I was guilty of "improper publicity."

Dr. Galdston's charges meant that the code of "ethics" to which he and his clique pay lip-homage is designed merely to protect the Medical-Social-Service Trust in its violation of public interest. The charges which I had made were criminal charges. The law interprets as manslaughter, destruction of life by acts which deliberately risk jeopardy of human life. The law also states that it is the duty of all persons cognizant of crime and suspected crime to promptly communicate that knowledge to proper authorities. Failure to do so means to become an accomplice after the fact. Therefore, the charges of Dr. Williams and Dr. Galdston mean that they and their clique interpret medical "ethics" as requiring of the members of the organization dominated by them to become accomplices in crimes against society.

It is quite characteristic of racketeering gangs to demand of their members secrecy in matters of crimes committed against the public, and to require that they do not "squeal." The charges filed against me signified that my efforts to save human life was regarded by the organization as "squealing."


In spite of the fact that I had resigned from the New York County Medical Society, I gladly agreed to reply to Drs. Williams and Galdston's charges before that body. I demanded, however, that the hearings be fair and honest and not the usual star chamber proceedings, that they be open to the press, that the testimony be recorded and transcribed and a copy given to me, that I be permitted to present all my many witnesses, and that the charges which I proved should be reversed against my accusers.

The hearings had barely begun and only a few of my witnesses had testified, when my accuser Dr. Williams began to beat a hasty retreat and sought my permission to withdraw the charges. It was agreed that I had already proved some of my charges. I initially refused to agree to withdrawal of charges against me because I wished to completely rout my accusers and to force the Society to take action against its own bosses. It was pleaded with me, however, that Dr. Linsly R. Williams was seriously ill and dying of cancer. I, therefore, permitted withdrawal of the charges.

I now realize the folly of relenting. The social service and medical gangs later mocked my kindness which they misrepresented as weakness, and repaid the consideration requested for their boss and extended to him, with slander.


The trail of deaths arising from human experiments with infantile paralysis did not terminate with the tragedies of the "curative" serum. On the contrary, the protection offered to human experimenters by government authorities and the powers of State Medicine, constituted, by the Health Departments and their Commissioners, seconded by the great influence of the interested social service rackets, encouraged further human experimentation.

Financed in part by a small grant from the moneys collected through the "President's Birthday Balls," Dr. John A. Kolmer of Temple University, Philadelphia, undertook to infect a group of children with infantile paralysis virus that was supposedly attenuated by treatment with sodium ricinoleate, a soap made from castor oil. On October 8, 1935, Dr. T. M. Rivers of the Rockefeller Institute, reported the results at a meeting of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Rivers' announcement read as follows:

"Only eight out of twelve thousand children who were injected (with the infective material) developed the disease."

In defense of this situation, Dr. Rivers offered the allegation;

"In the case of the eight children, it is probable that they had incurred the malady before they had been injected."


These deaths still further illustrate the menace of authoritarian, irresponsible State Medicine to the health and life of the public. They should be a warning to repudiate the various Compulsory Health Insurance schemes which the self-same group as were responsible for these killings are now seeking to foist upon the public.


With the growth of the power of Organized Social Service and the trend toward Socialized Medicine the regard for human life is rapidly dropping in this county. In connection with the current anti-syphilitic campaign, two such instances have come to light. The infliction of blindness on numerous victims by the poisonous drug tryparsamide, that has been licensed for use by the Rockefeller Institute, has been related. Many cases in which blindness has been inflicted with this drug have been reported in the medical literature.

From the Mt. Sinai Hospital of New York City there has been reported by Drs. Louis Chargin, Harold T. Hyman and William Leifer an experiment with arsenical s on human guinea pigs the purpose of which was to determine how much could be injected into the blood before dangerous poisoning occurred, and to determine whether syphilis can be cured thereby. Their report appeared in the September 29, 1939, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, with a laudatory preface by Dr. John L. Rice, Commissioner of Health of New York City.

The experiment was financed by grants from the New York and Markle Foundations, and the Friedsam Fund. It was made with the collaboration of the Mt. Sinai, New York and Bellevue Hospitals, the United States Public Health Service and the New York Department of Health. The work was done under the auspices of a research committee appointed by Commissioner Rice which represented the various groups involved. Dr. Theodore Rosenthal, Director of the Bureau of Social Hygiene, Dr. Louis Chargin and Dr. John I. Rice represented the New York City Health Department. Dr. Charles C. Lieb, professor of pharmacology, Dr. Walter W. Palmer, professor of medicine, Dr. Harold T. Hyman, assistant professor of pharmacology of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, represented the Columbia- Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Eugene Du Bois and Dr. Bruce Webster represented the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Drs. Hyman, Chargin and Leifer represented the Mt. Sinai Hospital. Dr. Walter Clark, the Director of the American Social Hygiene Association, represented that organization.

The arsenicals used have long been known to be poisonous, especially in large doses. In the experiment, the drug was given continuously by intravenous drip in large doses that are known to be toxic. Virtually all of the patients thus treated showed some poisonous effects.


Half the patients developed toxic skin eruptions; over one-third showed neuritis that lasted from four to six months; many showed damage to the liver; and two developed convulsions suggestive of inflammation of the brain with hemorrhage. The death of one patient as an immediate result of the treatment is reported by the experimenters. Whether this is the full extent of the injury done to these human guinea pigs, the experimenters themselves do not know. They report that seven failed to report back after discharge from the hospital; and it is conceivable that they might have failed to do so because of serious ailment or death.

The eventual results of the treatment are problematical. The experimenters report that "Seventy-six cases are completely sero-negative."

What this might mean, no one knows. For repeatedly it has been shown that the Wassermann and other serum reactions are not reliable indices of the presence of syphilis in the body. Another item which throws considerable doubt on any conclusions which might be drawn from these human experiments is the fact that in a majority of the patients the poisoning resulted in a fever that ranged as high as 105 F. and lasted as long as ten days. It is known from the experimental work that already has been reported that high body temperatures result in the destruction of the spirochetes of syphilis and in a true cure in animals. No control was made by the committee on the effect of heat alone on a parallel group of patients. It might perfectly well be that the beneficial results that they may have obtained were not a response to the German Dye Trust's arsenicals but to the fever arising from the poisoning which they caused. If that is the case, there are so many harmless ways of creating fever that the risk of arsenic poisoning is utterly unwarranted.

While an attack on this brutal experiment was in the course of publication, there was hastily released from Mt. Sinai Hospital on April 13, 1940, a newspaper story announcing the "discovery" of a "5 day cure" for syphilis by the same group. This was timed and worded so much like a Hollywood press release that it readily could be taken for publicity matter for the film "The Magic Bullet of Dr. Paul Ehrlich."

Curiously enough, a star role was played by the ex-wife of a Hollywood picture director and former Ziegfield Follies beauty. The story related that the drug neo-salvarsan that had been used in the earlier experiments had been abandoned for mapharsan which is a less poisonous arsenical. The story published in the New York Times conveyed the impression that the treatment with this drug was proved free of poisonous effects and safe in an extended study. This hardly seemed possible in view of the fact that only half a year prior the doctors had made no reference to the drug and six months time is utterly inadequate for such a study. The New York Herald Tribune reports with greater accuracy: "A statistical analysis is not yet possible, due to the fact that a year has not elapsed since their completion of the treatments." From what is known of the toxicity of mapharsan, it is scarcely conceivable that it has had no toxic effects in these cases. The significance of this premature publicity remains to be discovered.

The sensational publicity on the risky experiment involving poisoning by large doses of arsenicals, by this influential group of Eastern physicians and their allies of Organized Social Service, the drug industry and the local and Federal governments, contrasts sharply with the suppression in the press of any mention of the brilliant results obtained by a group of less influential physicians of the Miami Valley Hospital of Dayton, Ohio. The explanation may be that their method of treatment of syphilis requires only a few small doses of arsenicals in combination with fever therapy, and is less popular with the drug manufacturers and the specialists in syphilis. That it does not involve nearly the risk to the health and life of the patient as does the Mt. Sinai method, seems to be immaterial to the press and to the authorities involved.

Summing up the experiment, the committee risked the lives of eighty-six human guinea pigs, with one acknowledged death, by injecting them with dangerous doses of a drug that is known to be poisonous. No individual physician, in the capacity of private practitioner, would dare risk human lives in this fashion. But experimental committees sponsored by Organized Medicine and Social Service, and philanthropy, are freed of liability by the law and can safely be less scrupulous regarding human health and life.

It is notable that among the members of the committee are some staunch advocates of Socialized Medicine and Compulsory Health Insurance, and representatives of State Medicine. These incidents and others like them warn the public to ponder seriously before risking their lives by fostering such programs.

It is anomalous that there exist numerous vociferous organizations for the prevention of cruelty to animals, but there is no group interested especially in preventing the cruelties of human experimentation. Such groups would vigorously oppose the programs of advocates of Compulsory Health Insurance and the "mass production" which it implies.


The gangster code which masquerades in the form of "medical ethics" offers another indirect menace to the health and life of the community in the form of the conspiracy of insurance companies to protect physicians from the consequences of any malpractice which they might perpetrate. It is quite true that this conspiracy has arisen in defense against the racket of some patients who systematically bring unjustified malpractice suits against physicians for the sole purpose of avoiding payment for services rendered and of swindling the doctor.

It is equally true that medical societies in collaboration with insurance companies are often guilty of "inducing" their members to perjure themselves and to compound felonies, in a conspiracy to protect fellow members against legitimate malpractice suits. Physicians also are virtually barred from testifying for a patient against a colleague either by the terms of the malpractice insurance policy or by pressure and intimidation. It is generally impossible for a victim of malpractice or his attorney to secure expert medical testimony against a member of Organized Medicine. The protection which the law supposedly offers the public against malpractice of physicians has become so twisted and perverted as to bar recovery for the victims of gross and obvious malpractice. This has served to dangerously cheapen human life.

Exemption from liability for malpractice of hospitals, clinics, and other pseudo-charitable or charitable institutions is especially dangerous. For it is in those institutions devoted to "mass production" that the greatest number of persons can be injured by carelessness, neglect and malpractice; and it is in those institutions that the pressure of work and lack of personal responsibility of the medical and other personnel are most apt to combine with lack of liability to form a highly potent factor in encouraging negligence and malpractice.


The legal concept of "accepted medical practice" as a justification of treatment resulting in injury or death, also encourages and protects neglect and malpractice. It is fixed by the political leaders or bosses in medicine who, as has been made clear, are not so constituted as to resist venal impulses. Since surgery is more lucrative to them than the practice of medicine and since the public is more willing to be parted from its money by surgery, it is not surprising that "accepted practice" favors surgery and suppresses successful medical therapy, whenever possible, and thereby increases the hazards of the public.

State Medicine and Social Security:
The Workmen's Compensation Racket


His plea was addressed to Miss Frances Perkins, then Commissioner of Labor of the State of New York and now "New Deal" U.S. Secretary of Labor, by William F.B. Coston of Rahway, New Jersey, at a hearing on the fifteenth of April 1931 of Governor F.D. Roosevelt's Committee to Review Medical and Hospital Problems in Connection With Workmen's Compensation Insurance. Mr. Coston testified as follows:

"He had sustained an injury to his head four years prior while working. He was taken to a hospital on Staten Island and treated there four days, until the employer's insurance company notified the hospital that it would not pay the bill because it did not regard hospitalization as necessary for his case.

"With the consent of the Commission but in violation of the law, the insurance company hastened to settle fraudulently the claim for an injury that it knew to be serious for two and one half weeks' compensation. Two weeks later the injured man developed paralysis as a result of the neglect of his condition compelled by the insurance company's action.

"For four years the claim pended before the various appeal boards of the State Industrial Department. Impoverished, he was unable to raise sufficient money to secure minutes of the case required by the law to enable him to fight the resourceful insurance company sharps."


