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December 11, 1909

Semmelweis, His Life and His Doctrine.

JAMA. 1909;LIII(24):2032. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02550240078028

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With the exception of a small monograph written by Dr. Duka, a Hungarian, and published in 1888, this is the first biography of Semmelweis in the English language. This remarkable man, perhaps the only medical discoverer who can be ranked with Jenner in regard to the importance of his discovery, has a life-history as sad as it is interesting and instructive. Professor Sinclair has succeeded in giving a very interesting picture of the man and of the condition of obstetrical practice and teaching of his time, and in conveying a clear impression of the contents of his epoch-making and immortal work, "The Etiology, the Nature and the Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever." In drawing this picture Sinclair has quoted largely from all the chief physicians of Austria, Germany, France, England, Italy and other European and foreign countries, as well as from the work of Semmelweis himself. In this way we get

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