1906 Journal of the American Medical Association  
must have observations made by a large number of the profession. These analyses of Dr. Holt have largely to do with functional ability. If we can get definite reports from actual cases, in which the earning ability before and after the accident has been ascertained, our estimate of the real impairment of economic ability will be better. Functional ability may contribute to various things, as the comfort and pleasure of the individual, etc., but in this connection it is with reference to
more » ... eference to productive work, and the actual facts can only be settled by the combined experience of the profession. Functional ability is the foundation of the whole subject and must be settled by our united statistics. Some day it will be settled in that way, and if the members of this section will consider the cases that come to their notice in the next year, or the next five years, with reference to this point, there will result a basis of observed facts which will make these formulas of the greatest value. Dr. E. E. Holt, Portland, Me., agreed with Dr. Jackson that the functional ability is the most important element in the problem, but he said further that, as he had shown in the discussion of the formula for the normal earning ability of the body, the functional ability of the body, however perfect, would be of no economic value without the technical and competing ability of the person to go with it and make it useful. It should be demonstrated that the economic value of man can be ascertained as readily as any of the values on which insurance, the first business of the world, is based. With these methods the economic value of a person at any age can be demonstrated to all interested parties, and then a standard has been established for a base on which to compute that person's economic loss when damaged from injury or disease. In a number of cases he has been consulted privately and has figured the problem out according to the methods here presented with so much satisfaction that the cases have been settled out of court. With standard methods of procedure to ascertain the economic value of a person at any age, according to his functional and his net earning ability, that person's present economic value can be readily determined ; and, with the mathematical formula for the normal earning ability of the body, with the requisite data, that person's economic loss can be determined when he has been damaged, in a manner equitable to all concerned. Thus, in a given case, what is right and equitable can be ascertained ; this is of very much more importance than collecting statistics of what is being done under present empirical methods.
doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210030046003 fatcat:e4caqjczbjfgflrggfwdzj7zne