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Things As They Are

John B. Dillon, MD
JAMA. 1964;190(11):997-999. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070240043010.
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This discussion is not to praise anesthesiologists, nor to glorify anesthesia, nor is its purpose to criticize surgeons or surgery. Its purpose is to present a serious problem that has not been given adequate consideration except by anesthesiologists, that is, what is happening to anesthesia in the "scientific frenzy" of present day medicine.

It is mandatory that interest be kindled in the mind of "medicine," and that this responsible group help to correct a deficiency in the practice of medicine of primary importance to physicians, and of even more importance to the patients they help. This is not the first time that the general problem has been mentioned in The Journal.1-3

If one gives serious thought to the philosophical concept of contributions to human welfare one inescapable conclusion is reached: The introduction and development of surgical anesthesia has been, next to the printing press, man's greatest contribution to the


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