The pathetic plea of paralyzed Mr. Coston fell on the deaf ears of Frances Perkins, the self-confessed revolutionist, the social service leader, the "great humanitarian," the intimate of Eleanor Roosevelt and the professional champion of the abstraction "The Working Classes." Proletarian sympathizers are apt to value workers in mass for their power to perpetuate their jobs and for their voting strength. The only individuals who command Miss Perkins' personal sympathy are such masters of votes and "outstanding leaders of men" as Harry Bridges and John L. Lewis; and for them she fights to the last ditch. She evidently values them more than the lives of thousands of refugees whom she off-handedly denies haven in this country at the behest of the autocrats of Labor.

To William Coston's pitiful plea for help in securing transcript of the minutes of his case in order to right a shameful injustice, Madame Perkins testily countered with the alibi that she had not enough stenographers in her division to help him. She had plenty stenographers to enable her to Rood the country with reports of how well her Department was administered; but she had none to serve justice and help a tragic victim of its "perfection." Sensing in this plea an attack, la Perkins with true feminine inconsistency indignantly asserted that the New York Workmen's Compensation Act was "the best in existence;" and her administration of it she defended as perfect.

It was quite clear that Commissioner Perkins evaluated the New York Compensation situation from the social service viewpoint. From that perspective it was "the best;" for it paid her the highest salary available in the field. It mattered not that in the administration of the law there had been introduced fraud and abuses on a widespread scale or that all the professed objectives of the law were frustrated. Despite thousands of cases like Coston's, all was perfect from the viewpoint of social service.


A measure of what benevolence the public can expect of social service and all its "liberal," radical and commercial allies is revealed in the administration of the Workmen's Compensation Acts. For these insurance acts were the first concrete results of the activities of Organized Social Service in the United States. This followed its adoption of the "Made in Germany" labor program and "New Deal," and its alignment with German propagandists of the International Association for Labor Legislation. It became a catspaw of foreign agents provocateurs, who were bent upon imposing on American industry the same items of cost as handicapped German industry. The formation of the American Association for Labor Legislation in 1906 marked its start.

Among the original founders of the Association were Richard T. Ely, Edward T. Devine, Mary K. Simkovitch, R. O. Love joy, Mary van Kleeck and John B. Andrews. Later joiners were Frances Perkins, Harry L. Hopkins, John A. Kingsbury, Charles C. Burlingham, William Hodson, Ida M. Tarbell and Homer Folks.

In the following decade the social service forces of the country intensified their activities on labor legislation. They agitated and engineered the passage of Workmen's Compensation bills throughout the nation. Their agitation was crowned with success; forty-six states in the Union have adopted Workmen's Compensation Insurance Acts which are more or less uniform and standardized as a result of these "social service" activities.


The pretended objectives of the Workmen's Compensation Acts were quite laudable. They included the following:

  • Fair, prompt compensation and competent medical care for the injured employee.
  • Elimination of the expense and delays of litigation.
  • Elimination of congestion of court calendars.
  • Stimulation of accident prevention.
  • Distribution of industry's cost of workmen's liability.
  • Elimination of the unwarranted burden which had been placed upon communities in the care of disabled veterans of industry.

In the drafting of the bill's propagandists who assumed the guise of "liberal" professors of economics and "authorities" on workmen's compensation insurance, steeped in the lore of the original German model, helped to give the bills introduced the full destructive value to commerce and industry that had been anticipated by Bismarck.


This is illustrated by the Workmen's Compensation Law of the State of New York enacted in 1914. Its administration constitutes a model upon which the laws of many states, as well as that of the Federal Government, have been patterned. Consideration of the consequences of the law, therefore, has a wide and valid application.


The defective and unjust character of the Workmen's Compensation Act was made clear in an attack made on the law by a referee of the Workmen's Compensation Division, Justine Wise Tulin, when she was appointed New York City Magistrate, in an article that appeared in the February 10, 1935, issue of the New York Times. She stated that:

  • The insurance companies employed a group of physicians who made a monopoly of Compensation practice.
  • The insurance companies regarded the control of the selection of physicians as a means of controlling medical testimony.
  • That the testimony of the physicians with regard to causal relationship between an accident and subsequent disability was closely correlated to the economic interests of those who employed them, and that the physicians did not hesitate to render biased testimony on the question of causal relationship and extent of disability.
  • That the physicians thus employed refused to give adequate medical attention and ordered the injured back to work before they had recovered, in order to cut down compensation costs.
  • That the control of medical care has been used by insurance companies to limit compensation awards, and not to keep down medical costs.
  • That the physicians authorized by the insurance companies to treat the injured, and who were willing to aid the companies in defrauding the injured, were highly paid by the companies through the device of padded bills, and that the fees thus derived were split with corrupt insurance adjusters.

She pointed out also that the New York State Insurance Fund, "although a non-profit-making State organization, has considered itself in competition with the private companies to such as extent that it has adopted the same devices, and has failed to raise the standards of medical practice,"

Judge Tulin was one of the honest and principled referees of the Division. It is said to be the custom of the insurance companies to secure judgeships for the referees that can not be "fixed" and who therefore cost them too many costly awards. Her accusations are therefore significant especially in view of the importance of the law to industry and to the community.


Few of the pretended advantages to the injured worker have been attained, A majority of serious injuries are denied compensation through chicanery and fraud which generally revolve about the plea of "causal relationship," a practice created by the Commission. Many claimants are unmercifully thrown out of "court" and denied compensation which the law intended them to have; contested claims often take months and sometimes years before an adjudication. In the meanwhile he is compelled to waste many days of his time attending futile hearings designed to tire his memory or to trap him into making some erroneous admission and possibly to confuse the presiding referee, in the hope that it will save the insurance company from paying any compensation.


In a very significant manner the practices set up by the Commission violate the letter and the spirit of the law. To eliminate chicanery and sharp practices, the law provides that the proceedings before the Commission and its referees shall be fact finding hearings instead of legal skirmishes. This section is more honored by its breach than its observance.

The injured employee of an insured employer is automatically deprived by the law of the right to trial by a jury of peers, clearly in violation of the Constitution. He is also deprived of the right of effective representation by an attorney, except at the will of the Commission, through its power to dictate legal fees. The fees generally allowed by the Commission, even though paid out of the award of the injured and a lien on it, are so small and inadequate that few competent attorneys are willing to handle compensation cases except as a matter of charity or accommodation.

The injustice of discouraging competent legal representation of the injured is made dear by the large volume of regulations, decisions and precedents accumulated about the law and its administration, and by their extreme, pettifogging technicalities. The insurance carriers are invariably represented by shrewd and unscrupulous agents who are experts in the law in all its ramifications and are supported by a costly legal staff that makes the law and its evasion its sole study.


Fairness and honesty would impel the ruling that in every case which the insurance company chooses to contest, the injured must be represented by an attorney who will be paid on the customary basis of a percentage of the award. In fairness to the injured, the insurance company and. not the injured, as at present, should be compelled to pay the fee of the attorney and all costs including those of medical experts. The fee scale allowed the professional talent of the injured should be on the same level as that paid by the insurance company to its professional aids. This would do much to discourage needless appeals and litigation.

Theoretically, the lone and lowly-paid referee of the Commission, before whom the hearing is held, should be both the unbiased arbiter and the skilled advocate for the injured plaintiff. Rule 6 of the Industrial Board provides in part:

"Where claimant is not represented the referee shall examine the claimant and his witnesses and cross-examine the employer or carrier's witnesses on claimant's behalf."

It is clearly impossible to be a neutral, unbiased and non-partisan judge and a partisan attorney for the injured plaintiff at the same time.


It is not meant to imply that there are not some honest, competent and public spirited referees in the employ of the Compensation Division of the State Labor Department. The standards of fairness and honesty demanded by the law of the referees, however, have not been very high. It was only in 1927, after the law had been in force for 13 years, that it was amended to bar physicians and surgeons employed in the Department from working for insurance companies while acting as referees and medical examiners. Prior to that time, it was not unusual for a medical examiner or referee to examine and treat injured persons for insurance companies whose cases they refereed. It is proverbially hard to serve two masters; and it is difficult to believe that there was no bias in the decisions of those referees in cases involving the insurance companies by which they were employed.


The amendment to the law arose from a flagrant case of bribery of a medical examiner of the Commission, who was caught red-handed in the process of fraudulently falsifying the report of seriously injured employees in the favor of insurance companies which had bribed him. Curiously enough, this same physician, who was discharged by the Commission because of this and other corrupt acts, continues to prowl about the corridors of the Department soliciting from insurance carriers the opportunity of testifying in their favor for high fees without regard to facts. In the past ten years this physician has been responsible for defrauding seriously injured employees out of many millions of dollars. Many of these injured have become charges of public charities as a consequence of his activities.

Repeatedly this physician has been brought before the Grievance Committee of the New York State Board of Medical Regents for frauds perpetrated upon injured employees. He was found guilty in at least one case and, though threatened with the loss of his license to practice medicine, he was let off with a warning. He continues to repeat the offense with impunity.

The Commission continues to accept his perjured evidence, and to deny compensation to seriously injured employees on the basis of his evidence. The physician in question complains that it cost him ten thousand dollars, on one occasion, to square himself with the authorities. Obviously he finds his practice a profitable one and his political allies must be influential. The insurance companies still hire him to do their dirty work.

The attitude of the Commission toward this physician and his type is expressed in a letter of former Commissioner Zimmer, replying to an injured employee who protested to the Commission that the doctor whom he had never seen before had falsely testified that he had examined him. The letter reads as follows:

"Under the statute we cannot bar him from participating in examinations when employed to do so by carriers or claimants. Long ago the Department took necessary steps to be sure that he does not examine claimants, except when previously retained for the purpose. I am sure that your attorney, at least, will appreciate that neither the Commissioner nor myself can, with propriety, instruct the referees not to permit the introduction of Dr. S___'s 'expert testimony.'"

The credibility of the witness in question could be destroyed in any court. But in compensation practice his evidence is accepted at face value by the referee and the Commission though they are fully aware of the witness' dishonest and disreputable character and activities. On the basis of his evidence, which often is known to the referee to be perjured, numerous injured workers have been defrauded out of compensation awards.


In order to secure any award from the Commission, the injured must prove "causal relationship" between the accident and his injury. The proof of "causal relationship" devolves on the injured. It does not suffice to prove that he was healthy and sound, and capable of doing his work immediately before the injury, to prove that an accident occurred which promptly followed by an injury, and that the injury was promptly followed by disability. Even when the injured can completely prove all these points, "causal relationship" has not been fully established to the satisfaction of the Commission. He must be able to prove that the injury might not have occurred as a result of bodily disorders or as an act of God.


The injured is further handicapped by the adoption of the administration of the attitude that the injured is guilty of malingering until he proves himself innocent. This attitude had been eliminated from American jurisprudence until introduced into many phases of law administration by the "liberal" and "New Deal" agencies. This practice is good proof of the alien origin of the "reform."

The presumption of guilt of the injured is as powerful an influence in the disposition of the case as it is absurd No consideration is given by the Commission to the fact that it would be stupid for any sane person to malinger. For he cannot possibly profit by it. The awards under the Compensation law are only a fraction of the wages of the man when he is uninjured and able to work.

Clearly this practice is merely a device to defraud the injured of compensation justly due, in the great majority of cases. The Commission and its referees usually disregard the provision of the law which states that aggravation of a previously existing disability is compensable. Abuses are especially frequent in cases involving serious and disabling injuries to the eyes and damage or loss of vision.


The proof of "causal relationship" under the practice evolved by the Commission, is entirely based on opinions expressed by physicians who testify either as medical attendants or as experts. They are generally elicited as responses to hypothetic questions, asking the physician whether in his opinion specified injuries could occur under specified circumstances and whether such injuries could cause the disabilities in question. These questions are drawn up with due regard to the rules of evidence and often with an eye to suppressing the truth. A favorite trick is to demand a "yes or no" answer.

