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May 1956

Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation 1930-1955 and Second Report of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, 1950-1954.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;97(5):651-652. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250230147017

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Reviewing reports of foundations generally is not a useful exercise for physicians. These two reports, neatly bound and shrewdly edited, serve as a taking-off point for a consideration of the role which foundations have played and which they might play, not only in American medicine but in the broad field of education and in the affairs of the world at large. There is scarcely any endeavor which may not be forwarded by a foundation. There is no objective for which one cannot bequeath large or small sums. No one has ever calculated the vast sums of money wasted by devoted but misguided zealots bemused by some enthusiastic promoter or tormented by some pathological whim. Such travesties on altruism may be seen particularly where large quantities of wealth accumulate in a short period of time. For reasons not apparent, many established whimsies have been supported by fortunes made by exploitation of

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