E. J. H.
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Of pleasures we get from reading history, the one rarely confessed is the looking back in time to see an eminent and usually wise man slip on a conceptual banana peel. Was Benjamin Rush's zealous blood-letting such a slip by such a man? In Philadelphia's yellow fever epidemic of 1793 he probably killed more Philadelphians with his fervent, evangelical "erythromania"* than he saved. His reputation was so vulnerable on this point that one of his political enemies, the Royalist William Cobbett, though a layman, could attack Rush more viciously on medical than on political grounds:
The times are ominous indeed,
H. EJ. Medical History Begets Humility. Ann Intern Med. 1962;56:353–354. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-56-2-353
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1962;56(2):353-354.
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