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February 23, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(8):558. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600080060019

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To the Editor:  The interesting and suggestive article by Dr. Babcock in The Journal, February 9, raises questions that demanded critical consideration at the present time.All competent clinicians, military surgeons and life insurance medical directors will, I am sure, heartily concur in Dr. Babcock's postulate that even a persistent heart murmur unaccompanied by any secondary symptoms or signs is not sufficient ground for condemning a man to an early death. Those who have had an opportunity to observe and statistically follow large masses of lives presenting such impairment will go even further and agree that a fair number of individuals exhibiting unquestionably grave organic impairment of heart and kidney will live for many years and that some will arrive at a ripe old age. Such individual instances, however, only expose the folly of regarding organic physical impairment as necessarily a progressive disease entity or "malady" that inevitably moves on

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