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January 25, 1896

CAN ANTITOXIN STATISTICS BE RELIED UPON?

JAMA. 1896;XXVI(4):180. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430560032002j

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Abstract

The many fiascoes in modern medicine have taught me a lesson, viz: Never to be the first and never to be the last one, to adopt a new remedy. Liberality is one of the first conditions for progress and success in medicine; conservatism, the preventative for poetic illusions and errors, undiscovered on account of the blinding effect of enthusiasm.

I have quietly watched the reports of cures of diphtheria with antitoxin, and have wondered how easy it is to catch the masses, even if one knows next to nothing about the modus operandi of a remedy. Beside, its origin and composition is mystery as yet, its preparation being controlled entirely by a few enterprising chemists. But neither this nor the fact that its introduction into the human system is apt cause a good many dangers like leucocythemia, shall be brought as an argument against its value; even the fact, that

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