Hypothetic questions are a part of the chicanery of the law. But they are downright dishonest when used in these medical cases. For they imply an omniscience which neither the medical profession nor any of its members possess. There is so much that it not known about physiology that it is utterly impossible for any honest physician to say that any disease or physiologic derangement may or may not follow on any specific injury. The honest physician can merely testify that in his knowledge or opinion the consequences of a specific injury are usual or unusual. If he says more, the physician is either stupid or he lies.

In final analysis, the only positive proof that an injury may occur under specified circumstances or may cause a specific disability is the fact that it has done so. The opinions of doctors that it should or should not have happened do not alter the fact that it has happened. It merely proves the limitations of medical knowledge and of the experience of the physician. Nevertheless, it is on the basis of such false medical testimony that the disposition of compensation cases generally depends. And it is the habit of the referees to give greatest weight to the evidence of doctors favoring the insurance companies, no matter how disreputable they may be.


Since the granting of disability compensation depends almost entirely on the reports and opinions of doctors, the importance of control of doctors treating injured workers to insurance companies intent upon fraud is readily appreciated. Under the original version of the law, the employer nominally chose the physician or institution that cared for his injured employees. In actual practice the insurance companies generally intimidated the employers to select physicians in their employ or chosen by them. With the aid of the Commission and its administration of the law, the insurance companies developed numerous technical devices to discourage or bar doctors not under their control from treating the injured. Physicians who had not "authorizations" drawn up in technically proper form were denied payment for their services.

How far the referees went in this matter was illustrated by a case which I witnessed about a decade ago. The referee denied the small bill of a competent ophthalmologist because the employer testified that he had ordered his employee suffering from a serious eye injury, to go to the corner druggist for medical attention. This jeopardized the eyes and vision of the injured and violated the Medical Practice Act. The referee ruled that the employer had provided "adequate medical care," and denied a fee to the physician who had saved the man's eye.


The low medical fee schedule which the Commission allows under its interpretation of the law discourages many physicians, thus leaving the field to men chosen by the insurance companies to whom they generally agree to pay more liberal fees.

The Commission has fixed the fee scale at the level of clinic fees. The consequence thereof was that the majority of competent physicians refused to render service to compensation cases. Some idea of the inadequacy of the fee scale can be gained from the fact that it is no higher than prevailed one hundred and fifty years ago. Even these inadequate fees, the private physician often fails to get or gets only after endless delays and waste of time that involve considerably higher loss than the sums involved.


An endless array of technicalities stands between the doctor and his fees in these cases. He must have a legally valid "authorization" from the employer that has not been revoked in the interim. He then must have filed several reports of the case with both the insurance company and the Commission, which must be made under oath before a notary and placed in the files of the Commission in a manner that does not permit denial of receipt within a specified time after the injury. For the denial of the receipt of the report on time may constitute grounds for rejection of bills for medical services. The Commission does not acknowledge the filing of such reports, as is done by the courts with other legal documents. There are cases on record of the theft of sheaves of medical reports by representatives of insurance companies for the purpose of barring claims for compensation and medical fees.

The doctor must then appear before the referee in reply to subpoenas at numerous hearings which generally involve the loss of practice and income, for which he was not paid. These hearings generally are repeatedly adjourned by the referee at the instance of the insurance company representative. This is done for the purpose of tiring out or "shaking" the doctor and the injured.

At the hearing the physician is badgered by attorneys of the insurance company with endless legal cross-examinations which, with the demand for "yes or no" answers, are generally designed to subvert and suppress the truth and to destroy the case by some legal technicality.

In the end, after averting all the traps and pitfalls that beset the way, the physician often never receives payment of his fee even though the Commission grants compensation to the injured. After years of effort on behalf of the injured, a physician was denied his fee by the Commission on the technicality that the employer had agreed to pay it in his original authorization and request for treatment. This the Commission interpreted as a contract and it therefore denied its jurisdiction. When an attempt was made to take the case before the Courts, it was found that under the law the agreement was not a contract. Therefore by chicanery of the referee the fee for years of service to the injured could not be collected either under Compensation or civil law.


The consequence of the dishonest and in competent administration of the law has been corruption and fraud on a wholesale scale and the perpetration of the grossest brutality and malpractice on the injured. This is borne out by the findings of the Moreland Commission, appointed by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1931, to investigate the administration of Workmen's Compensation. It reported that the majority of compensation cases fell into the hands of commercial compensation clinics of the lowest order.

The State Industrial Council reported in its investigation of the compensation clinics, which was instituted primarily for the benefit of the business of voluntary hospitals that had suffered severely during the depression, as follows:

"We have found clinics located in unsanitary tenement houses in space wholly unsuitable to the purpose, dark, ill- ventilated and with floors, ceilings and walls wholly incapable of being maintained in the condition of cleanliness required of a surgical establishment.

"Aside from the suitability of the quarters occupied, we have found apparently complete disregard of ordinary standards of cleanliness. As an instance of dangerous equipment in use, we found an X-ray apparatus entirely devoid of any protective screen."

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Max Meyer, reported to Commissioner Francis Perkins in further detail. Compensation clinics were found in charge of lay secretaries who gave all routine treatment and summoned the doctor only in emergency. Patients were treated with regard to asepsis.

"It was as if Lister and Pasteur had never lived," stated Mr. Meyers.


These clinics generally were rendered profitable to their proprietors as a result of collusion with the adjusters of insurance companies, involving the payment to them of graft or of a percentage of the bills allowed by them. A number of insurance adjusters have been prosecuted and sent to jail in recent years for defrauding their companies. There is now pending in Brooklyn an indictment of a group of employees of the New York State Insurance Fund alleging wholesale frauds perpetrated by them.

There are a few physicians who engage in compensation work who have remained scrupulously honest But the majority of them have matched the injustice and fraud of the Workmen's Compensation Commission and the insurance companies, and have resorted to padding bills, falsifying records and other fraudulent practices. The situation has been aptly depicted by Assistant District Attorney Bernard Botem of New York in his report of November 1937 to the Appellate Division and the Bar Association on accident fraud. He blamed not only the insurance men who had been indicted but insurance companies in general. He reported that their unfair and unethical opposition to payment of legitimate claims make exaggeration of claims a practice acquiesced in by both sides.


The grossness of the brutality and malpractice that has arisen under the law and its maladministration is illustrated by the following case.

In 1927, one of my patients, L. M., sustained a severe lime burn in one eye. Treatment was being rendered by me under proper written authorization by the employer. The insurance company involved did its utmost, as is the usual practice, to induce the injured to leave my care and accept the care of its physician, but he refused. Finally a representative of the insurance company approached me with a proposition:

Since the treatment of the injured eye would be very prolonged and expensive, and it was obvious that, even after treatment was completed, one could not feel certain that the man's vision would be better than ten percent, the insurance company would be compelled to pay for the loss of the eye, as well as an additional sum for facial disfigurement. If I would remove the eye without regard to the possibility of recovery of vision, he offered to pay me half of the estimated resultant savings in hospital and treatment expenses. Gouging out an eye was for them simply a matter of profit—dollars and cents. This case makes one shudder to think of the injured victims of some physicians controlled by the insurance companies who are compelled to do as bid, instead of ordering the adjuster off the premises, as I did.


Prominent among the advantages which Organized Social Service and its propagandists represented as offered by the Workmen's Compensation Act were elimination of legal delays and prompt payment of disability allowances. These have failed to materialize.

The delays of Compensation procedure dwarf court delays, have involved great hardship on the injured. Often they have meant neglect of treatment and sometimes death. In cases of serious injuries, years might elapse before the injured have received a penny disability allowance, if ever. Hearings have been adjourned for months, and sometimes for years. Usually the testimony has not been transcribed unless paid for. When made they have been in accurate and often falsified, particularly in the matter of testimony favorable to the injured.


All the safeguards which surround testimony and records in the courts: non-partisanship of the judge, accuracy of records and their transcription and safekeeping, representation by competent attorney—have been denied the injured by the Compensation Commission.

This has aided materially the perpetration of frauds by the highly skilled legal representatives of the insurance carriers who are bent upon taking advantage of the numerous technicalities of the law. In minor cases, which involve little or no expense to the insurance companies, there is usually little contest. But in serious cases, involving loss of life or incapacitating disability, the insurance companies avail themselves of every subterfuge of the law.


Repeated rehearings are held on the same phase of the testimony. At each hearing the skilled representatives of the insurance companies seek to break down the evidence of the undefended, injured claimant and to tire out his witnesses. Not infrequently evidence giving proof of the accident may not be called for until months or years have elapsed. In the meantime, pressure is brought to bear upon witnesses, and fellow employees are bulldozed and coached into rendering testimony favorable to the employer and his insurance carrier.

If the injured be granted compensation by the Commission, appeals involve interminable delays. The insurance company is encouraged to appeal. The injured is discouraged and lacks resources. In cases which have been pending for seven years or more, awards are not paid by the insurance company (except a nominal fixed amount) but are paid by the State from a special reserve fund, thus encouraging delay.

When an award has been granted by the Commission not infrequently it has been for but a fraction of the amount which is due the injured under the law. Thus if he has suffered from blindness and slight facial disfigurement as a result of his injury, a nominal grant is made for one and not the other. Hearings are permitted to drag out. The repeated hearings result in loss of workdays and so often threaten loss of employment that the injured prefer to neglect them and hold their jobs. Upon this the insurance companies depends for defrauding many injured,


The Workmen's Compensation Division publishes a veritable avalanche of statistics prepared by its ample statistical staff. But by a most curious chance, it does not publish any statistical analysis of the cases denied compensation detailing the nature of injuries which they sustained, the reasons for denial of compensation, the time which elapsed between the filing of claims, their settlement, and the payment of compensation. There is no data more vital for an evaluation of the administration of the law.

A request forwarded to the Director of the Workmen's Compensation Division for a statistical analysis of rejected cases brought the following reply, under date of December 10, 1935:

"In reply to your letter of November 29th, I wish to advise that we do not have a statistical analysis on which claims have been denied. We, of course, can obtain that information, but I do not feel justified in making the study without some indication of a need for it.

"When I spoke to you recently on the phone you informed me that you had a record of some thirty cases in which compensation had been denied, and, as I informed you at that time, I would appreciate it if you would submit a list of the cases so that I may make a study of them. If the thirty cases you mention indicate that a study of all our discontinued cases should be made, you may rest assured it will be done promptly.

"Very truly,
(Signed) M. J. Murphy, Director.
Division of Workmen's Compensation.

The obvious interest of such statistics of rejected cases is borne out by the fact that the Director himself had ordered a survey of rejected cases for his own private use, which was carefully suppressed. This survey, according to the statistician of the Department, revealed the following:


In other words, could not prove to the satisfaction of an antagonistic referee that he would not have suffered disability from an act of God bad the accident not occurred.

In short, the Commission's statistician acknowledged in effect that one-quarter of the injured applicants for compensation probably were defrauded out of compensation and consequently thrown out as charges upon the community. From personal observation, I hazard the statement that the twenty-five percent of the cases which were rejected on the ground of "causal relation" include the great majority of serious injuries which would have involved a large cost to the insurance companies.

I here outline a number of cases included in the rejected group, from among those which have come under my personal observation:


A. G. Case No. 3231644, Injured August 8, 1932, by rim of tire striking right ridge of forehead, causing a lacerated wound on the forehead, a fracture of the margin of the orbit and blindness of the right eye. The injured had been continuously employed up to the time of the accident and had been efficient. But the insurance company alleged, without any proof, that he had been suffering from a disease of the eye which purely as a matter of coincidence resulted in blinding at the time of the accident. The injured was as unable to disprove this allegation as the insurance company was to prove it. The referee denied compensation and saved the company three thousand dollars.

