March 22, 1919


JAMA. 1919;72(12):884. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610120046026

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To the Editor:  —In his letter (The Journal, March 8, 1919, p. 747) discussing "A New Treatment for the Morphin Habit," Dr. Hugh McGuigan seems to be propounding the theory that there can be no immunity or tolerance unless Ehrlich's side-chain hypothesis is satisfied.If laboratory men can demonstrate antibodies only with proteins, then they must admit the limitations of laboratory methods and not assail clinical facts. These facts are that immunity or tolerance can be established, to nonprotein substances, and that human beings can take increasing amounts of alcohol, arsenic, atropin, cocain, morphin, etc. In the case of morphin, the new-born child of a morphinist mother shows tolerance, and may die if morphin is not administered.But perhaps Dr. McGuigan has merely misunderstood my terminology when I wrote of immunity and antibodies. I used the terms in the broadest sense, and was not obsessed by any fixed ideas about

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