Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: modern medicine

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 28 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2346
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

More medicine should never be conflated with better medicine, because today developed countries are suffering a contagion of iatrogenic harm. Why has this happened? Profit is the poison at the heart of the problem, spawning health anxiety and unnecessary intervention. This phenomenon is taking grip in emerging economies, like those of China and India, with the new middle classes subjected to unnecessary medical interventions.

Screening is presented as best practice. But regular general health screening “check ups” have no scientific basis, serving only to highlight unimportant minor abnormalities, …

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