Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice What Your Patient is Thinking

Be brave

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k1299 (Published 28 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k1299

Save the Children

Children are a paradox. Their innocence ensures their honesty, and makes them good lie detectors and truth reporters. This perennial paradox is memorialized in Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, The Emperor's New Clothes, which contrasts the real perception of a child with the surreal self-deception of adults. How ironic that adults must fear and feign the sincerity they once enjoyed as children. To quote Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., "Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children."


Competing interests: No competing interests

28 March 2018
Hugh Mann
Physician
Retired
New York, NY, USA