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March 8, 1965

Terminology and Change

Author Affiliations

Kansas City, Mo

JAMA. 1965;191(10):865. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080100083030

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To the Editor:—  The concluding sentence in Dr. Burgess Gordon's Special Communication, "Standard Medical Terminology" (JAMA191:311 [Jan 25] 1965) states: "... thus, the quotation from J. M. Charcot may be appropriate: 'Disease is very old and nothing about it has changed. It is we who change as we learn to recognize what was formerly imperceptible.' " I suggest that this quotation is not only inappropriate but also inapplicable. Many aspects of most diseases have changed, thanks to medical science. If we fail to recognize some diseases it may be because they have been rendered imperceptible.

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