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Views & Reviews Between the Lines

One of the awkward squad

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 12 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1381
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

Prosecutions of doctors for manslaughter have been rising, but they are not entirely new. Indeed, the prosecution of Dr Hadwen of Gloucester, in 1924, was a cause célèbre not only in Britain but throughout the world.

Dr Hadwen was a prominent vegetarian, antivivisectionist and antivaccinationist and the founder, with William Tebb (author of Leprosy and Vaccination), of the London Association for the Prevention of Premature Burial. He was the model for Doctor Therne, Rider Haggard’s pro-vaccination exemplar, and he was much admired by George Bernard Shaw, who called him “the terrible Hadwen” on account of the supposed iron irrefutability of his arguments.

Dr Hadwen …

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