Last November, after several hours of tough debate, the Massachusetts Medical Society's House of Delegates voted down a proposal that would give future editors of the society's New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) complete control over the use and marketing of the prestigious journal's logo. Instead, in a concession to supporters of the journal's editors, the group agreed to set up a committee comprising deans of medical schools and schools of public health to arbitrate disputes between future editors in chief and the officers of the medical society.

Those decisions represented the climax of a long struggle that had led the society to dismiss Jerome Kassirer, the journal's editor in chief, in July. "I thwarted many attempts to use the name of the NEJM on various Massachusetts Medical Society products," Kassirer wrote in a letter published in the Lancet, the British journal of medicine, on Sept. 4. The...

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