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December 3, 1904

MEDICAL ERRORS IN FICTION.

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(23):1706. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500230036012

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Abstract

It seems to be the rule, unfortunately, for writers of fiction, when dealing with medical subjects, to pay no attention to facts. This leads to the most ludicrous combinations of symptoms and to descriptions of conditions that can not exist. It is an old fault, and a repetition of this fault from an ordinary writer of fiction would hardly deserve attention here. We have to regret, however, its occurrence in the recent writings of a celebrated author who was educated as a medical man. Dr. Conan Doyle, in "The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez," just published, makes Sherlock Holmes say, in commenting on a pair of glasses that had been found, "You will see, Watson, that the glasses are convex and of unusual strength." In another place, speaking of the owner of these glasses, Holmes says: "Unfortunately for her, she had lost her glasses in the scuffle, and as she

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