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April 25, 1914

Holmes, Not Semmelweis

JAMA. 1914;LXII(17):1349. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560420055030

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Abstract

To the Editor:  —In preparing, a few years ago, material for a publication on "Epoch-Making Contributions to Medicine and Surgery," I had occasion to look up the subject discussed in the Current Comment on "Holmes, not Semmelweis" (The Journal, April 11, 1914, p. 1177). A comparison of the dates of the writings of Holmes and Semmelweis arranged in parallel columns brings out graphically the truth of your statement. These lists of publications will be found on pages 434 and 435 of the volume on "Epoch-Making Contributions" referred to.I should like also to mention an article by Dr. Richard Cole Newton on "A Brief Study of the Contribution of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis to Modern Medicine" (Med. Rec., New York, Sept. 10, 1910). Dr. Newton shows the gradual development in the mind of Semmelweis regarding the theory of the origin of puerperal fever. On page 10 Newton states that Semmelweis' intensive

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