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The C. Everett Koop Papers

Letter from C. Everett Koop to Robert P. Losey, California Pediatric Center pdf (66,152 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from C. Everett Koop to Robert P. Losey, California Pediatric Center
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (66,152 Bytes)
1982-08-17 (August 17, 1982)
Koop, C. Everett
Losey, Robert P.
California Pediatric Center
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Health Care Costs
Home Care Services
Respiration, Artificial
Exhibit Category:
Congenital Birth Defects and the Medical Rights of Children: The "Baby Doe" Controversy
Box Number: 16
Folder Number: 6
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Sequential Files
Folder: August 1982
Aug 17 1982
Dear Dr. Losey:
As Dodie Livingston has probably told you by this time she sent me a copy of your letter to her of March 19th. I have been in pediatric surgery for the last thirty-six years and have watched the escalating cost of care and even though I consider every human life precious enough to be worth it, I recognize that there has to come an end to technological advance and that we will not always have an "infinite" system in which to practice medical economics.
If you do come to Washington, as you hinted, I would be most happy to sit down and chat with you. You might be interested to know that we will be having a Surgeon General's Conference on certain aspects of this very subject in Philadelphia, probably in December.
Long before Katie Beckett came to the attention of the President, my colleagues and I had gotten seventeen respirator dependent children out of hospitals into their homes, which not only is cheaper but also a much better quality of life for the child, siblings and parents. Just considering respirator care alone, if the 253 respirator dependent children in Pennsylvania (four hours or more per day) were treated in intensive care units, the aggregate cost per year would be $7,000,000. The same care could be provided at home for about $180,000. You would be most welcome at the meeting in December, although I regret that we cannot offer to pay your expenses.
Do keep in touch.
Very sincerely yours,
C. Everett Koop, M.D.
Surgeon General
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