Consumerism has experienced fantastic growth over the last decade and as a result its influence is felt in almost every decision making process. Consumer groups have operated as potent pressure groups and have encouraged the reform of laws to protect the "little man".' Federal and provincial legislative bodies have reacted and attempted to protect the consuming public from unfair or unconscionable business practices and established agencies to do research and co-ordinate consumer concerns. Until recently, consumers have fixed their attention on business and have largely ignored services, particularly those provided by self-governing professions such as the medical profession. The historical reasons for allowing self-government are complex. Basically it was (and is) thought that the public interest would best be served if professions governed themselves. To this end, the state has delegated authority to the professions.
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Duncan Beveridge, “Regulation of the Medical Profession in Nova Scotia” (1979) 5:2 DLJ 518.