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August 15, 1885


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1885;V(7):169-177. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02391060001001

The only fair method of judging the value of any surgical procedure is to consider its results. If these be such as to lessen suffering and prolong life it is useful, and hence proper. If, on the contrary, it fail to effect either of these ends, it is useless. If, further, it be found after sufficient trial to be destructive of life, it is worse than useless—it is injurious, and ought to be abandoned. Judgment should not be rendered prematurely, nor upon insufficient data. Neither should it be based upon theoretical grounds; facts only can be the foundation of an honest opinion.

My purpose in this paper is to apply these principles to the extirpation of the cancerous uterus, with the view of determining what our attitude ought to be in reference to this operation. The abdominal, or Freund's method having, on account of its frightful mortality, been abandoned, or

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