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December 7, 1889


JAMA. 1889;XIII(23):818-819. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02401190024009

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Shall Listerism be accepted as a criterion of the medico-legal responsibility of the operating surgeon? There are those who hold pronounced views respecting the status of antiseptic surgery, who virtually say that the surgeon who has not adopted it is not doing his best for his clients, and who seemingly would not find it difficult to testify against their a-Listerian brethren if or when called upon to give expert testimony in a suit for malpractice on this ground of the nonuse of antisepsis.

We shall not be surprised if some acute legal mind might seize upon this proposition and make trouble in the camp of surgery—or try to do so. That he shall be able to make good his case may well be doubted, or that the courts will fall into practice of measuring all surgery up to the enthusiastic views of some Listerians must be doubtful, also. However proudly

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