Book BOOK

Limits to Medicine. Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7342.923 (Published 13 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:923
  1. Richard Smith, editor
  1. BMJ

    Embedded Image

    Rating: Embedded Image


    Embedded Image

    Embedded Image

    Embedded Image

    The closest I ever came to a religious experience was listening to Ivan Illich. A charismatic and passionate man surrounded by the fossils of the academic hierarchy in Edinburgh, he argued that “the major threat to health in the world is modern medicine.” This was 1974. He convinced me, not least because I felt that what I saw on the wards of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh was more for the benefit of doctors than patients. I dropped out of medical school that day. Three days later I dropped back in again, unsure what else to do. Now I'm the editor of the BMJ, which is ironic. Having deserted medicine, I've become a pillar of the …

    View Full Text

    Sign in

    Log in through your institution

    Free trial

    Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
    Sign up for a free trial

    Subscribe