A statement made by Sir James Mackenzie1 in 1925 is not without applicability even today. It reads as follows:
While we justly acclaim Laënnec for his discovery of auscultation it must be admitted that its introduction into medicine has not only hampered the progress of knowledge of heart affections, but has done more harm than good in that many people have had the tenor of their lives altered, have been forbidden to undertake duties for which they were perfectly competent, and have been subjected to unnecessary treatment This is not due to auscultation as such, but to the inability of the profession to assess the value of the phenomena which auscultation revealed.
It is in the hope of furthering the eradication of the "evil" referred to by Mackenzie1 that this article was written.
Because of the impressibility of children the handicap imposed on a child with a normal