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March 6, 1897

SURGERY ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.AN HISTORICAL STUDY

JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(10):451-455. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440100019001e

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Abstract

CHAPTER II.—THE QUACK.  Family quackery, old women, shepherds and others; The charlatan at the annual fair; Secret remedies; Hernia curers, castrators; Cataract-couchers, Hilmer, John Taylor; Stone cutters; Frère Jacques, Rau; Hangmen, torture, guillotine; Quacks in foreign lands; Remedy against quackery; Our time.Quackery is an evil innate in human nature, and enters the sick room with every old woman. Who is there that visits a patient and does not feel impelled to pass judgment on his ailment, to display wisdom as to diet and temperature, or to recommend with the utmost eloquence a remedy which has at some time helped this and that acquaintance? With this misguided condolence, which is not peculiar to the feminine sex, there sometimes lies behind the impulse to play the doctor, only indiscrete sympathy, but very often it is largely arrogance and self-conceit. The traditional blundering of mothers and aunts, even to this day, makes

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