Mortality Versus Quality of Life

  • R. Rychlik
Conference paper


In all countries which, by virtue of their economic development, have been able increasingly to utilize scientific findings to the advantage of their inhabitants, the general death rate (mortality), or crude death rate, has steadily declined over the course of this century. Constantly accelerating technical progress has drawn medicine’s attention to this new technology itself and has, in a sense, made medicine dependent upon it as far as its power of judgment is concerned. This progress, which was made possible by a very mechanical and physiological way of looking at diseases, has also led to a distrust or neglect of information which is not produced by an analytical laboratory. This way of looking at things was supported by the success of formal experimental studies, without recognizing that artificially created study conditions no longer had anything to do with the real, uncontrolled process of patient care. Mortality, as a ratio of the number of deaths to the total population over a fixed period of time, thus soon became a standard measure for medical findings and types of treatment. As long ago as 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as a state of physical, psychological, and social well-being and not only as an absence of illness. Over the past few years, there has been an increasingly intensive discussion on the evaluation criteria for medical measures, which has improved the WHO definition in many respects. The exclusive consideration of symptoms and rate of survival was criticized, and, in accordance with the WHO definition of health, a consideration, not only of patients’ physical, but also their psychological and social, well-being, i. e., their quality of life in the broadest sense, was called for.


Cardiovascular Mortality Mortality Trend Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Chaemic Heart Disease Exclusive Consideration 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

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  • R. Rychlik

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