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As a family doctor with 40 years in medicin, I felt a little hurt by
the concluding paragraf in David Woottons commentary.
Philosophically it is of course true, that you cannot view anything
in any other light than your own. But even your own light may spread over
a longer time.
I know of no evidence that Hippocrates killed more than he cured. We
know more about the medicines of Galen, og some of them were rather
But that is not the point. I know that in my earlier days in
medicine, I have administered treatments and medications that in todays
view were harmfull and might even have lead to a shorter life. But at the
time it was the best we knew.
In the same trend, I am convinced, that some of the treatmenst I
administer today, will show up as harmfull to future doctors. But it is
the best I know.
And I dont like the epitaph: "He killed more than he cured".
That's not how I see my self and my work. So I like to "understand the
past in its own terms".