Views And Reviews

The cruelty of false hope

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 25 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1723
  1. J R Petrie

    Among claims made in an article in the Times for the efficacy of essential fatty acids in treating osteoporosis, restenosis after angioplasty, and human immunodeficiency virus was a claim of “impressive results in delaying death in patients suffering from pancreatic tumours.” A friend of my fiance's family was recently diagnosed as having pancreatic carcinoma with hepatic metastases and is now in a hospice. My future father in law telephoned me in a state of some excitement. He is not a medical man, but claimed a healthy scepticism: “95% chance that it's a load of cobblers, …

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