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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Hall of Mirrors

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 17 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1716
  1. Jerry O’Sullivan, retired consultant histopathologist, Chichester, West Sussex

    In Hall of Mirrors a distinguished London physician, Sir Thomas Gilling, sues a professor of surgery for libel. The surgeon’s team has developed a computer aided diagnostic machine, and in a public letter he alleges that Gilling was negligent in declining to use it for a difficult case. The title refers to the fairground exhibit where people see themselves in distorting mirrors—a metaphor for how Gilling is presented by the opposing counsel in court. His own barrister presents him as “the perfection of clinical, scientific and administrative medicine.” To the other side, however, he is “a rigid, inflexible old man, …

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