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The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

In Monday's editorial, "Live Modern," your excellent comments on smoking and lung cancer were marred by an ill-considered and overly-broad indictment of the AMA. You said that it seemed unlikely that the AMA would "take time off from its arduous lobbying duties to support a cause which, after all, will only save lives." Even though I am one of the most outspoken critics in my class at the medical school of the AMA's persistent and extreme economic short-sightedness, I can not let such a sweeping statement pass unchallenged. The most ardent liberal in the medical profession would not advocate that the AMA stop publishing its dozen excellent journals, or examining each year's crop of candidates for the M.D. degree, or establishing health standards for hospitals, or advising government agencies on ways of legislating to insure or improve the health of the community. Thoughtful liberals outside the medical profession will also realize that the largest part of the AMA's activities, mostly carried out quietly and efficiently, are useful to society. I would certainly not defend the AMA from criticism on either its King-Anderson stand or its lack of vigorous action against the glorification of cigarettes; I would only ask that such criticism be made fairly. Stephen D. Howard, 3 Med.

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