The shrinking family

Janet McCalman

“The most remarkable human achievement of the past 200 years has been the conquest of premature death. It has been a task of great complexity, drawing on political and economic changes, safe water, improved food supply and distribution, government regulation, medical and technological advance, the spread of literacy, the emancipation of women, the moral struggle against discrimination in all forms, revolutions in communication and connection, and above all, changes in human expectations and values. Its complexity defeats mono-causal explanations such as medical innovation or public health interventions, and it remains one of the great historical puzzles …”

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