• U.S.

Medicine: A.M.A. v. Arnold

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Last fall Assistant Attorney General Thurman Arnold accused the American Medical Association of being a trust. Said he, the A. M. A. had “restrained trade” by closing the doors of Washington hospitals to doctors employed by Group Health Association, Inc., a voluntary health-insurance club of Government employes. In December a special Grand Jury indicted the A. M. A. for violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The A. M. A.’s demurrer claimed that the practice of medicine is a profession, not a trade, and hence is not subject to the Sherman Act.

Last week Federal District Judge James McPherson Proctor upheld the A. M. A.’s demurrer and tore up the indictment, which he called “a highly colored, argumentative discourse . . . abounding in uncertain statements.” Thurman Arnold’s boss, Attorney General Murphy, immediately announced that he would continue the fight “on different issues,” in the Circuit and Supreme Courts. Warned the Department of Justice: “The Government’s prosecution policy toward boycotts in the medical profession is unchanged.”

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