April 16, 1960


JAMA. 1960;172(16):1774. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020160046012

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We live in an era of anxiety and confusion. The advances of science seem to have outrun our common sense. Ironically, while one group of scientists assure us of massive genetic death from radiation fall-out, another group are as insistent that we are so fertile that the planet will have standing room only. Obviously both cannot be correct. Providence, which gave man mind and spirit, fortunately has permitted him to meet each challenge of fate since the day of the cave dweller. Necessitas est mater inventionis.

In the era of the planned family one is apt to forget the heartache of the involuntarily childless couple. Mother's day awards go to the prolific sister. As often as not the less fertile sister is suspected of voluntary abstinence from nature's greatest privilege. Robert Frost, the sage of New England, recently remarked, however, that though science may enable man to control his own

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