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Views & Reviews The Best Medicine


BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 29 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5337
  1. Liam Farrell, general practitioner, Crossmaglen, County Armagh
  1. drfarrell{at}

It seemed to taunt me: “I am the eternal abscess. I have been your companion through the ages, adorning both knight and burgher, proud and red and ripe and rampant. Shakespeare immortalised me as ‘imposthume,’ look on my works, ye mighty, and scratch and despair.”

But the sin of Hubris is always punished by Nemesis, just back from a long weekend with Sappho in Lesbos.

“I think we’d better lance this,” I’d said, although this was just foreplay, because …

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