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December 7, 1984

On Laughter

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

JAMA. 1984;252(21):3014. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350210062035

I am delighted that the American Medical Association is starting to take laughter seriously. As Dr W. Black points out in his learned paper,1 laughter does have a great therapeutic value in a person's health. The more a person laughs (voluntarily as opposed to involuntarily), the better he feels.

Dr Black cites many studies that indicate what takes place physiologically in the body when we laugh, but there is still a lot of scientific work to be done before the Food and Drug Administration will permit it to be used in large doses.

Once it is approved as a prescription drug (let's hope they never allow it to be sold over the counter), the biggest question is whether we can provide enough of the product to fulfill the needs of all people who are in need of it.

While Dr Black covers the subject thoroughly, he still leaves many