August 1986

Maimonides the Physician

Author Affiliations

Jamaica, NY

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(8):1637. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360200217046

To the Editor.  —In his editorial on "Maimonides and Psychosomatic Medicine," Dr Soffer points out1 that to Maimonides, medicine was more than a science; it was a social science. Illustrative of this point is Maimonides' description, in the last chapter of his Treatise on Asthma,2 of the ill effects of air pollution:The first thing to consider... is the provision of fresh air, clean water, and a healthy diet. City air is stagnant, turbid, and thick, the natural result of its big buildings, narrow streets, the refuse of its inhabitants... one should at least choose for a residence a wide-open site... living quarters are best located on an upper floor... and ample sunshine... Toilets should be located as far as possible from living rooms. The air should be kept dry at all times by sweet scents, fumigation, and drying agents. The concern for clean air is the foremost

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