From the Editor “It is easy to report cures of anything the existence of which depends upon one's personal diagnosis and statement, if one is unscrupulous enough, and that sort of thing finds many believers. It is another thing, however, to demonstrate them to scientific observers…” The above quote appeared in the ... Editorial
Editorial  |   February 01, 2002
From the Editor
 
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Editorial
Editorial   |   February 01, 2002
From the Editor
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2002, Vol. 11, 2. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/001)
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2002, Vol. 11, 2. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/001)
“It is easy to report cures of anything the existence of which depends upon one's personal diagnosis and statement, if one is unscrupulous enough, and that sort of thing finds many believers. It is another thing, however, to demonstrate them to scientific observers…”
The above quote appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association one hundred years ago in an article entitled “Camp-Followers of Science” (JAMA, 2001). At the time, the author was referring to clinicians who would seek personal benefit by making claims regarding therapeutic approaches, the bases for which exceeded scientific deduction. In this case, it was the use of x-rays to treat malignant tumors. Rather than make broad pronouncements based on limited data that nonetheless offer promising outcomes, the author called for healthy skepticism in interpreting new clinical findings. To do otherwise would mean that rejection of methods with little scientific value had simply given way to approaches whose claims amount to little more than pseudo-science, but often with worse results.
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