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July 1975

Panel Session 1

Arch Intern Med. 1975;135(7):933-938. doi:10.1001/archinte.1975.00330070055009

DR. Don Seldin, Moderator, University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas: Last evening and this morning we were confronted with a shattering portrayal of the health scene. We were reminded of the appalling neglect of various segments of the population: people living in the vertical northern slums; those living in sprawling southern slums; people captured in the inner city. We were reminded of how illness and poverty and disenfranchisement were rampant in these areas.

The nature of modern science—impersonal, technologic, mechanical—as a dehumanizing setting for fragile human beings was movingly described and movingly condemned. The absence of humane impulses, implicit in the Chinese injunction—service to the people—was by implication a serious indictment of Western society.

Irrespective of the truth-value of these indictments, it is critical to take cognizance of the fact that these social and cultural failures are identified as failures in the arena of health care. Of all the

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