Editorial comment1 on United States infant and maternal mortality rates in The Journal opened with this significant statement: "Maternal mortality rates of the United States have been reported and discussed for several years apparently to conjure conclusions designed to throw discredit on the medical profession." I agree with the Editor that such conclusions have been drawn. I submit the record made by North Dakota physicians to prove, for my state at least, that they are fallacious.
North Dakota held the enviable position of having the lowest maternal mortality rate in the United States for 1938, 2.4 per thousand live births. The provisional rate for 1939 is 2.3. In a report2 to the North Dakota State Medical Association I stated: "The problem of maintaining this low rate or even of lowering it still further is our problem as private practitioners. I believe that the private physician in North Dakota