Who Ask for Protection?

Selected writings of John King.

We do not recall any instance in which the people have arisen in their might to ask for protection in the matter of medicine. All such requests have come from the regular medical profession. Dr. King emphasized this in The Coming Freeman, page 70: "It is only to the one school of physicians, the 'old school,'—the adherents of which have, for certain egotistical and sinister motives, combined, originated, and petitioned for this despotic legislation,—that we are indebted for the existence of medical coercive laws that strongly flavor of the barbarian rule that 'might makes right,' and which not only deprive certain citizens of rights guaranteed to them by our United States Constitution, but which likewise tend to enslave the entire people by compelling them to employ the services of only one class of medical men, not even granting them an opportunity for choice in the matter."—Ed. Gleaner.

WHO ASK FOR PROTECTION?— "Now let us observe who the parties are that have been so persistently urging and imploring our legislators to disgrace the State and dishonor themselves by enacting laws so foreign to the nature and effect of our principles of government. Have the people, who constitute the State and the Government, and who are in reality the parties more deeply interested, made such applications? By no means. These petitions have originated wholly from Old School adherents, and as they say, 'to protect the people'—and yet they bitterly complain that 'the people take no interest in the matter.' Strange! Is it possible that with all our public and private schools, all our literary and scientific institutions, and with all our facilities for instruction, observation, and progress, the people of this State, of this country, are so ignorant or so downright stupid as to be incapable of determining what physician has or what physicians have the greatest success following their treatment and without requiring their minds to be prejudiced or coerced by legislative enactments? 'The people want no Old School, no Homoeopathic, no Eclectic muzzle forced upon them to wear; in the matter of medicine they want to have the same freedom as in selecting their politics, their religion, their tailor, and so on.' 'But,' says the Old School petitioner, the self-styled regular, 'the irregulars do so much injury; as they are not of us they must necessarily be an ignorant class of men, and can not avoid doing harm.' A harm which they have never yet proven and which we defy them to prove."—KING, Address on Special Medical Legislation, Eclectic Medical Journal, 1884.

The Biographies of King, Howe, and Scudder, 1912, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M. D.