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April 14, 1900


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(15):908-913. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610150014001i

By way of introduction, I quote from one of our honored confrères, a truism, which can not be too strongly emphasized:

"The greatest among us does not lower his dignity when he places the patient on the confines of death, safely holds him there, dead to pain and consciousness, whilst the surgeon wields his knife, and then restores him to life." (R. M. Stone.)

As we go along, it will become convincingly clear to you that "the greatest among us" should approach the responsibility of administering an anesthetic with fear and trembling; he will even insist that his knowledge is far from being comprehensive enough to grasp all the factors concerned in this grave undertaking. To him this is not simply a question of the cessation of respiration, or of the heart's action, or which shall first succumb. He will crave the need of a profound knowledge of what takes