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JAMA 100 Years Ago
September 24, 2003


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(12):1652. doi:10.1001/jama.290.12.1652

The recommendations of the Mendel Commission of 1902 as regards the use of hypnotism are combated by Forel at considerable length.1 He holds that hypnotism has a proper and very important place in therapeutics, and that its legitimate use should be a part of the instruction of the medical student. The lack of this he apparently considers a serious defect in the medical education of the day. THE JOURNAL has expressed its opinion at various times in regard to the therapeutic use of hypnotism, and, notwithstanding the high authority of Professor Forel, we can not agree with him as to its importance. We do not, of course, mean here to imply that suggestion is not of importance; suggestion in some way or another, consciously or unconsciously, is daily employed by every physician. . . . It has its limitations, however; there are limits to normal suggestibility, and it is altogether possible that even waking suggestion may have its perils in special cases. Nevertheless, it is a subject that deserves to be more studied by the profession, and when it can be used honestly it will often be found a valuable aid in treatment of a special class of cases.

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