Is Purging Necessary




                Diet and nutrition is one of the major problems before the medical world today. Dentistry, as one of the important specialties of medicine, is contributing largely to the sum total of knowledge pertaining to it, both through the work of individual members of the dental profession, and financial support of research by the American Dental Association. In this way every member of the American Dental Association is contributing something to our knowledge of this important subject.

No branch of medicine has given more thorough thought to the study of diet and nutrition than has dentistry, and the knowledge thus gained and contributed compares favorably with the contributed by any other group or specialty. All of this is freely available to everyone. God forbid that it should ever be otherwise.

In view of this, and much more that could be said, it would seem the height of arrogance, bigotry, and selfishness for the American Medical Association, or any other group, to attempt in any way to reserve to themselves the use of information that has been gained through the efforts of such widely distributed agencies, when no other end could be served than to compel those in need of advice to “buy” it from that particular group. The term “buy” is used reservedly, for such action removes the thing from the realm of professionalism and reduces it to purely selfish commercialism.

It is to be hoped that the whole thing is a result of misinterpretation; that we shall learn that the Mother profession is not attempting to abandon or handicap her children, but stands ready to help her offspring at every turn, just as every true Mother should.

The writer is a member of both the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association as well as numerous other medical and dental societies. Whatever blame attaches, then, whether it lay on one side or the other, at least a part of the responsibility comes home to impress the thought as a profession we have been lax in jealously guarding those high and unselfish principles that should govern the affairs of all professional societies, and their activities, as well as in promoting those higher standards of knowledge and ability so essential if we are to retain the respect that has been ours in the past.

If by chance the American Medical Association has permitted itself to be influenced into taking any action that could be interpreted as an effort to keep from certain specialties (or the public), information concerning such a common food as milk, the Association stands called upon to purge itself of the selfish interests who would wax fat at the expense of their fellows in the healing profession, or the health and well-being of innocent and helpless babes.

The seriousness of the situation, as it appears, lies in the tendency to forget the high principles of professionalism and be carried off on the tide of present-day greed for place, power and wealth, regardless of right, and not in the attitude of the Dry Milk Company, for certainly members of the dental profession will not find it a hardship to prescribe other products, of which there are a plenty.