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March 25, 2019

Unseen Trauma—Our Responsibility to Discover

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(5):609. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.0234
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    1 Comment for this article
    Unseen Trauma and the Bystander Effect
    Joel Brown, MD | University of Hawaii
    Dr. Foote describes the real difficulties physicians encounter when confronted with patients suffering from domestic abuse. He includes a description of the bystander effect—a term psychologists created after the infamous 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese in New York City during which 38 people failed to intervene to stop the attack. However, the 2007 article he cites by Manning and colleagues (1) casts serious doubt about the accuracy of the murder story, and does not support the validity of the “bystander effect.”


    1, Manning R, Levine M, Collins A. The Kitty Genovese murder and the social psychology of
    helping. Am Psychol. 2007;62(6):555-562.