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January 27, 1912


Author Affiliations

Professor of Pharmacology and Materia Medica, Medical School of Western Reserve University CLEVELAND

JAMA. 1912;LVIII(4):242-244. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260010244004

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The treatment of every patient is more or less of an experiment. All therapeutics might therefore be termed "experimental"—but there is a vast difference between experiments! Experiments may be framed so loosely, the observations may be so superficial, the analysis of the results so careless, the deductions so illogical, that the experiment has no permanent value—it is not an experiment in the precise sense of the word. A great deal of the therapeutic experimentation of the past has been of this order. However much this sort of therapeutics may or may not help an individual patient, however much or little it may add to the individual experience of the practitioner who practices it, whatever use it may have in one way or another—and doubtless it has some use—it cannot be said to add anything substantial to the stock of human knowledge, to aid others materially in the treatment of their

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