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We herewith present to the members of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, the fourth edition of the Book of the Rules. It has been thoroughly revised and will be found complete to date. It has been our purpose to include in their proper
order all the Constitutions and Ordinances of the Association, and all the laws of the State of Alabama in any way connected with the supervision of the public health and with the regulation of the practice of medicine. To these have been added such commentaries as seem to be necessary for their proper explanation, and for the proper guidance in the discharge of their important duties of the Boards of Censors, the Boards of Health, and the Boards of Medical Examiners, which are under the jurisdiction of the Association.
The Code of Ethics of the American Medical Association is recognized as of universal obligation amongst American physicians, and has been formally adopted by the State Association and by the several County Medical Societies as part and parcel of their constitutional law. This, therefore, has been included, for convenience of reference, in a separate Chapter; and to this Chapter have been added the special ethical rules that have been from time to time enacted by the State Association.
The Commentaries and Explanations are, for the most part, extracts from the several Annual Reports of the Board of Censors, which have, from time to time, received the approval of the Association, and which are, therefore, of official and binding obligation.
THE BOARD OF CENSORS. 74265
A WORD OF WARNING.
The Medical Association of the State of Alabama has attained, under circumstances of very great embarrassment, a very high position of honor, efficiency, and influence. The secret of her success is the unrivalled excellence of her organization, and the thoroughness of her discipline-almost like that of an army. The principle elements of her power, the throbbing heart and the scheming brain that have made her great, are the College of Counsellors and the Board of Censors. If her power and prosperity are to continue these two institutions must be maintained without essential change. Two dangers confront the College of Counsellors—Counsellors always to be spelled with two ells in spite of the dictionaries. The first of these is the reduction of the annual dues; the second is the increase in the number of Counsellors composing the College.
It would be a calamity to the Association to reduce the dues. We want Counsellors who are able and willing to spend money freely in our service. Money is an element of power and we cannot have too much of it. If any change is ever made in the amount of the annual dues of the Couusellors it should be done by increasing the amount to twenty-five dollars for each one of them. The time will come when this can be done.
The number of active and paying Counsellors is now limited to one hundred. Under no circumstances and for no possible reasons, no matter how plansible they may seem, should this number ever be increased. Ambitious men will advocate the increase in order that they may have a better chance to participate in the honors of the position ; and they will argue that as the number of doctors in the State increase the number of Counsellors should be increased in corresponding ratio. This argument is fallacious, and should not be allowed to influence the policy of the Association. The position is honorable now. With the lapse of time it will become incomparably more honorable. Why is a seat in the French Academy so eagerly coveted by the great men of France? Because the membership is limited to forty.
I have inserted this word of warning here entirely on my own responsibility. I hope I will not, in consequence, be accused of presumption. I think I may claim to love the Association as no one else ever has or ever will. It may be that I shall not live long enough to edit another edition of the Book of the Rules; and I have yielded to the inclination to make a record of my convictions to be read by those who may come after me. And with this hope I subscribe myself very truly,
JEROME COCHRAN, M. D.,
Senior Censor, M. A. S. A. Montgomery, 1889.