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March 12, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXX(11):622. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02440630048011

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New York City, March 1, 1898.

To the Editor:  —I will undertake to refute the arguments of any correspondents who maintain that we should not make it a rule to operate upon cases of appendicitis as soon as the diagnosis is made. The matter is one of grave importance because the deaths from appendicitis in the United States alone have been estimated, from safe data, to amount to more than fifty thousand annually. Physicians carry into practice the ideas which they believe to be right, and patients are practically helpless in the matter because they must abide by the decisions of the physicians in whom they have placed confidence. Some physicians are wrong; some are right. The ones who are wrong treat as many patients as the ones who are right. Patients do not know the difference and they do not realize that deaths from appendicitis are usually unnecessary deaths.

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