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December 16, 1899


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(25):1521-1522. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450770007002b

No feature is so conspicuous that proves the specific character of antitoxin as a remedy in diphtheria, as its influence on the mortality records of a city. The Berliner Medicinische Wochenschrift was the first to attempt a collective investigation in this direction, and the table so collected and published showed such remarkable results as to become the most potent factor in an argument.

Statistics, to become of value, must be truthful, not only as regards figures, but they must take into consideration the difficult elements that control them. For instance, we should take into consideration under what auspices they were begun, and for what purpose; whether they be the result of certain conditions always the same, or unequal, as an epidemic, or not; again, whether they are the result of a collective body—as the American Pediatric Society—whose purposes are to obtain truths, or whether they be the result of the