The purpose of this article is to prompt quality-of-life researchers to periodically ask themselves why they are doing what they are doing. I will give you my answer to this question, but also briefly review the historic events that lead to the development of the field. Examining this history should teach each of us that the field evolved from the application of a operations research perspective to the medical care system. As such, more attention should be given to the quality control potential of quality-of-life assessments. I suggest two approaches to this quality control task; the prevention of adverse events and the enhancement of the qualitative status of ill persons.