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October 1920

The attention of our readers is directed to the discussion in Parliament on the report of the Committee which enquired into the complaints of Dr. Faulke against the New Zealand Branch of the British Medical Association. The report of the Chairman of the Committee, in our opinion, does more than full justice to the petitioner, but does not present the other side of the case, which was fully set out in evidence before the Committee by representatives of the Medical Association. It was shown in evidence that the Medical Association exists primarily for the discussion and advancement of medical science, but it also deals with questions of professional conduct and ethics in a way common to all learned and liberal professions. The doctor who has carried his grievances to Parliament, after prolonged enquiry ceased to be a member of the Association because he refused to conform to the rules and decisions of the Association. The Committee recommends “that provision be made during the present session of Parliament for a right of appeal by medical practitioners to the Supreme Court against decisions of the British Medical Association, New Zealand Branch.” We understand that any citizen, if he can afford it, a medical man or a layman, has the right of appeal to the Supreme Court for redress either in its criminal or civil jurisdiction, and if this is all that is implied in the report of the Parliamentary Committee, we say it is just and reasonable. lf, however, the Medical Association is to be singled out and a special penal law is to be passed bringing all its decisions under liability of review by the Supreme Court, then we say the Law Society, the Accountants’ Society, church bodies, and all such must be similarly treated. Further, it will follow, if an applicant for membership in a chartered club is rejected, or a member of a club is expelled, there should be similar right of action at law. The decisions or all associations may attain a new dignity and stability in the absence of veto by the Supreme Court. Of course, the Privy Council, as the final court of appeal, may find that law-making of the kind proposed is ultra vires and infringes the right of British citizens to band together in community of interest. The Committee report has been adopted by Parliament, and no one so far is any the better or the worse for it, and probably the last has been heard of the incident.

The Medical Association has done nothing but good for this country, and has the esteem of the highest in the land in the United Kingdom. It has been praised by those whose opinions it can value, it despises the criticism of those whose view is distorted by ignorance or malevolence; and it wants no favours, but it is not likely to fail to resist by every legal means in its power any repressive measures which will deny its members the ordinary rights enjoyed by all other classes of the people.

With regard to the question of the medical benefits of Friendly Societies, many members of Parliament are members of Friendly Societies and attack members of the Medical Association for not conforming to the wishes of the Friendly Societies. It is simply and purely a question of contract, and the doctors of the one part have equal rights in an agreement with the lodges of the other part. If a doctor does not wish to contract to attend a family for a year for a remuneration of fifteen shillings, what law can compel him so to do? If a doctor does not wish to give service at a ridiculously cheap rate to members of lodges earning more than £300 a year, what law can compel him so to do? Can a building contractor be compelled to build houses at £700 each when the value of the works appears to him to be more nearly £1500? And if one doctor holds another in low repute, what law can bind the two to work amicably together? When certain lodges imported doctors to do their work it was said that the lodges could snap their fingers in the face of the Medical Association, but opinions apparently have changed. If some of our critics honestly believe that the British Medical Association is not a worthy and reputable one, why are they unhappy outside its membership, and why are they anxious to have the professional assistance of members of an association for which they profess little esteem? Every doctor in New Zealand whose name is on the Medical Register has full rights to practise in any part of this Dominion, and it rests with himself to form his own circle of professional friends and colleagues, Parliamentary reports notwithstanding.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

View Article PDF

October 1920

The attention of our readers is directed to the discussion in Parliament on the report of the Committee which enquired into the complaints of Dr. Faulke against the New Zealand Branch of the British Medical Association. The report of the Chairman of the Committee, in our opinion, does more than full justice to the petitioner, but does not present the other side of the case, which was fully set out in evidence before the Committee by representatives of the Medical Association. It was shown in evidence that the Medical Association exists primarily for the discussion and advancement of medical science, but it also deals with questions of professional conduct and ethics in a way common to all learned and liberal professions. The doctor who has carried his grievances to Parliament, after prolonged enquiry ceased to be a member of the Association because he refused to conform to the rules and decisions of the Association. The Committee recommends “that provision be made during the present session of Parliament for a right of appeal by medical practitioners to the Supreme Court against decisions of the British Medical Association, New Zealand Branch.” We understand that any citizen, if he can afford it, a medical man or a layman, has the right of appeal to the Supreme Court for redress either in its criminal or civil jurisdiction, and if this is all that is implied in the report of the Parliamentary Committee, we say it is just and reasonable. lf, however, the Medical Association is to be singled out and a special penal law is to be passed bringing all its decisions under liability of review by the Supreme Court, then we say the Law Society, the Accountants’ Society, church bodies, and all such must be similarly treated. Further, it will follow, if an applicant for membership in a chartered club is rejected, or a member of a club is expelled, there should be similar right of action at law. The decisions or all associations may attain a new dignity and stability in the absence of veto by the Supreme Court. Of course, the Privy Council, as the final court of appeal, may find that law-making of the kind proposed is ultra vires and infringes the right of British citizens to band together in community of interest. The Committee report has been adopted by Parliament, and no one so far is any the better or the worse for it, and probably the last has been heard of the incident.

