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December 28, 1984

Suicide by Physicians-Reply

Author Affiliations

The Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore

JAMA. 1984;252(24):3364. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350240014011

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In Reply.—  Dr Anteski's letter shows the problem of statements taken out of context. It would seem reasonable to assume that communications written by physicians, published in medical journals, and aimed at an audience of physicians do not need a restatement of the Hippocratic oath. In other words, our readers may assume that we have the same concern for the welfare of the individual physician as patient or sufferer as for any other person. Despite efforts by the judicial process, epidemiologists, and philosophers, it is difficult if not impossible to assign a monetary value to an individual life. It is evident, however, that physicians as a group, like the members of other professions, represent an enormous financial investment and have an enormous actual and potential economic influence. Suicide as a subject of investigation is of importance, and it has additional importance to society when loss of members of the group