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The Aha Moment And Consequences

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a short history of the use of antimony in medicine and examines the use of tartar emetic specifically as an effective treatment for parasitic diseases. In tracing this story it uncovered evidences of misperception of dates, forgetting of dates, or underreported priorities of specific treatments that had been attributed to others. It would appear that many people do not read correctly, forget what they have read, and reconstruct history to become part of accepted dogma. Christopherson, in The Lancet on 7 September, 1918, published the successful results of a group of thirteen young male bilharzia patients. Over the next months and years he published twenty-four papers and letters on the use of tartar emetic for schistosomiasis. His work-at the beginning of the twentieth century-was a result of the zeitgeist coupled with 'a prepared mind'.

Keywords: bilharzia; Dr. J.B. Christopherson; tartar emetic



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