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Article
September 10, 1904

OPTIMISTIC PROPHESYING.

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(11):742-743. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500110036013

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Abstract

We are somewhat accustomed to optimistic statements in medical literature. The advances in medicine have been so marked in late years that it seems rational to some people to anticipate in the near future results that a few years since would have seemed impossible, if not miraculous. Thus we hear the extermination of tuberculosis confidently foretold, and some are even ready to prophesy that all disease and physical afflictions, excepting surgical accidents, will be abolished by the triumphant advance of medical science. One of the latest of these prophets, in Great Britain, is reported to have claimed that all infection will be done away with, all noxious bacteria exterminated, and men in a hundred years from now will live a century, death being a sudden collapse from a painless exhaustion of the organs. Even "a general flavor of mild decay," which would be due to the continued action of hostile

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