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January 7, 1998

Interpreting Art and Poetry in JAMA: In the Eye of the Beholder

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998

JAMA. 1998;279(1):19-20. doi:10.1001/jama.279.1.17

To the Editor.—The salacious front cover of JAMA1 sexually exploits women by its depiction of a young naked woman. "Her hair is carefully arranged over the pillow as that of any model," writes Dr Southgate. No operating table ever would be primped with such bedding. Southgate purports the nude is sleeping, although nearly a dozen persons in street clothes are in conversation around the nude, and one bearded person has his elbow on her groin, his forearm on her abdomen, and his hand near her nipple. The nude is portrayed as ostensibly anesthetized, although there is no anesthetic agent present. Southgate admits that "all eyes are . . . on the patient." Crude instruments of vivisection are casually in the left foreground fanning fantasies of sexual mutilation.