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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October 10, 2012


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2012;308(14):1412. doi:10.1001/jama.308.14.1412-b

One of the most interesting and important papers presented before the Fourth National Conservation Congress, which met last week in Indianapolis, was written, not by a physician or a sanitarian, but by a business man, Mr. E. E. Rittenhouse, of the Equitable Life Assurance Company. An abstract of his address appears in Society Proceedings in this issue. Mr. Rittenhouse, in the opening paragraphs of this address, recognized the crucial point in the present situation. He said: “It takes money to carry on a great educational movement and it takes money to conduct a public health service. The war between preventable disease and death is therefore a struggle between the dollar and the death-rate.” These words should be placed before every citizen, for his instruction and as a warning. With our present-day knowledge of disease, good health is a commodity which can be bought, if our cities, counties and states are willing to pay the price.