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JAMA Revisited
September 22/29, 2020

Life as It Is

JAMA. 2020;324(12):1219. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.13631

Originally Published September 28, 1970 | JAMA. 1970;213(13):2257.

In the symposium entitled “Man and Life,” Barzun,1 writing on “the quality of life,” notes that the term “life” is imprecise and susceptible of varied interpretation. He bases his discussion of its quality principally on the question, “Is life worth living?”—a question that can be answered only personally or, if you will, individually. Nevertheless, he finds signs in our modern industrial-democratic society that the question is being answered in the negative, and he propounds a number of characteristics that have caused deterioration of life’s quality.