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A Piece of My Mind
February 14, 2017

Should the Definition of Health Include a Measure of Tolerance?

Author Affiliations
  • 1RAND Health, Santa Monica, California
JAMA. 2017;317(6):585-586. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14372

In 1948 the World Health Organization officially defined health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”1 The definition has remained unchanged for more than 60 years. When it was adopted, tools to measure health did not exist.2 Indeed, it was decades before a comprehensive set of tools to measure physical, mental, and social well-being were developed.

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