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Re: America’s sick society

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published in International Herald Tribune on May 10, 2006

Paul Krugman certainly did more than scratch the surface on what might ail Americans as compared with the citizens of other industrial nations (“America’s sick society,” Views, May 6). After being involved with clinical research on a worldwide basis for 30 years, I know that the fundamental difference is that each patient in America is viewed as a profit center.

Health care in the United States is largely a sort of privilege, whereas in Europe it is considered a fundamental right, regardless of one’s economic status. Furthermore, an excessively litigious society compels the widespread use of laboratory procedures often simply to satisfy potential legal problems.

Peter M. Lutterbeck @ January 7, 2008

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