One pitfall of some of the incredible medical advances over the last century is that we too often forget what it was like before. Before penicillin in the 1940s, thousands died of simple infections. Before a cure for polio in the mid-‘50s, tens of thousands were sickened, killed or disabled. And before outpatient dialysis became widely available in 1972 – 40 years ago this year – 100,000 Americans died of kidney failure ...

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