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September 14, 1901


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(11):683-685. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.62470370013001c

Before discussing what I interpret to be a condition of medical shock, it may be well to say a few words concerning the justification of ever rendering a certificate of death from "heart failure." Far be it from my purpose to excuse, justify, or encourage the use of this term to aid ignorant certifiers of undiagnosed deaths, or to give a mystic covering to illegitimate deaths, whether due to actual malpractice, or to the careless use of active drugs.

It may be said that the certificate of death from medical shock or heart failure is unjustifiable, because, if we seek carefully enough, we will find a cause for the failing heart, such as myocarditis, fatty degeneration, an endarteritis or atheroma of the coronary arteries, etc., which causes, however, can many times be diagnosed only on the autopsy table.

Neurasthenia, which is a condition and not an entity, is recognized as

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