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Reviews Book

Don't Fence Me In. From Curse to Cure: Leprosy in Modern Times

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 16 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1453
  1. Bhushan Kumar, professor of dermatology (
  1. department of dermatology, venereology, and leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

    Don't Fence Me In is an account of the recent history of what many people still regard as a mysterious disease. Tony Gould tells the story of the anguished, fettered soul of a leprosy patient longing to be liberated. Fortunately today, after centuries of terrible existence, it stands almost completely free. This has been achieved through the untiring efforts of committed missionaries, social workers, epidemiologists, microbiologists, leprologists, reconstructive surgeons, and above all the patients themselves, who rose up from a “living hell.”

    Embedded Image

    Tony Gould



    pp 420

    ISBN 0 7475 7510 X

    Rating:Embedded ImageEmbedded ImageEmbedded ImageEmbedded Image

    Gould's narrative contains vivid accounts of the family life and suffering of people with leprosy, and of how complete ignorance about the disease created morbid fear in people's minds and an extreme degree of leprophobia. These accounts reveal the human tragedy of leprosy. They are heart rending, overwhelming at times, and are aptly summed up as follows: “Leprosy has stood as the most fearful of the human afflictions… Leprosy was not …

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