The injured was ousted by his employer at the behest of the insurance company on the ground of his disability, was denied W.P.A. employment for the same reason, and became a public charge. The referee's technical ground for denying compensation was "CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP NOT PROVED."


P. deK, Case No. 3331 1099. Injured October 29, 1933, in left eye, his only good eye, by intense electric are due to short circuiting of electric cable. Employer witnessed the injury and rendered first aid. Subsequently the injury was treated for a number of months by a physician employed by the insurance company. When it became apparent that there would be a permanent loss of vision, the doctor altered his diagnosis and reported to the Commission that it was not due to injury, but to a pre-existing syphilitic condition. Compensation was denied on the basis of the insurance company physician's statement.

Subsequent examination of the man's eye revealed a typical burn and a cataract of the type caused by intense electric arcs. His vision was severely impaired. He lacked the funds to fight the insurance company before the Commission. His attorney would not continue with the case because the Commission denied him payment since compensation had not been granted. The referee's technical ground for denying compensation was "CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP NOT PROVED".


M. R. Case No. 31613949. Injured May 13, 1932, by chip of stone flying from slab under hammer blow and striking his eye. Treatment was rendered by insurance company ophthalmologist. When it became apparent that the eye condition was not due to injury, but to pre-existing disease of chronic nature affecting both eyes; and that the immediate cause of the impending loss of the eye was the blocking of the central retinal vein.

Several physicians testified that the condition causing the loss of the eye arose from injury, and that systemic condition reported by the insurance company did not exist in other eye as alleged. This was also borne out by photographs of that eye taken a long time after injury, which showed none of the permanent changes, thrombosis, described by the insurance company physicians. But this absolute proof of the falseness of the diagnosis was kept out of the record of the case by technicalities of rules of evidence which were brought into play by the attorneys of the insurance company. The pathologist who examined the removed eye, at the Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital, might have introduced the truth into evidence. He refused to do so, because his boss at the hospital was the insurance company's physician.

Dr. Arnold Knapp, who was "chief" of the Knapp Memorial Hospital which treated a large number of compensation cases for the insurance companies, was selected by the Commission as "unbiased" medical referee in the case. In spite of the fact that sections of the removed eye were available for determination of the exact condition causing its removal, Dr. Knapp hypothesized on the basis of the false diagnosis of the insurance company physicians. He ruled that the loss of the eye was not due to the injury. Compensation was denied, saving the insurance company several thousand dollars. Verdict of referee and Commission: "CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP NOT PROVED."


P.C. Case No. 3328471. Injured September 6, 1933. While driving truck he was forced to swerve into a ditch to avert collision and was jolted and struck forcibly on back of head by the steel hood of his truck. He managed to finish his day's work and to drive the truck back to the garage. He reported himself injured and suffering from intense pain in the head and unable to walk without pain. He entered the hospital on the following day. There a diagnosis of intra-cranial hemorrhage was made. The insurance company asked his transfer to the Neurological Institute at its expense for further diagnosis and treatment.

Although he was found to be very sick, the physician at the Neurological Institute obliged the insurance company by finding a tumor of the skull and asserting that the man's disability ad nothing whatsoever to do with the accident. The company refused any further aid than to refer him to a city hospital for X-ray treatment.

(Insurance companies have found it well worth their while to place the roentgenologists of municipal hospitals on their payrolls. The companies send them large volumes of X-ray work in their private practices, which they conduct in spite of the fact that they are supposedly full-time employees of the city.)

At the hospital, the injured was so maltreated with X-rays that he developed terrific X-ray burns of the head and neck. Intense X-raying of the acutely burned area was persisted in, until I advised the victim to refuse further treatment because of the danger of developing cancer. It is well known that burning by X-ray, and especially persistent X-raying of a burnt area, causes cancer.

The insurance company, however, importuned the man to return for further X-raying, threatening that there would be no possibility of a compensation award unless he continued treatment. He finally returned to the hospital and was given an uglier X-ray burn than the first and maltreated until, in his agony, he refused to submit any longer. Within a year following, this victim died of generalized cancer of an entirely different type from that originally diagnosed, which without much question had been caused by the X-raying.

This is the most horrible and deliberately perpetrated bit of malpractice that has ever come to my notice. But patients may not recover for malpractice perpetrated in municipal, charitable hospitals.

The man never received compensation, because the referee denied that there was any causal relationship between the injury and the mans inability to work, which immediately followed. When he died and cancer was found at autopsy, the Commission closed the case, and denied compensation to his widow. This deliberate and cold-blooded killing within the law saved the insurance company over five thousand dollars.

It eloquently bespeaks the corruption of some of the examiners in the Commission's medical division that on June 3, 1934, at a time when the injured man could no longer walk because of paralysis, a report was rendered by one of its members to the effect that he had found no evidence of paralysis; and that this report was made the basis of the rejection of a request for an appeal. The decision of the referee and Commission was that the injured had shown "NO CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP" between the accident and THE DISABILITY IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THEREON.



The outrageous abuse and swindling of the injured under the Workmen's Compensation Act reached their highest level during the period that Madame Frances Perkins was at the head of the New York State Labor Department. Neither she, nor her fellow-travelers of the American Association for Labor Legislation, nor their social service allies, nor the bosses of labor unions had any fault to find with the law or its administration at that time. On the contrary, some labor union officials profited hugely from perpetration of swindles on the injured members of their own unions, on the pretense of "influence" and "fixing." In some cases of influential persons and friends, a "fix" was arranged; but in the majority the hundreds of dollars collected was pocketed by the union representative and his confederates.


The compensation hospital and surgical business is a cheap trade and was regarded with scorn by the more snooty hospitals and their surgeons. During the era of prosperity they were well satisfied to relegate these cases to municipal hospitals and clinics, generally to be treated as public charges and at no cost to the insurance companies. This arrangement greatly reduced the expenses and increased the profits of the companies, at the cost of the tax-payers.

It mattered little to the medical bosses that they were thereby destroying a legitimate source of income for the rank and file of the medical profession. For in the municipal hospitals members of the medical staffs were barred from collecting from insurance companies for the treatment of their compensation cases. The bosses of medicine viewed the situation with malicious glee. They were well content with the ruling of the New York State Attorney General that permitted admission of injured charges of the insurance companies as free charity cases to municipal hospitals and with the hospital regulations which barred the lesser fry physicians from collecting for services rendered.

They also viewed with tolerant scorn the development of compensation clinics of the type described in the quoted Moreland report, Some influential physicians banded together and formed a corporation, the Wolf Industrial Service, that exploited chains of these compensation clinics. They wielded a powerful influence over the New York State Labor Department and were able to roll up large profits; and were well satisfied with the law as it stood and vigorously opposed any change in the status quo.

For almost a decade I had written, agitated and fought for reforms in Workmen's Compensation administration and for correction of abuses. Though I rarely handled any of the cases other than those in which outrageous frauds had been perpetrated, when my help had been sought to correct the injustice, the corruption and inhumanity of the situation stirred me. I sought to induce the social service and labor organizations to fight for correction of the abuses arising from the law, but was turned down by them with amusement and scorn.


When depression arrived the business of voluntary hospitals slumped badly. This seriously threatened the jobs of those engaged in hospital social service activities and their allies among the medical bosses. The social service clique, no matter how treacherous they may be with others, do hang together and rise to each other's defense and aid.

These gentry are always interested in public welfare when such interest fills their purses. They suddenly awoke to the discovery that depression had made the lowly Workmen's Compensation business one of the most profitable phases of medical and hospital business. They coveted that business for themselves. Compensation cases looked like sure and easy pickings although meagre. Suddenly they conceived an immense sympathy for the injured workmen. Calling together their publicity men and their allies, they promptly proceeded to remedy the situation. The New York Academy of Medicine and the American College of Surgeons whose members previously had scorned Compensation work, eagerly participated in the campaign.


The remedy which the medical bosses desired was quite obvious. They sought to have compensation cases referred to their own hospitals to boost their business and incomes. The barring of compensation cases from the charity wards of the municipal hospitals was readily obtained by a regulation of the Commissioner of Hospitals. The voluntary hospitals eagerly competed for the Compensation business. But in order to get the maximum result from this direction, they found it necessary to eliminate competition of the compensation clinics.

A campaign of righteous indignation was launched by the social service and hospital forces against the compensation clinics. In its course the injured employees and their rights were incidentally mentioned. In 1931 Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, at the instance of these forces, appointed the Moreland Commission, from the report of which I already have quoted, to investigate the Compensation situation. At its head he placed Howard Cullman, who is closely identified with the social service and hospital groups of New York City and was an executive of the Broad Street Hospital which did a thriving business in the Wall Street section of the city. A supplemental committee of medical bosses from among the membership of the New York Academy of Medicine was also appointed by the Governor to report on the situation. Both reports failed to emphasize or ignored the swindling of the injured by the insurance companies; but they stressed the defrauding of the insurance companies by the compensation clinics.


Taking advantage of the spotlighting of the question, I offered a solution of the problem to Mr. Stone, of the Insurance Adjusters' Association, at a meeting of the Bronx County Medical Society, which embodied protection for all the parties involved.

The fairness of this plan pleased neither the insurance companies, their social service allies, the hospitals nor the medical bosses. The medical societies and the insurance companies adopted five years later the parts of the plan which protects the incomes of medical bosses and their hospitals. But the adopted plan betrays both the injured and the rank and file of the medical profession. It has placed the insurance companies more firmly in control of the medical care of the injured than they had been before, and has made the defrauding of the injured more simple and inevitable than it had been under the original law. This plan was embodied in several amendments to the Workmen's Compensation Act that were passed by the New York State Legislature in 1935 and still remain in force.


The amended law pretends to establish for the injured worker freedom of choice of physician. Actually, this freedom is restricted to a list of physicians drawn up by the County Medical Societies. This was done on the pretext that industrial injury differs from other injuries and is a super-specialty. How this provision of the law is being used by the Societies to coerce physicians into membership and to intimidate them into doing their bidding has been related.

As is the vogue in all social service and "New Deal" agencies, there is vested in the Workmen's Compensation Board of each County Medical Society legislative, executive and judicial power. The power of the Societies to exclude physicians from the treatment of compensation cases is arbitrary and absolute. No appeal can be made to the Courts. The Societies have demanded of their members as a condition for listing that they sign away their civil and constitutional rights and that they waive any redress for injuries which they may sustain as a result of the action of the Boards.

The powers of these Boards exceed those vested in the State and restrict the license to practice medicine that is granted by the State They arbitrarily dictate, on the basis of their own desires, inclinations and interests, the qualifications for practice of the medical and surgical specialties on compensation cases and the physicians who may engage in them. Physicians who are not submissive to the medical bosses and refuse to pay tribute to their organizations are barred from listing in the panel no matter how distinguished or competent they may be. Without listing, the law bars them from collecting for the services which they render. In short, there has been created a grand and glorious racket that is extraordinarily profitable for the unscrupulous medical bosses.


The insurance companies have been able to retain the control over the doctors and their testimony that is so essential for their illicit activities, through circumvention of the amended law in several manners. First they have strengthened their hold on the County Medical Societies by placing the key officers on their payrolls or on their consultant staffs. The medical members of the County Medical and of the New York State Medical Society Boards on Workmen's Compensation, and of the Industrial Council, and the inner clique of about forty "specially trained" physicians who alone may serve as "neutral" arbitrators, are all part time workers in their respective positions. Most of them are employees or consultants of insurance companies. All of them are free to act as consultants and to do other chores for the insurance companies on whose cases they pass judgment. Arbitrators who show an inclination to be fair are generally dropped.

Dr. David J. Kaliski, Director of the Committee on Workmen's Compensation, is paid a salary of five thousand dollars a year for part-time service out of the two dollars per head contributed by the members of the New York State Medical Society. Nevertheless, he has spent hours in court on some occasions to testify on behalf of insurance companies against members of the Society who were suing for payment of just charges for service rendered.

