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Chekhov's bottle

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 09 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:645

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  1. Colin Douglas, doctor and novelist
  1. Edinburgh

    A hundred years ago there was a fine tradition in German and Russian medicine: a piece of professional etiquette of which I knew nothing until I came across it in Donald Rayfield's excellent Anton Chekhov: a Life.

    In July 1904 at a spa town in Germany, Chekhov, in the last stages of tuberculosis, was wasted, weak, and breathless. Evicted from the best hotel because his desperate coughing distressed other guests, he was dying in a modest boarding house.

    He received …

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