Intended for healthcare professionals

Education And Debate Complexity science

Complexity and clinical care

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7314.685 (Published 22 September 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:685

The strengths of human complexity

Once every few years I read an article with a
combination of clarity of vision, insight and
common-sense which makes me cheer. Thank you for
crystallising my concern that the linearity which
characterises so much thinking in health leads policy
makers, local as well as national, to miss out, fatally,
on the reality of what being a human being means.

What makes us flawed machines is also what makes
us creative and empathic. We have to exploit our
strengths not stifle them in futile attempts to eliminate
our failings.

Judith Harvey

Competing interests: No competing interests

19 October 2001
Judith Harvey
GP non-principal
London