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October 25, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(17):1055. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480430037009

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The surgeon's position is sometimes not an enviable one. especially when his failures or errors are public property. The recent experience of one of the most brilliant and progressive operators is in point. He was called to a patient who claimed that he had swallowed his false teeth and demanded an operation. The attending physician was positive that he had felt the object before it slipped away from him. The teeth were missing, the pharynx was lacerated as if by a rough body, and, in addition to all other tests, a radiogram was made that apparently showed the foreign body lodged in the lower esophagus. On operation the teeth were not found, but subsequently turned up in the patient's bed. The patient died and the newspapers got hold of the story and made the most of it. It is clear that the patient suffered from a definite delusion, which could

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