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Observations BMJ Confidential

David Owen: researcher into hubris

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 26 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1696

In the latest in its series asking the movers and shakers of the medical world about work, life, and less serious matters, the BMJ spoke to the former health minister and foreign secretary


David Owen, born in Plymouth in 1938, has had a long career at the crossroads of British politics. He was one of the “Gang of Four” who left the Labour Party and established the Social Democratic Party in 1981 but disagreed with the other three over its later decision to merge with the Liberals. A health minister for Labour in the 1970s and later a preternaturally young foreign secretary at the age of 38, Owen trained as a doctor at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. From his cross bench seat in the House of Lords he campaigned vigorously against the 2012 Health and Social …

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