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Jelliffe, S.E. (1940). American Medicine. Expert Testimony out of Court: By Esther Everett Lape, et al. New York: The American Foundation, 1937, 2 vols., 678 pp. and 757 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 9:121-123.

(1940). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 9:121-123

American Medicine. Expert Testimony out of Court: By Esther Everett Lape, et al. New York: The American Foundation, 1937, 2 vols., 678 pp. and 757 pp.

Review by:
Smith Ely Jelliffe

Here in 1435 pages, in two bindings, is offered a chosen series of answers which 2100 physicians of the United States made to a general questionnaire concerning what is right or wrong in the practice of medicine, as limited or circumscribed by the questionnaires in question.

The questionnaires in general dealt with standards of education, adequacy of treatment, improved methods of therapy, problems of fees, costs, hospital and other agencies, etc., all with a certain bias towards some sort of state medicine, using the term in its widest application. At least for the present reviewer this general ideology is seen throughout the inquiry. It is merely raised as a problem however and not insisted on as a solution.

The work is so large and deals with so many generalizations derived from other generalizations that it defies any further generalization which a reviewer, apart from his own bias, might hope to set down in these pages for a special class of readers. Can any generalization be formulated, for instance, concerning what is adequate therapy? Of what, of whom, by whom, under what circumstances? No number of answers to such a general mode of approach, we submit, can amount to anything.


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