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October 20, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(16):1304. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520160068004

The revolt against the labeling of diseases or symptoms with the name of their discoverers, or those who have brought them prominently before the profession, is a perennial one. Seldom a year passes that editorials on the subject do not appear, and current articles often contain comment on the subject. Needless to say the comment is usually unfavorable to the use of proper names in this manner. Minor,1 for example, in a recent paper, says, in speaking of the so-called "Kœnig's sign," "It seems to me a regrettable tendency in the literature of our profession to attach to diagnostic methods or symptoms the names of individuals."

As in all questions, so in this one, analysis shows that both advantages and disadvantages may be discerned, according to the point of view. The argument usually advanced against attaching proper names to diseases or symptoms is that they are not descriptive, and