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May 25, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(21):2139-2140. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810210071028

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To the Editor:—  I have always had a great deal of regard for the writings of Dr. Joseph Brennemann. However, I am constrained to take exception to an opinion expressed in a recent special article, "Pediatric Emergencies" (The Journal, March 16, p. 956). In discussing the treatment of congenital atresia of the esophagus, Dr. Brennemann states "No child has ever lived, and with the consent of the parents one is justified in letting the child die without treatment." Granted that the prognosis is nil in these cases, that the posterior mediastinum is terra incognita as far as the surgeon is concerned and that any procedure in the posterior mediastinum is attended with formidable obstacles, nevertheless an attitude such as "letting the child die" has a defeatist and nonprogressive ring.There are many procedures carried out at present which only fifty years ago would have appeared to be impossible. Practically every

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