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July 4, 1966

Natural Resources in American Medicine

JAMA. 1966;197(1):63. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110010115043

To the Editor:—  The interesting article "American Medicine and the Inevitables in its Future" by Ward Darley, MD (196:267, 1966) neglects an important inevitability. Continued population growth combined with depletion of natural resources will eventually affect medical care. The huge quantities of copper, mercury, silver, lead, barium, and other minerals required for computers, medical instruments, radiographic materials, and other medical purposes will be increasingly difficult to obtain.1 Even sulfur, vital for the manufacture of many medicines, is not present in unlimited quantity. There is a need for research to define and solve such problems.

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