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[Perspectives] An enduring mission at America’s iconic public hospital

While the debate as to whether health care is a human right continues in the USA, the history of some institutions weighs in with more heft than mere rhetoric. Bellevue Hospital in New York City, which commemorated its 280th anniversary last year, is one of those institutions. In Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital, David Oshinsky traces the hospital’s journey from when it was an almshouse and a pesthouse “to serve as a hospital for the accommodation and relief of such persons afflicted with contagious distempers” to the present day.

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