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Article
August 4, 1956

HEALTH AS AN INSTRUMENT OF INTERNATIONAL POLICY

JAMA. 1956;161(14):1371-1375. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970140027008
Abstract

• Human health can be used as an instrument for fostering either good will or hatred on an international scale. Examples of the misuse of medical science in the recent past are the demoralization of nations with drugs like heroin and the spreading of accusations about bacteriological warfare.

The constructive use of human health in foreign policy is exemplified in the work of the American Red Cross Commission in Poland after World War I, the Foreign Operations Administration organized by the American government in 1950, the World Health Organization, and the World Medical Association. In places where poverty, ignorance, illness, and hopelessness prevail, the rehabilitation even of one poor crippled man is understood and appreciated. It is important that physicians understand and participate in these efforts to help people and promote international good will.

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