Likewise, his predecessor, Dr. Morris Rosenthal, a number of years ago spent a full day in court to testify on behalf of an insurance company in a case involving a contract between a physician and an insured employer. Under direct examination Dr. Rosenthal denied that he had been employed ever before by an insurance company in any capacity. Under cross-examination, he belied his testimony and acknowledged that he had been employed as consultant by a specific insurance company as recently as the day before. The magazine of the New York County Medical Society, the Medical Week, refused to publish a report of this incident.

The insurance companies are well aware that the medical boss absolutely dominates his hospital and his medical society, and is entirely willing to exploit both against his colleagues—for a consideration. They quickly place him under obligation by making him a consultant. A physician on the staff of a hospital who testifies against his superior does not long survive on the staff; and it is well nigh impossible to extract the truth from him when he knows that the "boss" is in the employ of the defendant insurance carrier. The law perpetuates abuses which the amendment was supposed to eliminate.

So long as this fraud-laden law remains on the statute-books, some protection of the injured should be set up against those prostituted medical experts into whose hands so much power has been placed. The Commission should compel the publication and posting of the total payments made by insurance companies to physicians. In this manner the injured may learn to what extent the doctor's testimony may be influenced by his earnings from the insurance companies.


Hospitals controlled by the American College of Surgeons play important roles in aiding insurance companies to circumvent the amended Workmen's Compensation Act. And the booty of Workmen's Compensation cases plays an important part in the bitter battles for control of hospitals that have hit the headlines of New York newspapers.

In the closed hospitals of New York City, a patient is compelled to accept the services of the doctors on its staff. The insurance companies arrange to gain ascendency over hospital staffs in the manner already noted. In some cases they go even further. They purchase hospital positions for the medical hirelings who do their dirty work. Not infrequently they gain control of smaller and financially weaker hospitals. They fill them with compensation cases for which nominal or no payment is made. They use them until a large deficit results. The hospital is then forced into bankruptcy, reorganized and used over again for the same purpose.

Injured employees that enter these hospitals are more at the mercy of the corrupt insurance companies than they ever were under the original law which gave the companies openly the right of choice of physicians. In some of these hospitals there may be found the most unscrupulous and brutal of the medical agents of insurance companies who place an infinitely higher value on their own purses than on human lives. Through this device there are being perpetrated some of the most outrageous and heinous activities.

The role of the American College of Surgeons in these activities cannot be overestimated. It aids its Fellows in capturing the hospitals by compelling their appointment on the penalty of withdrawing "approved" listing; throws a halo of sanctity over their staffs, however corrupt; and shields their malodorous practices.


Organized Social Service, Organized Labor and the International Association for Labor Legislation, which have played so prominent a role in engineering this ugly set-up, are no longer interested in the abuse and swindling that now flourish in Workmen's Compensation. Equally indifferent are the members of the Industrial Council, the Industrial Board or the Industrial Commissioner. They deliberately ignore complaints and evidence of fraud placed before them. They shift the full burden of proof on the complainant and then proceed to whitewash the accused. Even the notorious Dr. S whose activities have been recounted is undisturbed by them in his frauds and perjuries.

Abuses in the administration of the law are obvious and matters of common knowledge. They have been, the subject of several investigations and public hearings, and of publicity and campaigning in the New York newspapers. Organized Social Service cannot claim that it is not fully aware of the extent and the nature of the fraud perpetrated upon the injured nor can the officials involved claim that they are not acquainted with the corrupt and dishonest administration of the law.


The burden of compensation insurance has become so heavy in New York that some industries have been compelled to close down and throw their workers into the rank of the unemployed. Many workers, especially those who have had injuries or those over forty years of age, are barred from employment by the rigid examinations required by insurance companies since the law has been amended to make diseases compensable. The State Insurance Fund does not require these examinations, but its rates are excessive and penalize severely employers whose risks are bad. This compels the employer to reject the same group of employees to avoid excessive insurance costs,

A number of striking examples of stimulation of unemployment by Workmen's Compensation insurance costs have come to public attention. Thus Mr. George J. Atwill, a New York builder, filed a complaint with the N.Y. State Department of Labor asserting that insurance company examinations had forced into unemployment sixty-five of three hundred and sixty-five employees. The State Industrial Commissioner, Elmer F. Andrews, replied to the complaint in the press with the statement that the State Insurance Fund would have required no examination; but he did not explain to the public that the cost of this insurance would have been tremendously higher and prohibitive. A Walkill farmer stated in a letter to the New York Times on January 3, 1933, that farm insurance rates of the State Fund are so high as to prohibit employing men for needed work.


New York State Industrial Commissioner Frieda S. Miller, at the annual luncheon of the Beekman Street Hospital in January 1940, sang the praises of Workmen's Compensation Laws. She said: "labor accidents are now put where they belong as one of the charges on industry,"

She proceeded to say that similar progress must be made during the succeeding twenty-five years in cooperation between the government and private hospitals in such matters as sickness during involuntary unemployment and social health problems. It is clearly the attitude of herself and her clique that "Socialized Medicine" is to serve the purpose of burdening industry with added charges. With their propaganda Bismarck's "New Deal" marches on to new achievements in disrupting our industry and commerce, throwing our workers out of employment and "hastening the Revolution."

In all these things we can discern the extent of the beneficence of Organized Social Service, and the blessing which it confers upon the nation. They clearly presage what benefits can be expected by the public from "Socialized" Medicine which is advocated by the same group.

State Medicine and Compulsory Health Insurance


The stresses of depression have accentuated the need for a solution of many of the problems around which the Medical and Social Service Rackets have revolved. Having gained virtual control of our government, the latter unscrupulously have thrown the entire blame for hospital and medical costs on the former. Equally unscrupulously, they are advocating Compulsory Health Insurance or State Medicine as a remedy.

This pretended remedy is a part of the original treacherous German propaganda program, dating back to the days of Bismarck, for forcing the Bismarxian "New Deal" on the United States to handicap its industries and commerce.

The propaganda has been well organized and is spread by a vast array of organizations which either have been established specially for the purpose or have been inveigled into espousing this "cause." In the front ranks of these propagandists are the multitudinous organizations of the Social Service Racket. Side by side with them are medical and the "liberal," radical, Socialist, Communist, united front, fellow traveler, labor and outright seditious organizations. Both the Democratic and Republican par Lies now have joined their ranks. Thus on March 19, 1940, Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts introduced a health insurance hill that provides forty dollars a year from Security funds for medical care and Federal funds for payment for expensive drugs. This is designed as a direct subsidy of the profits of the Drug Trust.

Linking together and pervading all of these organizations there are professional, political and social service agitatois who constitute a cabal that devote their entire lives to this and allied subversive activities. Most of them have penetrated into high rank in our governmental, university and school systems in the manner that has become the accepted form demanded by the high standards of modern propaganda and espionage.

So highly do the Communist propagandists regard Socialized Medicine that they included a special course on "the organization of medicine as a state function" in the Anglo-American section of the Summer session of the Moscow University. On the staff were Susan M. Kingsbury, Harry W. Chase, John Dewey, Hallie F. Flannagan, George S. Counts and William F. Russell, a group of American university professors.

Lurking in the background, fomenting the agitation and liberally supporting it with funds are the subsidiaries and agents of the German Dye Trust. As has been related, it expects to reap as profit, with the aid of the dictatorial, arbitrary and needlessly destructive Food and Drug Act, a monopolistic control of the highly profitable American drug trade. In the same manner it has gained control of the drug industries of more than a score of countries.






These agitators have been highly successful in using the Federal and State governments, which they now control, as forums for their propaganda. They have staged impressive "conferences" and "investigations" that have been crudely rigged propaganda for their plans mouthed by their henchmen. All persons or organizations that might tell the truth or expose the propagandists and their plots are barred from a hearing. They are staged in the same spirit and with the same technique as similar elements in Russia and Germany have staged their "purge" and Reichstag trials.

Most prominent among these forums were the National Health Conference held in Washington in the summer of 1939, and the December 1938 hearings of the New York State Temporary Commission to Formulate a Health Program. Appropriations for both were provided by bills introduced respectively by Senator Robert F. Wagner and Assemblyman Robert F. Wagner, Jr. In both forums the same organizations were represented by the same group of propagandists and agitators. They presented stereotyped false data and statistics that have been standardized by them during years of use. Their falseness is obvious from an analysis of their ideas, stripped of the camouflage of verbiage, which are as follows:

  • The great majority of the American public are "medically indigent." (The propagandists do not say, however, that it is "automobile indigent," "beauty parlor indigent" or "liquor indigent," though it spends more on each of those items than it does on medical care.)
  • Poverty breeds illness due to lack of medical care.
  • Medical care is a basic need for the maintenance of health.
  • THE REMEDY FOR NEED IS OFFICIAL EXTORTION, or forcing the public to pay for medical care by compulsory deduction from their wages of the money that it is alleged they cannot afford to pay.

They wish us to believe that the health of the nation will benefit in spite of the lack of food, clothing and shelter which the deducted money represents, vicariously by the fattening and battening thereon of the agitators, propagandists and social service bureaucracy; and by filling with cheap medicine victims who lack the necessities of life. Their arguments are as obviously absurd as their motives are specious and false.


The absurdity of the representations of the propagandists is made most clear by the "Medicine Show," a recent production in the "living newspaper"\ W.P.A. Communist propaganda program. This liturgical mystery play of the Communist Church made it quite clear that the underlying cause of misery and disease is poverty and not the lack of medical care.

It presents no solution of the problem. Instead it absurdly intimated that Compulsory Health Insurance, especially in the form of the Wagner Bill, that proposes to deduct insurance payments from the workers' payrolls, will solve the problem. The maudlin audiences were overcome by their own wishful thoughts on the topic and by a quasi-religious fervor aroused by the sloppy emotionalism of the acting and the seething hatred depicted, and applauded loudly and long.

Few of the audience showed enough good sense to stop and consider that wage deductions for insurance premium payments will intensify poverty and its consequences; that the only real and complete solution of the problem of health and medical care for the needy is the solution of the problem of poverty.


The Health Insurance and State Medicine campaigns which are now being waged in the press by social service and by government agencies is characterized by gross misrepresentation, deceit and fraud on the American public.

The public is being led to believe that the object of the proposed measures is to reduce for it the cost of medical care. The reverse is the truth.


When Mr. Jones becomes ill, today, he can go to a municipal or county hospital and may claim the medical services available free of charge. To do so is his right as a resident of the community, whether he be rich or poor. In relatively few sections of the country are such facilities entirely lacking.

But with the adoption of any of the forms of State Medicine which have been proposed, Mr. Jones will no longer have this right to medical care unless he pays into the insurance fund a high percent of his wage. These contributions and levies are the essence of the "insurance."

The estimated cost of this health insurance to Mr. Jones ranges from five to fifteen percent of his wages. The total cost of all the "health," "security," and "welfare" measures, adopted and contemplated, will range from fifteen to twenty percent of his wages.

If Mr. Jones' present wage is scarcely sufficient to purchase food, clothing and shelter, can one fail to realize how soon the costly "welfare" program will reduce him to misery, starvation, disease and possibly worse?

The campaign to secure the passage of "health insurance" legislation is being waged very astutely by its advocates. They not only misrepresent their program to the public, but they also misrepresent the source of the demand for it as coming from the public. They ride human gullibility hard when they seek to create the impression that the public demands to pay for something WHICH IT NOW RECEIVES FOR NOTHING.

There is little reason to believe that these astute propagandists will not succeed in their swindle and fraud on the American public if their censorship and their corruption of the Press cannot be penetrated by the truth. With their present set-up they could even manage to make the legislators believe that the public wants to pay more taxes, that it desires to have its rent increased and that it insists on an increase of the cost of living and a drop in wages.


