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September 8, 1900


Author Affiliations

Superintendent Columbus State Hospital; Professor of Nervous and Mental Diseases in Ohio Medical University; Neurologist to the Protestant Hospital. COLUMBUS, OHIO.

JAMA. 1900;XXXV(10):614-617. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24620360020001d

The absence of sufficient clinical, pathologic and histologic data often give rise to mooted medical questions. Any evidence brought to view, having the semblance of fact, is grasped with avidity as an addition to the fabric of truth. As long as a medical question remains undefined, open to all contributors, so long is there an opportunity for error to hold sway, and thus lend perpetuity to its obscurity. The truth-seeker, therefore, must still busy himself in combating the false and vagarious, and not permit them to foist and fix themselves upon that which is in most need of truth and clearness.

In the light of to-day's science, moral causes figure more lightly in the etiology of insanity, and more stress is being laid on such physical causes as heredity, degeneracy, the diseases causing malnutrition, infectious diseases and autointoxication. Surgery has been strongly suggesting the participation of pelvic diseases, postoperative influences