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November 1957

Pain and Pleasure: A Study of Bodily Feelings.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(5):856-857. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260110172032

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Here is one of the better statements on a vast problem so close to the core of the work of clinical medicine. It must be abundantly obvious to the busy physician that his concepts of pain are at best a temporary scaffolding on which he may orient himself, albeit unsteadily. Analgesics that don't relieve, assurances that betray, surgery that devolves into an endless chain of operations, placebos that "work" in 40% of cases, and the sometimes amazing effects of hypnosis all point to the probability that pain is beyond theoretical explanations currently popular. It is not uncommon for the harrassed physician to take refuge in a formulation that if the patient's statement does not refer to the body as he knows it, then it is nonsense. This is a handy defense, but it just isn't elegant. Now there becomes available in Szasz' book an instrument whereby this "knowing" may be

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