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I am sure that readers of the BMJ have a favourite section that they
turn to first each Friday (I have heard that this is most commonly the
Obituaries). Increasingly I first turn to Theodore Dalrymples' 'Between
the lines'. I enjoy both the breadth and depth of his knowledge of
literature and its interactions with doctors and disease.
Imagine my disappointment when I hastily turned to his piece of the
29th October and as I read it gradually realised that it was strangely
familiar . On checking this I found it was the same piece that was
published in the BMJ on the 24th May 2008.
Who is to be blamed and shamed for this? The author? The editor? Or
more likely a humble administrator? I don’t like our blame culture so I
will assume it is a 'systems error' and we can all learn a valuable
lesson. However it is I who am the victim here having lost the insights of
Dr Dalrymple for a week. What, I ask, will be my compensation?
No competing interests
19 November 2008
Scott G Fraser
Sunderland Eye Infirmary, Queen Alexandra Road, Sunderland, SR2 9HP