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March 19, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLII(12):771. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490570025004

What is needed in the treatment of pneumonia is not more drugs, but the discriminating and intelligent use of those we have. We need to steer clear of therapeutic nihilism on one hand, and of overdoing and polypharmacy on the other. To declare, because there is as yet no specific for the disease, that drugs and medical treatment are valueless, is as absurd as it is to pour useless or even harmful drugs into the patient as soon as the diagnosis is made.

The temptation to overtreat is great. Recognizing the grave nature of the malady, knowing its rapid course and its tendency to suddenly developing complications, importuned by anxious friends to relieve annoying symptoms and to keep doing something, we too often yield to the pressure and, before we are aware, have gotten into the narrow path of treating the disease and not the patient. We soon begin to

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