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DECENCY AND SAFETY AS PUBLIC HEALTH FACTORS

CHARLES E. NORTH, M.D.
JAMA. 1917;LXIX(15):1214-1217. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590420006002.
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ABSTRACT

The detached point of view is often mentioned in modern literature as the property of a few select minds. To be impersonal, to get away from detail, and especially to get away from the narrow point of view of the specialist, is extremely difficult in this age of specialization. The strongest objection that can be raised against specialization is that it anchors the mind in a narrow channel, and creates habits of thought that prevent the specialist from estimating the value of even his own specialty.

The truly scientific point of view should be sufficiently detached to see the relation that things bear to each other in their true proportion. It should be close enough to recognize clearly the character of the data available on special subjects, and distant enough to make a comparison of values. The correct balance must be one that does not overestimate or underestimate.

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