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August 11, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(6):360. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460320030010

A French author1 calls attention to the serious results that sometimes follow self-treatment with quack-remedies advertised in the daily press. As a gynecologist he had occasion to observe several instances of this kind of malpractice. In one typical case a patient suffering from an incipient cancerous growth which had before been successfully removed objected to a new operation, on a slight recurrence, and had recourse to an advertised electric treatment. The result was rapid stimulation of the growth, which soon became a vast inoperable mass, and death. He suggests that the only remedy for such occurrences is to have suits instituted promptly against the advertisers of such nostrums and appliances when their disastrous effects have been experienced. Exemplary damages would soon teach quacks a lesson, their publicity would enlighten the public, and even if not fully successful their effects would still be beneficial. The law thus applied would be

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