Letter from an unknown employee of the American Medical Association to C. Everett Koop
NOTE: The second page is missing from the original document.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (88,020 Bytes)
1981-05-13 (May 13, 1981)
American Medical Association
Koop, C. Everett
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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Congenital Birth Defects and the Medical Rights of Children: The "Baby Doe" Controversy
Letter from C. Everett Koop to Hannah Hedrick, American Medical Association (April 7, 1981)
Letter from C. Everett Koop to David E. Rogers, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (April 22, 1981)
Thank you so much for sending me the two prints of paintings done by Joni Eareckson for consideration as cover art for the
Journal of the American Medical Association. Unfortunately, I erred when I informed your office that Theresa Southgate, MD,
had selected "New Life" and that we would need a transparency of the work in order to prepare the cover. I was informed
on May 6 that a final decision was made not to use Ms. Eareckson's work.
It is unfortunate that we are missing the opportunity, pointed out in your letter, to remind physicians of the potential of
persons with disabling conditions. I feel that it is even more unfortunate that physicians will not be provided with an opportunity
to be exposed to Ms. Eareckson's work on its own merits, thereby missing the aesthetic experience of participating in
the organic relationship that exists between a fine work of art and the viewer/participator.
Physicians and other JAMA readers have many opportunities to see the works of the "masters." but unfortunately, works
by persons with disabling conditions are not currently adequately "mainstreamed." That time is undoubtedly coming,
and I am sure there will be future opportunities to submit candidates for JAMA covers. In the meantime, Ms. Eareckson's
works will continue to make a significant aesthetic and social contribution by enlarging the artistic and humanistic sensitivities
of those who see her work.
A delightful result of this temporary setback is that it caused me to rethink objectives and alternate means of accomplishing
them. I am currently involved in assisting allied health organizations and medical specialty societies responding to Newsletter
materials in utilizing existing resources to promote the International Year of Disabled Persons, but I had completely overlooked
recommending that these groups feature works of art by persons with disabling conditions. The cover of JAMA seemed like such
an ideal "window" that it didn't occur to me that lots of little windows can let in as much light as one large
window . . .