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November 26, 1904

The Passing of the Red-Light Treatment of Smallpox.

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(22):1641-1642. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500220051017

Philadelphia, Nov. 16, 1904.

To the Editor:  —In May, 1903, I published in The Journal1 an article in which the value of the red-light treatment of smallpox so stoutly championed by Finsen, was questioned. The theoretical objections to the acceptance of Finsen's claim were discussed in detail and the unfavorable results of the treatment of two cases of smallpox in a well-equipped red-light room were given. Finsen replied to this article and criticised the methods employed and the deductions drawn.Since this time Dr. Nelson D. Brayton2 of Indianapolis published the absolutely negative results obtained in the treatment of 300 cases of smallpox in red-light wards. In the London Lancet, July 30, 1904, there appears an article3 on "The Red-Light Treatment of Smallpox," by Dr. T. F. Ricketts, medical superintendent of the Smallpox Hospital of the Metropolitan Asylums Board, and J. B. Byles, assistant medical officer of