Forsooth and ods bodikins!

From JAMA’s “100 years ago” section:

Probably no more forcible reductio ad absurdum of the current view, to which we have adverted elsewhere, as to what inherently constitutes the practice of medicine, could be conceived by the witlessness of man than House Bill No. 704, now before the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, entitled “A Bill to Regulate the Practice of Non-Medical Healing in the State of Ohio.” Non-medical healing, forsooth! Why not a bill to authorize the non-juridical practice of law, or to establish non-sanitary boards of public health? Why not establish in the curricula of our state schools and universities courses for the teaching of non-theological divinity, of the non-biologic study of life, or the non-linguistic study of languages? We can hardly imagine that any legislature will so far stultify itself as not to resent the insult cast on its common intelligence by the very title of such a bill. If a bill of this nature must be presented, let it at least be correctly described as what it is—a bill to authorize the practice of healing without requiring proof of acquaintance with those basic truths and principles on which the safe application of any healing measure whatsoever must for all time inseparably depend.

I must say, I love the overly rhetorical style of Edwardian correspondence. Kind of a pity that we no longer speak like this. “And lo! the Huntington chorea is caused by a gene, which is to say, a series of nucleotide pairs that in their entirety encode proteins deficit in the caudate of these poor unfortunate patients, and thusly results in a myriad of most fearsome symptoms.”

Exams next week! I must go underground for a bit.

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