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July 1, 1939

Trauma and Internal Disease: A Basis for Medical and Legal Evaluation of the Etiology, Pathology, Clinical Processes Following Injury

JAMA. 1939;113(1):85. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800260087032

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This book seems to be merely a compilation of a multitude of reports which have appeared in connection with trauma and disease. The author acknowledges that he has depended almost entirely on the experience of others. Most of the material consists of case reports. Such highly controversial matters as trauma in relation to tuberculosis or heart disease are not convincingly presented. However, as the author shows, the fact that courts have allowed claims for damages because of supposed traumatic factors in pulmonary tuberculosis is important for physicians. The legal side is, however, inadequately presented. The bibliography is tremendous, but of the numerous reports about half are more than two decades old. Pathologic concepts have changed considerably during the postwar decades. The greatest fault is the failure to use the statistical approach to the subject. Too often there is "post hoc ergo propter hoc" reasoning. The book loses its appeal as

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