Rosenbach O (1905)

Die Diagnose als ätiologischer Factor [The diagnosis as a factor in aetiology]. Zeitschrift fur klinische Medicin 56:232-240.

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“Although I have been strenuously attacked, I have tried only too often to explain that a substantial proportion of physicians regard all innovations too credulously and uncritically. The first time [I did] this was particularly intense, and concerned Koch’s procedure [treatment of tuberculosis with tuberculin], the second time on the occasion of the serum therapy for diphtheria. The latter fight has still not been decided, and the supporters of serum therapy get away with their statistics being accepted uncritically. This situation reflects unwillingness or inability to do the crucial experiment, which is so easy to perform. One deprives oneself of the possibility of doing scientific research because one does not perform the evaluation I have proposed, namely, always to treat one case with and the next without the promoted medicine, whether the medicine is tested in all places at the same time, or in different places one after the other. And of course this holds not only for the treatment of diphtheria. The objection that it is for the sake of the patients who cannot wait [for treatment] that one renounces scientific certainty is clearly invalid, isn’t it? Who guarantees that a superficially evaluated treatment, ‘propagated’ through enthusiasm, will not cause direct damage?”

Translation by Ulrich Tröhler