Medicine And The Media

The tragedy of errors

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 15 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1549
  1. Helmut Karcher

    In a documentary forming part of its series Gesundheitsmagazin Praxis (Health Magazine Medical Practice) German ZDF TV traced the history of bovine spongiform encephalopathy from 1985, when the first three cases were detected in Kent, to the present, when BSE has definitely become an affliction of the grey matter of European Union politicians.

    To establish its thesis that the BSE story was a tragedy of errors from its very beginning and that its outcome is all but certain, the programme interviewed several British, Swiss, and German scientists engaged in studies of spongiform encephalopathies. It also included shots of patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)—pictures familiar to British television viewers, …

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