Only politicians pretend to be deceived by the sham that the demand for Socialized Medicine arises from the public. The political demagogue seeks the highest advantage to himself that is compatible with holding the vote at the next election. In this he is more restrained than the social service crew who even need not keep an eye on the vote but seek their own advantage only.

Compulsory Health Insurance makes of medicine a political tool that can be used to hold votes and to create numerous jobs for ward-heelers; and is an issue that can readily be popularized by misrepresentation. It is the ideal weapon of the demagogue as well as of treacherous propagandists. It is not surprising that the "leaders" of all political parties are adopting the issue of Compulsory Health Insurance as the basis of their political platforms. If they did not they would be statesmen, not demagogues.


Medical serfs, the rank and file of the medical profession, favor Compulsory Health Insurance. Contrary to the impression which is being given the public by the press, they have joined the ranks of the propagandists. Their motives are frankly and openly mercenary, and consequently their support of the measure is being kept carefully from public notice. They want Compulsory Health Insurance because under its terms the public will be forced to pay for the services that are now rendered by them free of charge in clinics and hospitals. Part of the money which the public will pay under the proposed plans would be given to the doctors for charitable services, the entire burden of which they are now carrying.

Likewise a group of public health officers who have been placed in office by the propagandists favor Compulsory Health Insurance because they are ordered to do so and because it means bigger and better jobs for them. In some communities they are building up health departments and other government services with an eye to converting them to the use of a Compulsory Health Insurance plan.


The medical leaders, merchants and bosses, however, are all opposed to Compulsory Health Insurance because it would reduce their incomes. But they do favor an extension of the same type of State Medicine the development of which they have fostered during the past four decades, because it serves their aggrandizement and advertises their businesses.

The American Medical Association, since the earliest days of its renaissance under "Doc" Simmons, has fostered the idea of concentration of control of the Government's medical services into the hands of a Secretary of Health, a proposed member of the President's Cabinet who will be appointed from among its bosses. This indeed would lend the force of governmental sanction to the rackets of organized medicine.

Drs. Morris Fishbein and Charles Gordon Heyd, ex-president and officer of the A.M.A. and A.C.S. have both made such suggestions public late in 1941. The A.M.A. made its ancient aspiration the backbone of its counter-proposal to the Wagner Act, with the added proviso that the Government pay the cost of charitable medical care and hospitalization. Thus the two rackets, medical and social service, are jockeying for the chance to rifle the public purse. The compromise Hospital Bill that was proposed by Roosevelt and introduced by Wagner was a bribe for medical merchants and an entering wedge for the propagandists.


For many decades the social service cliques and their insurance allies have cast invidious eyes on the billions of dollars that are spent by the public for medical care, hospitalization and nursing. Compulsory Health Insurance bills introduced in New York State Legislature in 1919 and 1920 by the social service gang were vigorously fought by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company which sought the profitable domain of health insurance for itself. Then these former enemies joined forces for no good purpose.

To throw dust into the eyes of the public, they conducted bogus health campaigns and demonstrations, and misleading and falsified surveys on "The High Cost of Medical Care." But public suspicion should be aroused because in spite of all the statistics which the social service cliques hurl at the public, they never issue any on the cost of their own activities to the nation. They have never undertaken to reveal to the public the exorbitant cost of their own meddling, and the conversion to their own uses of charitable and trust funds intended by donors for relief and medical care of the poor. The history of their activities makes it clear that the purpose of their deception is the desire to profit from the control of medicine and to gain for themselves more and better jobs and higher wages.

To be sure there are also agitators and propagandists who worship at foreign shrines and serve other lands. They whisper among themselves that the staggering burden of taxation which their plans imply will paralyze industry and commerce in the U.S. as it has in other lands where their subversive activity has succeeded. Some whisper that this will benefit the Vaterland. Others whisper that the tax burden will precipitate "the Revolution." They are rats who "bore from within" for personal profit and baser motives, under the guise of high ideals.

What the public can expect from the social service gentry and the remedies which they offer can be judged in two manners. Some premonition can be had from the maladministration of the Workmen's Compensation Act, one of their proud creations. A brilliant picture of the Compulsory Health Insurance remedy which they are now brewing for this country can be had from a study of its operation in other lands that have adopted it as a result of their propaganda. Finally, the present corrupt and deplorable state of public health administration in this country demonstrates how dangerous is existent State or "Socialized" Medicine and dictates it abolition rather than its extension.


The effects of the "welfare" measures of Bismarck's "New Deal" on Germany are notorious. How futile is Compulsory Insurance in preserving the health of a nation is apparent from Germany's record. Some mention has also been made of the results that ensued when German propaganda secured the adoption of the same measures in France and England. Regarding its results in Communist Russia an honest evaluation is not possible because the breakdown is so complete and the information available is biased and unreliable propaganda. Only one seemingly reliable bit of information regarding "Socialized" Medicine in Russia seems to have emerged—the death of Maxim Gorki. This was the statements, no doubt extorted, by two doctors to the effect that they had been compelled for political reasons to put Gorki to death with drugs—a likely use of this type of medical care.


Complete and reliable information on the operation of Compulsory Health Insurance in England is available since 1915 in the annual reports of the Ministry of Health. Since these reports cannot be regarded as biased except in favor of Compulsory Health Insurance, their study yields a picture of the operation of the plan which should stand above all suspicion. The prosperity years 1925 to 1928 were selected as a fairer basis for discussion because they show up more favorably for the plan than later years of depression.

Study of disease incidence and mortality in England reveals that Compulsory Health Insurance has been a wretched failure. It has failed miserably to reduce the incidence of preventable diseases, which have increased steadily

Smallpox had been almost entirely eliminated in England under the private practice of medicine. After more than a decade of State Medicine, the incidence of smallpox and other preventable contagious and infectious diseases in England was higher than ever, as indicated in the tabulation below.

1925 1926 1927 1928
Smallpox Cases 535 10141 14787 12420
Deaths 6 11 36 5
Diphtheria Cases 47720 51069 52011 61134
Deaths 2774 2994 2732 3191
Enteric fever 779 2739 255 3495
Deaths 388 367 367 438

Of special interest is the influence of State Medicine on the incidence of syphilis and venereal disease, in view of the current campaign in this country. Syphilis claimed 22,010 new victims in England in 1924, and 22,761 in 1928, an increase of 3%. Gonorrhea claimed 29,477 in 1922, and 42,032 in 1928; the latter figure was the highest number of new cases recorded since the inception of State Medicine in England. The total of venereal diseases rose steadily from 56,347 in 1922, to 65,931 in 1928.


The rising incidence of smallpox represented an index of the loss of prestige and authority of the doctor in the role of the hireling of the community. This growing contempt for the doctor expressed itself in the terms of a drop in the percentage of infants vaccinated from 48.7% in 1923, to 40.0% in 1930, with a corresponding rise in the incidence of smallpox.

The effect of State Medicine, in all the different forms in which it has been tried, upon the character of the public and the attitude of the patients to their medical advisers has been distinctly deleterious. Folks are inclined to value a commodity or service according to the charge placed upon it. Also, they esteem a man in proportion to the amount of authority which he exercises over them; and value his opinions and ideas accordingly. When they find that their physician is a low-paid hireling whose tenure of position is insecure and subject to their whims, they scorn him and his advice. This psychologic reaction has resulted, under Compulsory Health Insurance and State Medicine plans, in public disregard and contempt for the preventive health measures recommended by the medical profession, and in a consequent deterioration of health.


The British Panel System, like other forms of Compulsory Health Insurance and State Medicine, is a system of medical "mass production." Its evils are intensified by politics and by social service control. The cost of administration and red tape has mounted steadily. After administrative costs and benefits have been paid, there is little left of the money collected from the public for defraying the costs of medical and other services.

The panel doctor receives a very small sum per patient each month. In order to make a scant living he must enlist as large a number of patients as possible. These he must make a hurried pretense of examining and treating, for no one may be kept waiting or turned away. This rush means careless negligence that often spells disability and death.


Standardized methods of treatment are imposed upon the doctors by a controlling committee and bureaucracy. As a consequence, medical treatment, which is at best largely empiric and inadequate, loses flexibility and adaptability that often help to save or prolong life. But in self-defense, the doctors must obey the orders of the swivel-chair squad and adhere to the standardized treatments. For in case of investigation of cause of death, the Ministry merely seeks to confirm that the treatments that were followed by death were the "accepted" methods.

As in all bureaucratic forms of medicine, there is barred play to the ingenuity and perseverance of a physician in fighting death, that alone may turn the tide; for that often means deviation from "accepted" methods. As a result England's death-rate has risen steadily. It was so high in 1938 that an effort was made to suppress its publication,


Much of the hard-pressed panel doctor's time must be spent in keeping records, making reports, complying with red-tape, undergoing investigation and issuing disability certificates. He is reduced to the role of a clerk and pawn of a "mass production" machine of which the principal output is malpractice.

Most important, in the Panel System, is the issuance of certificates for "sickness disability payments." They present to the doctors a grave problem. The doctor who issues more certificates than the bureaucrats think justified lays himself open to investigation, censure and penalty. But the doctor who issues fewer disability certificates than his patients demand soon finds his panel deserted; for the drones seek to avoid work by malingering sickness and prolonging disability. The doctors are helpless to avert the pressure of their employer-patients and are forced to falsely attest to disabilities in order to retain their practices and make a living.


A large section of the Ministry's report is filled by the question of drugs and their cost. The amount of money left for the purchase of drugs under these plans is very small. A list of cheap drugs, known as "economic pharmacopoeia," limits the range of prescribing by physicians. Other drugs that are more expensive may not be used, no matter how required they may be, except in case of threatening death. These lists bar the use of many essential drugs such as the hormones, which are costly, except at the expense of the patient. In ordering medication for his patient, the panel doctor faces another thorny dilemma. He may use only those remedies which are approved by the State as being sufficiently cheap for panel use; and he must be sparing even in his use of those. The bureaucrats and chair* warmers of the Ministry safe* guard their salaries by fixing a maximum expense per patient for drugs. If the doctor finds it necessary to prescribe more costly medicines, or a larger volume of the inexpensive medicines, than his superiors allow, he finds himself brought up on charges of extravagant or needless prescribing. The cost of the medication is then charged to his salary, and he is fined.


The report of His Majesty's Ministry of Health for the year 1928 relates as follows:

"Excessive prescribing is ordering or supplying drugs or appliances in such a way as to throw upon the funds available for the provision of medical benefit a charge in excess of what is reasonably necessary for the adequate treatment of patients.

"It remains, as it always has been, the business of the doctor, after examining the patient, to prescribe or supply whatever drugs, in his professional judgment, are reasonably necessary for adequate treatment.

"The right to exercise his discretion in this way carries with it the duty to justify in the first instance to his professional brethren, the manner in which he has exercised it, if on an investigation of the orders of supplies given by him and the charges involved, it seems right to the Minister that he should be called upon to do so.

"It is further important to bear in mind, both as evidence of the manner in which the Article is administered, and as a testimony to the measure of sound discretion generally exercised by doctors in prescribing, that the cases in which money has ultimately been withheld from the doctors on account of excessive prescribing, of which there were twenty-one during 1928-29, are a very small proportion, serious as some of them have been, of the number of cases in which prescribing has been reviewed, or even of the number of cases of which the Minister has caused an investigation, in the sense of the Article, to be made.

"The regional medical officers paid over twelve hundred visits during the year to doctors who had given prescriptions in such numbers or of such kinds as to call for explanation, as to

  1. Whether the doctors prescribing had imposed any cos? on the available funds in excess of what was reasonably necessary, and
  2. If so, what was the amount?

"In 18 of the 24 cases in which the Panel Committees' findings has been intimated to the Minister before the end of the year, the Panel Committees found that an excess cost had been imposed. The amounts of excess cost (that is, the excess occasioned by doctors prescribing during the single quarterly periods under investigation) found by the Panel Committees varied from as little as about two pounds to as much as about two hundred and forty-three pounds (the latter in respect of the prescribing of two partners).

