Views & Reviews The Best Medicine


BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 25 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1215
  1. Liam Farrell, general practitioner, Crossmaglen, County Armagh
  1. drfarrell{at}

    In Ireland we have an ancient law that the more obnoxious a relative, the more likely they are to gravitate towards your hearth. My many siblings were quite willing to shoulder their fair share of the burden, but they mysteriously developed a serious and disfiguring infectious disease just as Auntie Josie’s massive orbit was about to degrade into devastating planetfall.

    Auntie Josie’s disposition was not kindly. Her religious begrudgery, in that great tradition stretching from Torquemada to the Taliban, decreed that not only was the glass half empty, some other greedy bastard …

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