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[Perspectives] Lancet

Blood is usually let these days for diagnostic, not therapeutic, purposes; it is taken with a syringe and collected in tubes with differently coloured tops. Blood used to be let with a lancet (“little lance”), and although physicians often observed blood’s properties to aid in diagnosing disease, phlebotomy’s main purpose was to assist recovery. “Blood”, as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote, “is a special juice”.