"Some (Panel Committees) have recommended to the Minister to withhold the full amounts of excess cost found by professional bodies (Panel Committees or referees) to have been occasioned by the doctors prescribing; others have submitted that only a small part of the amounts should be withheld."

One can understand that the danger of having the cost of required medication deducted from his meagre wage makes the doctor weigh the health and life of the patient against his own income and livelihood. This also makes it apparent how secondary are health and life to the items of expense, administration, red tape and politics in State Medicine.


The average earnings of a doctor under the panel system in England is about eighteen hundred dollars a year; and in Wales about nine hundred dollars. On such earnings a doctor can scarcely exist. And it is certainly impossible for him, because of limitations of income, to maintain his competence as a physician by keeping abreast of medical advance. This involves the purchase of expensive medical books and journals, and visits to centers of medical learning to become acquainted with innovations. The peace of mind, the time and the leisure, as well as the means required for this purpose are out of question for the panel doctor. One can realize that only doctors that are driven by urgent necessity, or those of a low ethical and mental caliber would consent to practice medicine under these circumstances. The situation is well portrayed in Cronin's "Citadel."


A clearer picture of the physician who practices under Compulsory Health Insurance, and the type of medical care which he gives his clientele under the English system is drawn by Francis Brett Young in "The Young Physician":

. . . Edwin, quickly recovering his sense of humor, pulled out Edmondson's letter and handed it to the doctor.

"Well, now, why didn't you say so at first," said Dr. Harris, scratching a bristly grey chin. "Yes ... I did mention to their manager that I was in want of someone to do a bit of rough dispensing and keep this place tidy. You see I don't live here. It's what we call a lock-up, and the work's so pressing that I've really no time to do my own dispensing.

"You look very young. Final year . . Then his eyes brightened. "Have you done your midwifery yet?"

"No, I shall do that later in the year."

"That's a pity ... a pity. You could have been very useful to me in that way, keeping cases going, you know, so that I could be in at the finish. I could do twice the amount of midwifery that I do now if I had some one to keep an eye on them. Before the General Medical Council did away with unqualified assistants, I used to keep three of them; paid me well, too. Now I've got to do everything myself. It's a dog's life, but there's money in it, I don't mind telling you.

"You can learn a lot of useful things about general practice here," said Dr. Harris. "It should be extremely useful to you; you sec, I've been at this game for thirty years. It's a great chance for you." He took up a handful of silver from the open drawer and started to jingle it. "Look here, you're wasting time."

He led Edwin behind the green baize curtain at the back of his desk, disclosing a set of shelves and a counter stained with the rings of bottles and measuring glasses. At the end of the counter was a sink into which a tap with a tapered nozzle dripped dismally. One drawer held labels, another corks, a third a selection of eight-ounce, four-ounce, and two-ounce bottles. At the back of the counter stood a row of Winchester Quarts, of indefinite contents, labelled with the Roman numerals from one to nine. Dr. Harris swabbed the swimming counter with a rag that was already saturated with medicine.

"You can learn all you want in five minutes," he said, "There's no time for refinements in this sort of practice. These big bottles are all stock mixtures, and whatever they teach you in your universities, I can tell you that these nine mixtures will carry you through life. There you are . . . Number One: White Mixture. Number Two: Soda and Rhubarb. Number Three: Bismuth's expensive. Number Four: Febrifuge . , . Liquor Ammon, Acet. and that. Number Five: Iron and Mag. Sulph. And so on. . . Number Nine: Mercury and Pot. Iodine . . . you know what that's for," with a laugh.

"We use a lot of that here. Now you've one ounce of each stock mixture to an eight-ounce bottle, and a two-tablespoonful dose. I used to put them up in six-ounce bottles; but if you give them eight ounces they think they're getting more for the money: they don't realize they're getting eight doses instead of twelve, and that's their lookout. Isn't it? Same proportions for children and infants, only you use the tour and two-ounce bottles instead, with dessert-spoon and teaspoonful doses. Simple, isn't it? But you want to simplify if you're going to make money in these days. Now, is that quite clear?"

"Quite clear "

"Well, then, when a patient comes in I have a look at him—with my experience you can tell in a moment— and I give you a slip of paper behind the curtain. Like this. 'Mrs. Jones. No. 5. T.D.S Mrs. means an eight-ounce bottle. One ounce of Number Five stock mixture. One tablespoonful three times a day. Then, if I put '4 tps hour' instead of 'T.D.S.' it means a tablespoonful every four hours; but I only do that when I see they can afford to get through the bottle more quickly. You'll find powders in that drawer. Antifebrin—it's cheaper than phenacetin and caffeine. And calomel for children. Then, as I was saying, while I have a look at the patient and ask him one or two questions, you make up the medicine."

"Suppose, when you've had a talk to him, you change your mind about the treatment?"

"I never change my mind. There's no time for that," said Dr. Harris. "And if I did we could change the medicine next time. But you needn't worry about the treatment; that's part of the business. Why"—and the little man expanded—"I shouldn't wonder if we got through as many as a hundred patients in a couple of hours, the two of us together. Now, are you ready?"

He left Edwin behind the curtain and rang his bell. A patient entered, and as soon as the doctor had said good-evening to her the prescription was passed behind the curtain and Edwin proceeded to fill a bottle from one of the Winchester Quarts. This business went on monotonously for another hour. Edwin dispensed mechanically in a kind of dream. He never saw a single patient; but little scraps of conversation showed him that most of them were suffering from the evils of poor housing and a sedentary life. It consoled him to think that most of the mixtures that he dispensed were relatively harmless. Sometimes, by an access of solicitude and deference in the doctor's voice, he could gather that the patient was of a higher social degree, and he smiled to find, in these cases, that the mixture was invariably prescribed in four-hourly doses.

All the men, it appeared, were judged to be in need of White Mixture or Rhubarb; all the women demanded Iron and Mag. Sulph; all the children were treated with a treacly cough mixture or calomel powders. In the space of an hour he must have dispensed at least forty bottles of medicine, and towards the end of the evening he noticed that Dr. Harris became even more perfunctory in his examinations—If such a word were ever justified—and that signs of irritation began to show themselves in his voice. At last the waiting-room bell rang twice, and no patient appeared.

"A good average day," he said. "Three pounds ten." He shoveled the silver from the drawer into a leather bag that weighted down his coat pocket. "That takes a lot of making at a shilling a time. Well how do you like it?"


At the annual meeting of the National Federation of Employees' Approved Societies, held in London on March 5, 1929, the following picture was drawn of State Medicine in England.

"Since the second valuation (1922-23) sickness experience has been steadily increasing. . . . State Insurance is now essentially a part of our industrial system, but as long as the whole burden of responsibility for the prevention and cure of industrial sickness is left to insurance practitioners under conditions existing today, it is not likely that much progress would be made towards removing the serious menace to industrial efficiency.

"A good deal was heard at the conference in criticism of insurance service, one speaker declaring that AFTER SIXTEEN YEARS OF THE PANEL THERE WAS TODAY MORE SICKNESS THAN BEFORE."

England has good reasons to be dissatisfied with its Compulsory Health Insurance program. Social service cliques had promised that it would result in an improvement in national health, exactly as they are promising it to us. The falseness of their promises might have been sensed a priori. But even this scarcely would have anticipated the extent of the failure of State Medicine in England. Its effects are manifest in current history.

The best commentary on State Medicine in England is the fact that some of the keenest minds in the British medical profession—Brett Young, Somerset Maughan and Cronin, for instance— have deserted medicine for literature,


Some of our propagandists of Compulsory Health Insurance insist that any damaging picture of the English panel system is "false and reprehensible propaganda," They apply these terms to all facts with which they disagree or which do not serve their purposes. But the extent of their own bias and falsification is revealed by the facts. The mortality rate in England in 1938 was one of the highest in the civilized world. At the same time the state of health of the citizenry, especially the youth, was so alarming that a health campaign was instituted to remedy the situation. In February 1940, the Burden Mental Research Trust, of Bristol, reported that the level of intelligence of Britain is now declining more rapidly than ever before. This has occurred despite, or more correctly because of, the "welfare" and "socialized" medicine program. Compulsory Health Insurance has failed as completely in England as it has in Germany and in every other country where it has been tried.

Other propagandists, who better realize the futility of tampering with the truth, acknowledge the failure of the British system but assert that it is due to a defect in the particular plan adopted. This is completely refuted by similar failure of different plans adopted in other lands. Twenty or more diverse plans of Compulsory Health Insurance with all conceivable varieties of variations have been adopted in as many lands and they have all failed equally ignominiously. These failures the agitators brush aside with the same apologies. But they can point to no country where the program has succeeded.


It requires little intelligence or thought to realize that the basic ideas that underlie Compulsory Health Insurance are vicious and false. Any plans or organizations based on those ideas are equally vicious, are certain to injure the interests of the public and are doomed to failure.

More significant than the failure of the plan itself is its implied violation of the basic principles of our government. It implies extreme regimentation of the populace, with the government in the role of paternalist autocrat. Human beings would become mere registration numbers from the viewpoint of the government. The mislaying, mixup or loss of office records would mean temporary or permanent "liquidation" of the individual involved and confiscation of his contributions. This could be fashioned into an excellent political weapon for forcing party regularity.

That this is not a theoretic consideration is made obvious by the millions of records now lost in or from the files of the U.S. Security regime. The Administration has announced that as a result of the loss of these records many of the persons involved will lose permanently all their rights under the law. This is an invariable consequence of regimentation, centralization and bureaucratization of a large and populous land.

There are also phases of Compulsory Health Insurance that violate privacy and sense of decency. Under the system one's ailments and the most intimate phases of one's life are made matters of public record which any one who cares to make the special effort might inspect. In this manner one's innermost weaknesses would be betrayed to fiance, to prospective employer or to dangerous enemies.

The effect of the Workmen's Compensation Act in excluding from employment workers over the age of forty indicates what such a system might mean to employability. The utterly unwarranted suicides which have been caused by the mixups under the premarital blood test and venereal certificate laws, one of which has recently drawn the comment of Walter Winchell, give some insight into the tragedies which inevitably result from such devices.

In connection with the same campaign, the director of the Bureau of Social Hygiene of the New York City Health Department announced before the greater New York Safety Council on April 18, 1940, that many employers dismiss or refuse employment to persons who have had syphilis or who are merely suspected of it because they have positive Wassermann reactions. The public clinics for the treatment make public records of the private affairs and ailments of their patients that influential employers can gain access to. It is a natural consequence of any State Medical system that will inevitably bar many workers from employment.

The power of life and death which Compulsory Health Insurance laws place in bureaucracy must not be forgotten. The death of Maxim Gorki at the hands of the servants of Russia's "Socialized Medicine/ 1 which has been mentioned, is one of many instances. In the earlier years of the Nazi regime, the sterilization laws originally passed to prevent the breeding of hereditary defects were used against the enemies and victims of the government. It is not difficult to realize how Compulsory Health Insurance and universal State Medicine could be used by governments, in the heat of partisanship, to destroy their opponents. One can readily conceive that the intensity of animosity which the "New Deal" displays toward its opponents might take the expression, under such laws, of sterilization of their opponents or of euthanasia, their destruction by medical devices "in the interest of public weal." A change of government might result in the sterilizers being sterilized, and in the complete undoing of the nation.

A situation of this character was reported from wartime Poland. The Germans resorted to sterilizing Polish boys by x-ray. It remains to be seen what the Polish will do with the Germans. This mode of warfare may be a real solution of the European problem. The medical situation in this country is bad enough as it stands, without further aggravation. The country would do well to heed the warning offered by the miscarriage of Compulsory Health Insurance and State Medical plans, and to destroy Social Service Rackets and their schemes.


