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In Karel Capek’s play R.U.R. the lifelike robots derive from ‘rozum’
(reason) although in the end they also develop compassion. Within the
operating theatre, I am glad that both Darzi and Cobb  recognise the
enhancement robots could offer to surgery.
If only really useful robots could be developed for Health Policy,
then Departments of Health and the World Health Organisation could benefit
from that victorious element of the original Odyssey, ‘metis’.
Metis is the intelligent use of calculation to adapt to challenging
circumstances! Metis is not swayed by prejudice, political fashion or
superstition. This wisdom arrives from diverse messengers and integrates
the most timely information available, to help Odysseus and his family
reach reasonable and truly life-saving decisions. Odysseus the King is a
model for our storm-tossed policy-makers: after many disasters he learns
humility as a beggar, then regains his perspective on social justice and
starts translating expert knowledge to practical actions. Finally, after
so many years of death and dismay, the compassion shared across King,
People and Gods does allow peace to reign.
 Darzi A. Sci-fi medicine: an odyssey. BMJ 2009;339:b4312