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November 3, 1951


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1951;147(10):911-913. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670270001001

The profession of medicine is presently faced with the obligation of assuming a function foreign to the generally accepted concept of what constitutes the practice of medicine. Because of medical science, the span of life has been increased. But one is forced to ask whether it is altogether desirable to enable man to live longer under circumstances which are becoming increasingly intolerable? Is it the aim of medicine to obtain for man optimum physical health but to ignore the causes which make him a frustrated and distraught member of society? These questions are not asked lightly but rather to point out the existence of circumstances concerning which the profession has either been unaware or indifferent.

It would be fallacious to contend that the unrest in which mankind is enmeshed is recent. But only the willfully insensitive can fail to feel the increasing extent and intensity of the strife and turmoil

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