President F.D. Roosevelt hedged on the subject of Socialized Medicine, which has been one of the avowed objectives of the New Deal, in a speech at Bcthseda, Maryland, in the course of his 1940 campaign, saying: "Neither the American people nor their government intend to socialize medical practice, any more than they plan to socialize industry."

By some optimistic folks this statement was regarded as a realistic attitude that disposes of Socialized Medicine as a New Deal issue* They overlook the ambiguity of the last clause; for socialization of industry was one of the express objectives of the New Deal. This campaign promise was more cleverly worded than most


The interests of both the public and of the rank and file of the medical profession require a reorganization of medicine for the provision of superior medical care at a minimal cost compatible with quality. The majority of the medical profession clamor for such a plan.

Properly reorganized medicine would give the public medical service superior to the best available today, higher in caliber and involving a real interest of the physician in the well-being of his patient. All this should be made available to the public at a cost that is minimal while insuring maximal earnings to the physicians. This can only be attained by eliminating all middlemen, such as politicians and social workers, and by reducing costs of administration to an absolute minimum. All forms of Compulsory Health Insurance that ever have been adopted or proposed do exactly the reverse*

The Solution of the Problem of Medical Care

JJefoke embarking on a discussion of medical care it should be reiterated that good health docs not depend primarily on medical care. Proper food, clothing and shelter are more fundamental requisites for good health than the best medicines. Conversely, thanks to the power of self-repair with which Nature has endowed Man, he often survives the vilest abuse and the most incompetent medical treatment. The history of medicine attests that it is fortunate for human survival that "a good man is hard to kill."

It is a foregone conclusion that a solution of the question of medical care will not be found in the proposals of either the Medical or Social Service Rackets. Both merely seek their own advantage and profit and are Largely responsible for aggravating the situation. In fact, without their elimination no solution is possible; for their use as political devices has not only impaired the caliber of medical services but has also dangerously cheapened human life. Any solution must correct these evils.


The public certainly should not entrust the solution to the politician. It should effect an arrangement directly with the medical profession that would eliminate all middlemen or political bosses. Any adopted plan must have certain essential features, among which are the following:

  • The atmosphere of cut-throat rivalry and commercialism which has always characterized medical care must be supplanted by a spirit of humane collaboration of all groups involved.
  • The highest quality of medical care will be insured only when the advantages of both the patient and the doctor coincide. The plan must make it profitable for the doctor to keep his patients well.
  • The cost to the public must be as low as is compatible with the highest grade of medical care. The entire cost should be brought within the means of the average man by distribution of risks and should be payable in fixed annual sums that can be budgeted.
  • The medical care must be rendered by groups of doctors who pool their special abilities and activities for the benefit of themselves and their patients.

This implies an elimination of rivalry for fees. All physicians in the group should work and earn equally. A basic drawing account should be supplemented by bonuses the size of which would depend upon the good health of their patients and the consequent accrued surplus. It is a curious fact that it is the medical merchants who most loudly mouth the priestly character of the medical profession who are most insistent upon the right to fleece their patient-public, and who most strenuously object to a reorganization of medicine that will provide merely a good income for the physician.

  • Medical education must be made freely available at little or no direct cost, and the capabilities of each physician should be developed to the utmost for the advantage of the community. This implies the elimination of the medical education and specialty rackets.
  • Hospital monopolies must be ended and their facilities should revert to public use and be available to all physicians. They also should be honestly and competently managed.
  • Medical literature should be made freely available to the members of the profession at a reasonable cost.
  • Drug monopolies and rackets, including the "acceptance" racket and price fixing, and the extortionate prices for essential drugs should be eliminated. The best solution of this problem would be the reversion of patents on medical items that are essential for the health and life of the public to the State; and pensioning of the inventor or discoverer by the State.
  • Medical research and discovery should be stimulated by an adequate system of rewards; and their prompt publication and broadcasting should be fostered.


An ideal plan that is entirely feasible and combines every feature that is desirable to all parties involved is one that I drew up and was offered to the public in 1930 by the New York Medical Guild.

For the medical profession the plan provides group medical practice; a minimal income of eight to ten thousand a year net; an eight hour day; vacations with pay; compulsory study for keeping abreast of medical advance; a pension and retirement plan; reward and bonus for preventive medicine based on continued good health of the clientele which serve to shift the profit motive to coincide with the interests of the public; and finally a uniform income for all professional members to eliminate commercial rivalry.

For the public the plan provides a higher grade of medical care than is available today at any price, at a cost that corresponds with the charges of the average clinic. For about eight cents a day, the public would receive all types of medical, preventive, surgical and specialty care, with periodic health examinations at the hands of cooperating groups of physicians. For an additional sum of less than seven cents a day hospital and nursing care would be provided.

The poor would join in the plan at the expense of the community. The millions of dollars which Organized Social Service now converts to its own uses would help defray the cost. The cost of the plan to the public could be further materially reduced if municipal hospitals were made available to the members of the Guild for the care of their patients. In any event the plan would represent a saving to the municipality and a material improvement in the medical care of the poor.


Under this plan a member would be the patient of a physician of his own choice working in cooperation with a group of associate physicians. The in Instead of giving rise to hurried, careless slovenly "mass production" methods which inevitably result from State Medicine and Compulsory Health come of the physicians of the group would be supplemented by bonuses, the size of which would depend upon the good health and freedom from illness of their group of patients. Consequently, each and every member of the group would have a real, sincere, and vital interest in the good health of clientele rather than in the number of operations and treatments that might befall or be inflicted upon them.

It can be expected that when the income of the doctors of the group depends upon protecting the health and life of their clientele they will very critically observe and control the work of their colleagues. They will demand of their colleagues the highest obtainable competence and the maximal development of ability. The highly critical check on the work of each member of the group by his colleagues prompted by the desire to increase their incomes by good work, would be certain to have a salutary effect on the quality of the services rendered the public.


The plan provides an adequate income for the physicians coupled with leisure and an insistence on compulsory study to keep abreast of medical advances. This would be certain to improve the caliber of medical care and to stimulate medical research and discovery in the direction of protecting health and life.

Instead of giving rise to hurried, careless, slovenly "mass production" methods which inevitably result from State Medicine and Compulsory Health Insurance, the Guild plan of group medicine would affect highly individualized and careful medical care by groups of physicians keenly interested in the patient's well-being.

The plan also provides for a progressive reduction of the cost to the public when its reserves and surpluses had been built up. It also makes provision for "carrying" patients who were temporarily unable to pay due to unemployment or other causes. If the plan were launched with adequate financing or endowment, the cost could be set at a lower level from the start. Present price levels also permit a reduction in the rate,


The interest of the rank and file of the medical profession in the provision of adequate medical care of the average man is borne out by the fact that in a short period of time the New York Medical Guild built up a membership of several hundred physicians intent upon joining the plan.

The Guild came into being at the time that the social-service-dominated, and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Milbank Fund subsidized, Committee for the Study of the Cost of Medical Care was indulging in propaganda designed to lead the public to believe that the medical profession was not interested in the provision of adequate medical care for the average man at a fee that he could afford. The willingness of the medical profession of New York City to join such a plan forced the Committee to reconsider and retract its false propaganda; and forced it to accept in principle the idea, of group medical services at fixed annual fees advocated by the Guild. For although similar plans had been adopted in various sections of the country, the Guild plan was the most acceptable to the rank and file of the profession.


The medical merchants of the New York County Medical Society and the New York Academy of Medicine feared that their incomes would be reduced by such a plan, and on resounding "ethical" grounds they rejected it and brought the pressure of their power to bear against it. Dr. Bernard Sachs alone among the officers of the New York Academy of Medicine showed sincere and honest interest in the problem; he openly advocated and endorsed the provision of medical care for fixed annual fees by medical groups—the fundamental principles of the Guild plan.

Curiously enough, however, the Economic Committee of the New York County Medical Society approved of the Guild plan for adoption by the hospitals. The implications of their report were that the society desired to protect the incomes of the hospitals in preference to protecting the interests of the medical profession and its' membership. The adoption of the Associated Hospital Service of New York plan for provision of incomes for the hospitals and of hospitalization of the public for limited periods of time at a fixed annual fee of ten dollars per year was a direct outgrowth of the Guild Plan.


Most interesting and illuminating was the attitude of Organized Social Service toward the Guild's plan of provision of medical care for the public at fixed annual fees. Though the Guild approached the various social service organizations and philanthropies that pretended to be interested in such plans the responses varied from flat rejections of the invitation to cooperate, and antagonism, as in the case of E. A. Filene, Evans Clark, and the Twentieth Century Fund; to utter apathy on the part of Mr. Michael M. Davis, Director for Medical Services of the Julius Rosenwald Fund. They made it clear that they were not interested in any plan which did not give the social workers complete control and provide for them munificient salaries. The same groups have been actively pushing Wagner's Socialized Medicine Bill which provides munificently for social workers.

Many similar plans have been publicized and launched. None of them, however, permits of the possibility of superior medical care because they do not provide for an adequate charge or sufficient income for the physicians to enable them to develop their capacities. In most of them the physician is merely an employee rather than a free agent, and thus the incentive to superior services is absent. They also have not a democratic organization within the medical group or the bonus and other incentives.


Though tremendous volume of publicity was given the Guild plan there was little public response. The public apparently was unwilling to pay anything for medical services so long as they knew it was obtainable free or at nominal cost from the clinics of the city. The inference was clearly that the public do not desire to pay for something that they can get for nothing; that they are not aware of any deficiencies in the quality of medical care which they receive; and that they do not recognize the existence of any problem in medical care.

The experience of a group of 5,000 doctors organized in the California Physician's Service in 1939 for voluntary health insurance has been identical. They have found that the public is little concerned about the cost of medical care and still less interested in health insurance. In four months of intensive drive they were able to secure only 3,000 members.

It is doubtful that years of propaganda by Organized Social Service has materially changed the picture; which may explain why it is attempting to gain its objectives by making health insurance compulsory. That would solve the problem of the social worker, but would merely aggravate those of the medical profession and of the public.


It is idle to dream that any compulsory plan or bureaucratic system will improve medical care. For the life of the patient often depends on such intangibles as the physician's good will and solicitude. These can not be commanded or demanded. They can only be elicited by a rational system of rewards. It is only through voluntary, collaborative plans that the highest grade of medical care can be expected to develop.

Equally ineffective and doomed to failure in advance, are plans advocated by Organized Medicine for insuring medical costs up to a certain amount. Laws permitting the issuance of such insurance have been passed in several states, including New York. It can be predicted with certainty that the result will be padded medical and surgical bills aimed at absorbing the entire sum insured?

The cost of medical care at the hands of medical merchants will be materially increased by the plan and additional costs over and above the insured limit will be imposed on patients up to the limit of their capacity to pay. It will work out in much the same manner as has the amended Workmen's Compensation Bill. The gravest defect of the plan,, however, is that the doctor's profit and interest lies in the patient's ill health and in operations and treatments; and the patient's purse is as seriously endangered thereby as ever . It is no solution of the problem.


It should be obvious to a tyro that there are some forms that attempts at solution of the problem of medical care should not take. Any attempt to solve the problem that jeopardizes the livelihood of the public and thereby threatens their ability to provide for themselves the necessities of life, is doomed to failure. For this reason plans that compel the employer to pay part of the costs and penalize him for giving employment are utterly unsound.

To intelligent persons these plans should appear objectionable for other reasons. They are a reversion to medievalism and feudalism, the essence of totalitarianism. They constitute in principle a reassertion of the property right of the employer in his employee. For only on the ground of self-interest can the employer be called upon justly to pay any part of the cost of medical care of his employees, in any case other than illness or injury arising directly out of employment. Such payment implies the surrender of his privacy by the worker; for when the employer pays for the services, he is entitled to know its nature and significance.

Such plans imply the surrender of concepts of independence and freedom. That was precisely Bismarck's objective when he introduced his program. It appears inconceivable that a people who have enjoyed the blessings of freedom should in this manner consent to being shackled.