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November 15, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(20):1237-1240. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480460015001c

I will not apologize for occupying your attention with a topic to which I am able to bring neither new facts nor satisfactory conclusions. My excuse is the importance of the subject.

You will agree with me, first, that there has been during the last few years a tendency to place a greater value on bleeding; second, that the indications for its use are vague and indefinite as now defined in the literature, and you may agree, third, that it is of the utmost importance that this procedure of recognized value be not again discredited by indiscriminate employment in obviously inappropriate conditions.

Nowhere can one glean a more instructive lesson than in following the steps of Trousseau as he slowly drew away from the then dominant views as to venesection, sifting out with his rare judgment the real from the apparent and finally taking a stand that was quite out

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