The Public Interest

Charitable prescriptions

Heather R. Higgins

Spring 1995

CHARITY is never a simple matter, as James T. Bennett and Thomas J. DiLorenzo demonstrate in Unhealthy Charities: Hazardous to Your Health and Wealth.† The authors look at the practices of health charities by examining in detail the operations of the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Lung Association (ALA), and the American Heart Association (AHA). They contrast these public paragons with the recently disgraced United Way of America and, in reviewing the particulars of the various organizations’ practices, conclude that what may be rotten is not necessarily a particular organization but the environment in which such organizations operate. 

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