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March 18, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(11):880. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500380044013

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The present status of proprietary medicines, their widespread use and their liberal endorsement by so many medical practitioners is a matter that is so evidently inconsistent with all rational ideas of science and progress that, were it not for the ultimate object, the preservation of human life, the whole subject would, as it surely will in the future, appear most ludicrous and absurd. Few of us, probably, have considered how unreasonable and irrational it would be for a surgeon to follow the advice and direction of an instrument maker, as to when and how one should operate on a given patient, or how preposterous it would be for a lens grinder, or even the glass manufacturer, to dictate to an efficient oculist how to modify his prescriptions for lenses so that a single prescription would fit all eyes. Nevertheless, many physicians will listen willingly to the exaggerated and unwarranted claims

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