Almost from the beginning of time man seems to have been possessed of an intuitive feeling that an acute abdominal affection, accompanied by an arrest of intestinal action, is an extremely serious condition which, if not soon relieved, must lead to a fatal issue.
In such cases, the laity realize the importance of proper bowel movements, and, having observed the relief Which is often experienced when the interrupted bowel action is resumed, immediately resort to the use of cathartics to bring about the desired end, namely, a movement of the bowels.
Unfortunately, this intuitive feeling seems to be so deeply rooted in the mind of man that even a study of the science and art of medicine at times fails to dislodge it; for one too often sees otherwise intelligent physicians following it blindly, to the destruction of their patients, and without regard to the cause of the arrest of
HARRIS ML. DANGERS FEOM INDISCRIMINATE USE OF CATHARTICS IN ACUTE INTESTINAL CONDITIONS. JAMA. 1905;XLIV(8):622–624. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500350032001g
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