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July 8, 2002

Controversies in Internal MedicineA New Feature in the ARCHIVES

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(13):1441. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.13.1441

When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.—William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist

CONTROVERSY HAS PLAYED a pivotal role in the history of medicine. In 1553, Michael Servetus offered a revolutionary description of the circulation of blood into the heart after being mixed with air in the lungs. He was burned alive for heresy in Geneva in the same year, at the instigation of Calvin. Fortunately, not all controversies in medicine met with such a fate, but instead, ultimately led to major innovations in research and patient care.

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