Series: N2009-9 - Papers, ca. 1920-1950.
Personal and medical papers of Alonzo Lashbrook Blalock, a Madison, Florida, physician.
(Page 2 of 8)
serious have been my mistakes and errors in former years. To under-
stand malarial infection is a difficult problem, and quinine is not
a specific, in the [strikeout] ordinary [ insert]strict acceptation of the term. Only in recent
years, since I have been doing my own microscopical work in connec-
tion with observation of clinical symptoms, have I been apprised of
how blindly and ignorantly I have treated cases in the past, con-
gratulating myself, at the time, that nothing else could have been
done; and informing the family of the deceased that the patient was
beyond the reach of medical aid, it being his time to die.
Don't be deceived; it is not my purpose to underrate the old doc-
tor and extol the new; I am both old and new myself, having passed
through an age of wonderful strides in the practice of Medicine and
Surgery; I simply want to be honest and truthful. Then let me say
what is even more disparaging to the new: as a profession, we are em-
phasizing what is commercial and thus becoming too lazy or indiffer-
ent to see that the whole light is turned on so that we may arrive
at accurate and correct conclusions. You hear the doctor say,
"Nothing but a touch of malaria, give him a purgative and some qui-
nine," then later on if the man sickens and dies the death certific-
cate never shows that malarial infection was a factor at all; for
the doctor is ashamed to admit that his patient died of malaria.
hence there are hundreds of instances where erroneous death certifi-
cates are signed up by physicians and sent in to state authorities
for compilation of statistics.
I have long since determined that in my county and state, statis-
tics relative to malarial diseases are practically worthless. To the
honor of our noble profession and the good of the public, let us
make the barriers a little higher and stronger and if possible keep
out such as are not painstaking and considerate, efficient and hon-
est, honorable and conscientious. My purpose in all this con-