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July 1, 1899

ACTION BY TOXIC AGENTS.WHAT ARE THE PHYSIOLOGIC PROCESSES OR FUNCTIONS THAT IMPART TO THE LIVING HUMAN BODY ITS VITAL RESISTANCE OR IMMUNITY AND HOW CAN THEY BE AIDED BY THERAPEUTIC AGENTS.

JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(1):3-6. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450530003002
Abstract

One of the important aphorisms of Hippocrates declares that "the physician is a servant, not a teacher of nature," and that in the treatment of diseases he should "follow nature." His declarations have been repeated and their wisdom extolled by all the more philosophic and learned members of our profession, from his time to the present. Therefore, we are reminded of the curative achievements of nature or of the vis medicatrix naturae, in almost every medical work relating to diseases and their treatment. If, however, we are to follow Nature for the purpose of aiding her in resisting the influence of toxic agents, we must have some definite conception of what is meant by Nature in this connection; or at least, a correct knowledge of the processes she employs in resisting the impression of toxic agents and of expelling them after they have gained access and established the phenomena of

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