Why me, doctor?

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 13 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:96
  1. Tim Davies

    One of the more difficult and therefore frequently more irritating questions which patients ask me about their diagnoses—often with the pained reflection, “But I've never had it before”—is: “Why have I got it?” More often than not, I do not have the faintest idea. I admit this only in selected cases, since the mere tone of asking the question betokens the patient's restless quest for rationality and a low tolerance for ambiguity. I avoid saying, “Because an enemy has put a curse on you,” but …

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