J. LACEY SMITH, M.D.
SMITH JL. Sir Arbuthnot Lane, Chronic Intestinal Stasis, and Autointoxication. Ann Intern Med. 1982;96:365-369. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-96-3-365
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(3):365-369.
In the early 1900s, a theory that constipation (stasis) led to systemic dysfunction became popular. Sir Arbuthnot Lane was largely responsible for the popularity of this theory, which was constructed entirely on unfounded hypotheses. As a result, colon bypass or colectomy was done for indications ranging from lassitude to epilepsy. The theory was accepted—although disputed—until the clinical futility of radical surgery was recognized. The favorable acceptance of stasis in its time exemplifies the dangers of medical practice by hypothesis.
to gain full access to the content and tools.
Learn more about subscription options.
Register Now for a free account.
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only