STEPHEN N. COHEN, M.D.
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To the editor: I hope Dr. Cantor (Ann Intern Med 86:362, 1977) read the preceding letter by Webster, Hughes, and Buckingham (Ann Intern Med 86:361-362, 1977), especially the part about stringent standards for use of laboratory tests. It may be axiomatic that illness requires a diagnosis, but it is not "axiomatic" that liver disease in an alcoholic patient requires a liver biopsy.
Alcoholism is needed a "medical illness with sociologic and psychologic components." It is not obvious that physician hostility to alcoholics is the reason that liver biopsies are not done more often. Indeed, sticking a needle into the liver
COHEN SN. Hostility and Liver Biopsy. Ann Intern Med. ;86:826–827. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-86-6-826_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1977;86(6):826-827.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Liver Disease.
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