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Citations 0
Letters
March 24/31, 1999

Marginal Medicine

Author Affiliations
 

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(12):1082-1083. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-12-jbk0324

To the Editor: I found Mr Lamm's article1 interesting. However, medicine has always dealt with the individual patient (humanistic medicine). It has never been utilitarian (thinking about the greatest good for the greatest number). Utilitarian individuals would not go into medicine, as it makes no sense to spend $30,000 for a kidney transplant or coronary bypass on a 40-year-old man, or for any treatment when that same $30,000 would feed and clothe dozens of starving children and provide them with vaccinations and basic health care. Is the new managed care medicine truly utilitarian? Managed care now covers millions of patients in this country. Yet there is no evidence that this system is providing more health care at a lower price.

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