Punch,  33 (1857), 18.

The Medical Protection Bill





Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Government, Politics, Professionalization

Institutions mentioned:

Royal College of Physicians

    Reports on the fear entertained by 'the several medical corporations' that although Thomas E Headlam's medical bill has passed its second reading it will not get through the committee stage. Explains that the withdrawn rival medical bill of Francis R Charteris (Lord Elcho) would have 'vested the construction of the medical educational body' in the government, which Punch regards as 'no competent judge of scientific merit'. Notes that Headlam's bill preserves the right of medical corporations to demand 'handsome fees' from medical students before they can practise, and thus 'narrows the entrance' into the medical profession and shuts out enterprising competitors. Accordingly, Punch emphasises that 'established practitioners' will benefit from the bill which will exclude 'poor clever fellows' who 'might prove dangerous rivals to thriving medical men'. Argues that if Headlam had contemplated the 'good of the community' in his bill, he might have based his legislation on the 'principles of Free Trade', in which everybody 'would be at liberty to be quacked' or to be seen by a 'legally qualified practitioner'. Adds that this legislation will punish unqualified practitioners, make the examining of candidates and the granting of diplomas the sole right of existing corporations, and establish a new medical examining board.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]