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June 8, 1970

LSD and Chromosome Damage

JAMA. 1970;212(10):1707. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170230109027

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To the Editor.—  The case report by Lillian Y. Hsu, MD, (211:987,1970) was interesting and complete, but surprisingly misleading, especially to the lay public, who through the press are frequent readers of this and other journals.I am certain that the authors did not wish to imply that LSD causes chromosomal aberrations, or congenital abnormalities. However, when I showed the article to a nonrandom selection of ten lay friends, nine interpreted the article as proving that LSD deforms children of users. One, a statistician, did not.I do not object to the publication of such case reports. It astonishes me, however, that when a volatile subject such as LSD is involved, that no interpretative note of caution accompanied the article.Specifically, to condemn the use of LSD, without valid evidence of harmful effects from use of the drug, will only increase the already broad credibility gap. Thus, if valid