Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1907

Abstract

In a popular sense, and as ordinarily understood the practice of medicine is the applying of medical or surgical agencies for the purpose of preventing, relieving, or curing disease, or aiding natural functions, or modifying or removing the results of physical injury. Stewart v. Raab, 55 Minn. 20, 56 N. W. Rep. 256. But in some relations, and for some purposes, the expression has a more extended meaning. This is to be found sometimes in statutory provisions, sometimes in the decisions of the courts upon questions involving the construction of the expression and sometimes in both. Medical acts not infrequently state what shall be deemed to be the practice of medicine under them. But even where this is so, the courts are often called upon to interpret the words of the legislature and to determine whether or not certain acts of a party make him a practitioner of medicine within the meaning of the governing statute. Where the medical act contains no direct provision in regard to the matter, the court, in case of litigation, must determine what is the practice of medicine, and in so doing must take into consideration the general scope and purpose of the statute. The medical statutes have been enacted primarily for the protection of the public, although incidentally the medical profession are protected by these laws. The difficult cases are not those where a person attempts to heal disease by the use of drugs or ordinary appliances, but rather those where resort is had to new or extraordinary methods. Some of the ways in which this question has arisen appear in the following paragraphs.


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