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July 17, 1967

The Plot Against the Patient

JAMA. 1967;201(3):212. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130030082038

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Here we go again. The a cappella choir of The Plot sings l'allegro about the modern barber surgeons who conspire against the patient for the sake of his money and without sincere regard for his health. The ending, il penseroso, is the plea for the total welfare state in medicine.

Ho hum.

For more than 300 pages the book repeats all the shoddy history of the American Medical Association, the private health insurance scandal, the shocking sink tests run by the best hospitals, and the burial of the hospital's and the physician's mistakes. The situation is dreadful, including the "huge publications projects centered about the AMA Journal..."

In lucid English this book has quoted condemnatory records of the past generation or more, indicting American medicine, and occasionally praising foreign medicine as better than that in the United States. Taking the book at its face value, it is necessary to conclude