April 6, 1935

Medical Economics

JAMA. 1935;104(14):1245-1246. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760140049020

ILLNESS, DEATH AND SICKNESS INSURANCE  The social function of the medical profession is to reduce the suffering from illness and postpone the time of death. The record of the fulfilment of that function is written in the steadily declining morbidity and mortality rates of modern nations and makes, perhaps, the most encouraging page in the history of the last century. Any change in the character of medical service or in the methods of giving it can rightly be tested by the effect of such change on morbidity and mortality rates. This is a test that the advocates of sickness insurance have always dodged. Their exhaustive writings give little hint of the movements in the amount of sickness or the number of deaths in relation to population under sickness insurance systems. It is with the greatest difficulty that such facts are extracted from even the official reports of institutions and governments

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