Medicine in the age of global interdependence

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7333.309 (Published 09 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:309

We must do the hardest thing of all — change ourselves

  1. Richard Smith, editor,
  2. Tessa Richards, assistant editor
  1. BMJ
  2. BMJ

    “The great question of this new century is whether the age of interdependence is going to be good or bad for humanity. The answer depends upon whether we in the wealthy nations spread the benefits and reduce the burdens of the modern world, on whether the poor nations enact the changes necessary to make progress possible, and on whether we all can develop a level of consciousness high enough to understand our obligations and responsibilities to each other.”

    Bill Clinton, 26 January 20021

    “A century of destruction unlike any other befalls and blights the human race — scores of millions of ordinary people condemned to suffer deprivation upon deprivation, atrocity upon atrocity, evil upon evil, half the world or more subjected to pathological sadism as social policy, whole societies organised and fettered by the fear of violent persecution, the degradation of individual life engineered on a scale unknown throughout history, nations broken and enslaved by ideological criminals who rob them of everything, entire populations so demoralised as to be unable to get out of bed in the morning with the minutest desire to face the day … all the terrible touchstones presented by the century, and here they are up in arms about … Monica Lewinsky! … This, in 1998, is the wickedness they have to put up with. This, in 1998, is their torture, their torment, and their spiritual death.”

    Philip Roth, The Human Stain2

    Can we make sense of what is happening in …

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