We are one and all curious creatures of habit and victims of fancy. For example, if a little epidemic of smallpox claims a dozen victims or so, everybody is horror-sticken and large numbers of people are vaccinated as a precautionary measure. This is because smallpox is associated with a horrible disfiguring eruption. Thousands of victims die year by year of typhoid fever, in many of our large cities—notably in Philadelphia, through a long series of years—at a time in the world's history when it has long been shown that about one in a hundred thousand is what may be considered an average death-rate in well-regulated communities, and the most public interest that can be aroused is an occasional little spasmodic flutter in the newspapers. And this goes on indefinitely when every child knows that pure water will stop the disease, and when the pure water is within reach. The same
KELLY HA. THE PRESENT STATUS OF OPERATIONS FOR CANCEROUS UTERI. JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(20):1215–1220. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1900.24610200001001
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