Views And Reviews

A cruel practice experienced

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 11 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1577
  1. H Keszler

    The year was 1953, the place a small town in Bohemia. It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday in May. Suddenly three shots rang out from the attic of the surgeon's house. The first two in quick succession, the third about five seconds later. In the small county hospital preparations for surgery started only minutes later. By then a second nurse and an orderly were also heading for the hospital on their bicycles. The chief (and only fully qualified) surgeon arrived in his small car soon after the others and immediately proceeded to the surgical ward, where the resident and the general practitioner were already waiting for him. The emergency had not been caused by the shooting. The shots were fired from the attic by the surgeon's wife as a signal for the doctor to return immediately from his favourite pastime, hunting. The general practitioner told the surgeon about the patient's medical history and findings as well as his reasons for sending the patient to the hospital for surgery without delay. The resident added his own observations and basic laboratory …

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