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June 29, 1895


JAMA. 1895;XXIV(26):1004-1007. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430260010002c

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In "Lectures on Intracranial Surgery," published in this Journal, June 8, 1895, by Dr. Emory Lanphear, certain statements are made that are not warranted by pathologic and alienistic knowledge, certain operations are recorded as having been performed that are not justified by the literature or experience of those most competent to judge; and the results of the operations being unfavorable, and in some instances causing death, the conclusions of the paper alluded to are improper, and if recklessly absorbed and acted upon by others may be productive of further discreditable surgical interferences, and revolt of the laity against "butchery," as many unsuccessful operations are styled, even when these are judiciously and justifiably done.

That Dr. Lanphear is a "brilliant operator" is well known, but when this ability is unassociated with other requisites it is like pyrotechnics near a powder magazine. He speaks of "insanity from softening of the brain." He

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