Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Troubled hearts

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 15 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3644
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

It sometimes seems as if the respect given to doctors, or at least to doctors’ orders, is inversely proportional to the state of medical knowledge. The more we know (as a profession, I mean, not as individuals), the less uncritically we are believed.

The best known book of Ford Hermann Hueffer (1873–1939), who changed his name to the less Germanic sounding Ford Madox Ford, was The Good Soldier. It is an exceedingly complex love story, first published in 1915, and is more eternal octagon than triangle. It would be an excellent intellectual exercise to summarise it in, say, 30 words, but I won’t even try.

However, heart disease, or alleged heart …

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