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To the Editor:
—Your commendatory editorial in the Aug 11 issue of The Journal (181:549) entitled "A Clinical Study of Ulcerative Colitis" is somewhat surprising. The authors of the article (Fullerton, Kollar, and Caldwell, 181:463) on which the editorial is based used no controls whatsoever. Certainly more than usual precautions should be taken in planning a study of a condition of unknown etiology such as this.Any practising physician could furnish a list of persons with "immature or defective egos" who were seriously disturbed over the loss of a job, denial of a promotion, separation from the family, and so forth. Ulcerative colitis, however, is a fairly rare disorder.I am sure you are aware of the tendency of researchers to develop a theory and then look for material to support it—to try to prove a hypothesis rather than to test it. Adherents to the currently popular "dynamic
Haugen GB. A Clinical Study of Ulcerative Colitis. JAMA. 1963;183(3):221. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700030097025