HERBERT S. BREYFOGLE, M.D.
To the editor: The erudite essay by A.R. Jonsen (Ann Intern Med 88:827-833 1978) brings to mind a comment by William B. Bean in 1960 concerning the phrase "Primum non nocere."
Consider the plight of the enthusiastic professor of obstetrics who wanted a suitable inscription carved over the spotless marble doorway of his lavish new clinic, which served rich and poor, married or not. His proper obstetrical mood of laissez faire sent him reeling back through his stock of Hippocratic aphorisms. He recalled the admonition "First do no harm" especially suitable in an emporium of obstetrics. He used the Latin
HERBERT S. BREYFOGLE. Harm or Naughtiness. Ann Intern Med. 1978;89:580. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-89-4-580
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(4):580.
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