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April 15, 1933


JAMA. 1933;100(15):1197-1199. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740150054028

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To the Editor:  —Oliver Wendell Holmes, in a similar situation in 1855, when his paper on puerperal fever was attacked in an article by Meigs, had this to say:There are expressions used in it which might well put a stop to all scientific discussions were they to form the current coin in our exchange of opinions.One unpalatable expression (several in this case) I suppose the laws of construction oblige me to appropriate to myself, as my reward for a certain amount of labor bestowed on the investigation of an important question of evidence, and a statement of my own practical conclusions. I take no offense and attempt no retort.Only just so far as a disrespectful phrase may turn the student aside from the examination of the evidence by discrediting or dishonoring the witness, does it call for any word of notice.The first sentence in this criticism

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