The Medical Association has done nothing but good for this country, and has the esteem of the highest in the land in the United Kingdom. It has been praised by those whose opinions it can value, it despises the criticism of those whose view is distorted by ignorance or malevolence; and it wants no favours, but it is not likely to fail to resist by every legal means in its power any repressive measures which will deny its members the ordinary rights enjoyed by all other classes of the people.

With regard to the question of the medical benefits of Friendly Societies, many members of Parliament are members of Friendly Societies and attack members of the Medical Association for not conforming to the wishes of the Friendly Societies. It is simply and purely a question of contract, and the doctors of the one part have equal rights in an agreement with the lodges of the other part. If a doctor does not wish to contract to attend a family for a year for a remuneration of fifteen shillings, what law can compel him so to do? If a doctor does not wish to give service at a ridiculously cheap rate to members of lodges earning more than £300 a year, what law can compel him so to do? Can a building contractor be compelled to build houses at £700 each when the value of the works appears to him to be more nearly £1500? And if one doctor holds another in low repute, what law can bind the two to work amicably together? When certain lodges imported doctors to do their work it was said that the lodges could snap their fingers in the face of the Medical Association, but opinions apparently have changed. If some of our critics honestly believe that the British Medical Association is not a worthy and reputable one, why are they unhappy outside its membership, and why are they anxious to have the professional assistance of members of an association for which they profess little esteem? Every doctor in New Zealand whose name is on the Medical Register has full rights to practise in any part of this Dominion, and it rests with himself to form his own circle of professional friends and colleagues, Parliamentary reports notwithstanding.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

View Article PDF

October 1920

The attention of our readers is directed to the discussion in Parliament on the report of the Committee which enquired into the complaints of Dr. Faulke against the New Zealand Branch of the British Medical Association. The report of the Chairman of the Committee, in our opinion, does more than full justice to the petitioner, but does not present the other side of the case, which was fully set out in evidence before the Committee by representatives of the Medical Association. It was shown in evidence that the Medical Association exists primarily for the discussion and advancement of medical science, but it also deals with questions of professional conduct and ethics in a way common to all learned and liberal professions. The doctor who has carried his grievances to Parliament, after prolonged enquiry ceased to be a member of the Association because he refused to conform to the rules and decisions of the Association. The Committee recommends “that provision be made during the present session of Parliament for a right of appeal by medical practitioners to the Supreme Court against decisions of the British Medical Association, New Zealand Branch.” We understand that any citizen, if he can afford it, a medical man or a layman, has the right of appeal to the Supreme Court for redress either in its criminal or civil jurisdiction, and if this is all that is implied in the report of the Parliamentary Committee, we say it is just and reasonable. lf, however, the Medical Association is to be singled out and a special penal law is to be passed bringing all its decisions under liability of review by the Supreme Court, then we say the Law Society, the Accountants’ Society, church bodies, and all such must be similarly treated. Further, it will follow, if an applicant for membership in a chartered club is rejected, or a member of a club is expelled, there should be similar right of action at law. The decisions or all associations may attain a new dignity and stability in the absence of veto by the Supreme Court. Of course, the Privy Council, as the final court of appeal, may find that law-making of the kind proposed is ultra vires and infringes the right of British citizens to band together in community of interest. The Committee report has been adopted by Parliament, and no one so far is any the better or the worse for it, and probably the last has been heard of the incident.

The Medical Association has done nothing but good for this country, and has the esteem of the highest in the land in the United Kingdom. It has been praised by those whose opinions it can value, it despises the criticism of those whose view is distorted by ignorance or malevolence; and it wants no favours, but it is not likely to fail to resist by every legal means in its power any repressive measures which will deny its members the ordinary rights enjoyed by all other classes of the people.

With regard to the question of the medical benefits of Friendly Societies, many members of Parliament are members of Friendly Societies and attack members of the Medical Association for not conforming to the wishes of the Friendly Societies. It is simply and purely a question of contract, and the doctors of the one part have equal rights in an agreement with the lodges of the other part. If a doctor does not wish to contract to attend a family for a year for a remuneration of fifteen shillings, what law can compel him so to do? If a doctor does not wish to give service at a ridiculously cheap rate to members of lodges earning more than £300 a year, what law can compel him so to do? Can a building contractor be compelled to build houses at £700 each when the value of the works appears to him to be more nearly £1500? And if one doctor holds another in low repute, what law can bind the two to work amicably together? When certain lodges imported doctors to do their work it was said that the lodges could snap their fingers in the face of the Medical Association, but opinions apparently have changed. If some of our critics honestly believe that the British Medical Association is not a worthy and reputable one, why are they unhappy outside its membership, and why are they anxious to have the professional assistance of members of an association for which they profess little esteem? Every doctor in New Zealand whose name is on the Medical Register has full rights to practise in any part of this Dominion, and it rests with himself to form his own circle of professional friends and colleagues, Parliamentary reports notwithstanding.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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