Faithful followers of the teachings of rational medicine believe that actual disease within the abdomen, as in other parts of the body, always means a pathology, the removal or correction of which is essential to the restoration of normal health; and that the efficiency of any treatment for disease in this region, as elsewhere, should be estimated chiefly by the effect it has in removing or modifying the pathology which produces the symptoms. In the management of peritonitis, where the morbid processes are concealed beneath a rigid or distended abdomen, there are many temptations to lure us from these teachings; and doubtless at times we all find ourselves reading, discussing, or perhaps practicing treatments which, in the light of the revelations of the modern operating-room, we must know are contrary to sound surgical principles and common sense.
I believe that we are especially prone to fall into these errors in our
NILES HD. THE PATHOLOGY THAT REMAINS AFTER THE NON-SURGICAL TREATMENT OF PERITONITIS.. JAMA. 1903;XL(16):1073-1075. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.92490160025001i