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'Laughter Is Not Enough'

July 06, 1985

Laughter would be inappropriate to describe my reaction (and that of many colleagues) to your editorial. Frankly, it saddens and enrages me that such a poorly designed--or rather, contrived--study received such prominence in the medical literature, and then agreement from The Times.

For example, look at the patients selected in the study. In the authors' words, "the expected median survival for patients in these diagnostic categories is less than one year." This is quite a different situation from that of the slowly progressive, usually non-fatal disease that had struck Norman Cousins.

As a physician who believes from my highest sense of intuition and from the depths of my soul that the mind and body are rather inextricably interwoven in health as well as in disease, I proudly proclaim that I shall continue my belief in positive thinking to help others help themselves.

I shall also continue to think positively that within our lifetimes, more and more practitioners shall see this, ultimately key, light of human essence.

MARK KATZ MD

Los Angeles

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