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August 5, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLV(6):407. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02510060043014

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The following is a true tale of a recent happening in an American city. It is a good story to relate to patients and legislators in the campaign against nostrums and against adulterated foods and drugs. A respected clergyman fell ill, and the family physician was called. After examining the patient carefully, the doctor asked for a private interview with the patient's adult son.

"Harry," said the doctor, "do you know what is the matter with your father?"

"No. We sent for you to tell us that."

"Well," the physician said, "I am sorry to tell you that your father undoubtedly is suffering from chronic alcoholism."

"Chronic alcoholism! Why that's ridiculous! Father never drank a drop of liquor in his life, and we know all there is to know about his habits."

"Well, my boy, it's chronic alcoholism, nevertheless, and at this present moment your father is drunk. How has

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