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January 3, 1920


JAMA. 1920;74(1):47. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620010053026

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To the Editor:  —In an editorial comment (The Journal, Dec. 6, 1919, p. 1774), based largely on certain clinical observations recorded by Hammett and McNeile, your conclusions appear to be that we must "hesitate to give the placenta a place in endocrinology." I heartily concur with the display of such a laudable spirit of conservatism in the new and untried field of endocrinology, in which the tendency has been to allow speculation to outrun discretion. However, neither in Hammett's articles (let me instance the one on the "Function of the Internal Secretion of the Placenta," Endocrinology 3: 307 [July-Sept.] 1919, which contains a summary of his work) nor in your comment has the evidence of the endocrine function of the placenta been favorably presented. The difficulties confronting research on this problem, because of the presence of ovaries and fetus, are numerous and baffling, and until recent years little progress had

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