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Commentary
July 22 2009

The Trap of MeaningA Public Health Tragedy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

JAMA. 2009;302(4):432-433. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1059

Adolf Merckle, the German billionaire whose speculation in volatile Volkswagen stock had pushed his sprawling business empire to the edge of ruin, has committed suicide. . . . “No longer being able to handle the situation . . . he ended his life,” the family said.1

John Updike, the kaleidoscopically gifted writer . . . died. . . . The cause was cancer.2

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