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May 28, 2021

A Clinical Approach to Preventing Death on the Streets

Author Affiliations
  • 1Street Team, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 3Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR), VA Bedford Healthcare System, Bedford, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(7):899-901. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.2402

Every day in cities around the globe, men and women experiencing homelessness lie sick or injured on sidewalks, often inches away from potentially lifesaving help. Yet passersby, even health care professionals, routinely walk past as if they are worlds apart. In the US, adults living on the street have a death rate almost 10 times that of the general population.1 Many people experiencing homelessness literally die on sidewalks.2

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    1 Comment for this article
    Brilliant piece on multiple levels
    Alan Chu, MD FRCPC | University of Calgary
    Brilliant -- simple, easy to use, rational, helps doctors think clearly when distracted by emotional conflicts.

    Brilliant -- subversive commentary on the moral status of physicians, that such a simple lesson still needs to be taught to us in the year 2021.