A slippery slopeBMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c4152 (Published 04 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4152
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
Many writers have been doctors; some have been medical students who never qualified; yet others contemplated medicine as a career but chose otherwise. In the third group is Shusako Endo, a Japanese novelist. He chose to study French literature instead of medicine.
One of his most powerful novels is The Sea and Poison, about a young doctor in wartime Japan who, through being too weak to refuse, takes part in a murderous experiment on an American prisoner to find out how much of the lung can be cut away before death ensues.
The book was published in 1958, well before the scale of Japanese forced …