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Article
November 6, 1897

FAITH-CURE AND HYSTERIA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.

JAMA. 1897;XXIX(19):969-971. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440450041006

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Abstract

A recent discussion, before the Chicago Physicians' Club, of faith-cure, by several clergymen, led to assertions monotonously familiar to students of the fetichic side of medicine. The Club likes to amuse itself, and sometimes at its own expense. One of the gentlemen present reported two miracles at Lourdes. The gentleman conscientiously believed himself free from a bias to which his training as an ecclesiastic however strongly predisposed him. Moreover, his surroundings at Lourdes further biased him in the belief that miracles could be there performed. He was therefore in no judicial frame of mind when he saw in the midst of an enthusiastic crowd of fanatics, a " woman with a cancer extending from the lip to the breast cured in an instant." The case, as seen during the enthusiasm of a crowd, with no opportunity for calm investigation, could have been a pure suggestion. Its occurrence has been repeatedly denied

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