Over the next 18 months, we will be wishing ASLME not one, but two very happy birthdays. Believe it or not, ASLME is celebrating its centenary year in 2011, as it was founded in 1911 as the Massachusetts Society of Examining Physicians. This makes ASLME one of the oldest medical societies in the United States. For nearly 70 years following its founding, the Massachusetts Society of Examining Physicians was the only statewide professional organization providing ongoing programs in areas where law and medicine overlapped. In 1968, the Society solidified this practice by admitting attorneys as non-voting members.
In 2012, we will also be celebrating the 40th anniversary of ASLME as an incorporated society dedicated to law, medicine, and bioethics. ASLME began in its modern form when The MSEP was dramatically re-imagined and incorporated in 1972 as the American Society of Law & Medicine. ASLME’s first president was Elliot L. Sagall, and Professor George Annas of Boston University became the first editor of what would eventually become the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. In 1975 the society began publishing JLME’s sister periodical, the American Journal of Law & Medicine. In 1993, the society changed its name one final time, to the present-day American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. ASLME, with a few minor changes, has been going strong ever since.
Look to this space for more news about these important milestones and any surprise celebrations we might be planning.