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November 13, 1996

A Cover Without Art-Reply

Author Affiliations

Senior Contributing Editor, JAMA

JAMA. 1996;276(18):1472. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540180028027

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In Reply.  —I thank Dr Hill and Dr Pye for their letters, as well as the others who have offered similar comments. Although the analogies may limp a little, their points are valid and well stated. The letters are painful reminders of how much still remains to be done at the end of the 20th century.I would caution, however, that diseases cannot be compared, except perhaps in databases. Nor is art—by its very nature—ever meant to be totally objective. If there is no "singling out," no drama, there is no art.Ironically, the letters support the main point of the cover essay: they have brought to attention and reminded us once more of both the abortion issue and the existence of the many diseases besides HIV/AIDS that cause premature death and rob society. Some things, as the essay stated, make their presence felt more keenly in their absence than in their