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May 30, 1903

Maternal Impressions.

JAMA. 1903;XL(22):1519. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490220043012

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Tell City, Ind.

To the Editor:  —In The Journal of April 4, Dr. E. T. Shelly relegates the maternal-impression theory to the medical lumber-room, a very comfortable, if not a very satisfactory, way of disposing of all abstruse theories which are not clearly understood. The difficulty, however, we meet at the very threshold of such a happy disposal of the subject, makes it a herculean task, for are there not on every hand too many and too conspicuous cases to satisfactorily dispose of them with a wave of our wand? When Dr. Shelly declares there is no anatomic or physiologic connection between the mother and child he assumes a conclusion not thoroughly established, and which may be a figment of the fancy. If, however, there is no such connection, it does not follow that there is an absence of psychologic connection. Surely we witness the too often painful effect of

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