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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 22, 2006


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2006;295(8):948. doi:10.1001/jama.295.8.948-b

The astonishing allegation has been quoted in a number of newspapers recently that two medical societies had indorsed the proposal to chloroform all persons who had reached the age of sixty. All sensible physicians knew this could not be true of any reputable society, and we at once wrote for information. The secretary of one of the societies says it was all the result of a joke on a reporter, who accepted as truth the fabric of lies and embroidered on it to a considerable extent in his paper. We hope that the affair has not contributed to the public's distrust of the physician. We had supposed that the unenjoyable notoriety thrust by a dull-brained press on the originator of the chloroforming-the-aged joke would be a solemn warning to all other physicians to avoid the subject. If one insists on joking, let both joke and listener be approved by a state board of examiners in humor.