In a talk entitled "The Tempestuous Winds of Fashion in Medicine"1 delivered at the State University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1961, Dr. Michael Kelly stated:
If diseases have single causes—or if they are idiopathic, which means self-caused—they are much easier to label and to put in the pigeon hole... If there is a large enough number of patients with these same symptoms, we speak of that group of symptoms as a single disease. The discovery of the specific agents which caused certain diseases led to a more accurate classification; but it has also encouraged the entity heresy by suggesting that many diseases have single causes.
In a three-month period, three patients with jaundice in late pregnancy were seen at Albany Medical Center. All presented similar clinical, chemical, and ultrastructural hepatic changes. Although no definite cause for the jaundice in these three patients was discovered, their conditions appeared
BROWN DF, PORTA EA, REDER J. Idiopathic Jaundice of PregnancyClinical, Chemical, and Ultrastructural Hepatic Changes in Three Cases. Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(5):592–606. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620290058008
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.