Intended for healthcare professionals


Western medicine: a confidence trick driven by the drug industry?

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 03 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:h

Might Western medicine be a confidence trick driven by the drug industry, wonders Minerva (p 288). She is quoting Phil Hammond—doctor, broadcaster, stand up comedian, satirist, and trainee guru. Any who are offended by the impertinence of the question might do well to reflect on the value of satirists. Long after 99.9% of 18th century Dublin physicians have been forgotten, the writings of their theological colleague Jonathan Swift are known across the world. “Satire,” wrote Swift, “is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.”

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