Reyburn McClellan, M.D.
JAMA. 1932;98(14):1205. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730400083030.
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To the Editor:  —The editorial "Saver of Mothers" (The Journal, March 12, p. 891) is splendid. Years ago a statement was made, and it has been repeated thousands of times, that the maternal mortality rate of the United States is higher than that of any other civilized country—seventeen civilized countries are mentioned. This seems so impossible and preposterous that it should be questioned. The first premise to investigate is: Are the statistics of different countries absolutely comparable?There is ground for a difference of opinion concerning the need for isolation of obstetric from other patients.If there is a really higher maternal mortality rate in the United States, it is up to the obstetricians to look into the cause.If one obstetrician or one hospital has a higher maternal mortality rate than another, the causes should be studied by their peers, that is, by competent obstetricians assisted by a statistician.


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