Choice

Ignoring doctors: often advisable

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7202.0a (Published 10 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:a

One of my most vivid memories of treating patients is managing a man in his 50s with congenital hypothyroidism. He presented to us with bilateral pneumonia and respiratory failure. Should we treat him? After a long discussion we decided not to. The next day, when I entered the ward, he was sitting up in bed reading a comic. Dozens of visitors came to see him because he was one of the most popular people in his village. I learnt a lot about the impotence and ignorance of doctors and the …

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