Views & Reviews From the frontline

The poverty of expectation

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 15 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:588
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow (

    My father went bankrupt in 1972. The times were different then, and personal bankruptcy was neither commonplace nor a mere social inconvenience. My family was sent tumbling down into a black financial abyss. We fell, but rather than hit the bottom, we were caught in a safety net—the welfare state. This educated me, fed me, clothed me, housed me, paid for my university education, and supported my studies. A debt of gratitude to society lives with me everyday. There is nothing that I would not do to protect our welfare state—for me it is …

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