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February 25, 1939

PROSTATECTOMY OR TRANSURETHRAL PROSTATIC RESECTION?A PLEA FOR THE SELECTIONIST

JAMA. 1939;112(8):681-687. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800080001001
Abstract

It is obvious that a literal interpretation of Pope's doctrine of conservatism universally applied would be a complete and effectual bar to all progress. Yet most persons would do well to plod the ultraconservative path, leaving the trial of the new to the gifted and venturesome few.

Overenthusiasm inevitably follows the discovery of a new therapeutic agent, particularly that discovery which tends to be startling or which carries with it a dramatic appeal. After overenthusiasm, in varying degree but in definite sequence, come publicity, commercial exploitation, incompetence and abuse, followed by poor results, recognition of defects and dangers, fear, decreased use and overcorrection, until, finally, such merits as may exist become recognized in their true light and the new therapeutic agent (drug or surgical method) reaches stability at its proper level of usefulness (chart 1). This process of trial and evaluation may require months or years. The pernicious practice of

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