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March 28, 1959


Author Affiliations

New York

Medical Director, New York State Athletic Commission; Visiting Surgeon, Mt. Morris Park Hospital; and Associate Visiting Surgeon, Harlem and Sydenham Hospitals.

JAMA. 1959;169(13):1409-1413. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000300005002

It is possible to prevent death and severe disability in boxers by enforcing certain medical standards and requirements. These include an adequate medical department, basic medical examination of boxers, adequate supervision and equipment at the ringside, periodic examination and retirement of boxers handicapped by previous injuries, semiannual physical examination of referees, and annual examination of judges. Boxers in New York state must be licensed on the basis of rigid annual examinations, and two physicians are required to be at the ringside for all bouts in that state. Systematic research into types and causes of injury, especially to the brain, the kidneys, and the skin, has led to substantial gains in safety. These gains are manifest not only in recent statistics for injuries and mortality but also in the liberalization of policies granted to boxers by insurance companies.