Views & Reviews Drug Tales and Other Stories

A bee in the bonnet about honey and healing

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 15 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5015
  1. Robin Ferner, Director
  1. 1West Midlands Centre for Adverse Drug Reactions, Birmingham City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH, UK
  1. R.E.Ferner{at}

The editor’s advice to authors can be forthright: “We can assure [him] that we are doing him infinite service by recommending him to restrain his too fluent pen. He is only compromising his position and losing his friends by rushing into fiery print on every possible occasion.”1 The object of this reproach was not me (or Des Spence), but the redoubtable Birmingham surgeon Joseph Sampson Gamgee.2 His tirades were sometimes well directed, as when he condemned the army’s punishment for desertion: branding …

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