Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Reviews Book

Doctors' Errors and Mistakes of Medicine: Must Health Care Deteriorate?

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 01 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:58

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Sexless orgies of morality ? Then there is hope.

In some parts of the world, including most of the western countries,
the number one cause of death is now recognised as being DOCTORS.
Dr. Goodman mentions an 'orgy of self doubt' making it sound like the
unfortunate and unnecessary blushing of a high school student, something
of a common but temporary aberration.
I have not read the book Dr.Goodman is reviewing but I doubt that the
authors would be very impressed.

If neither the authors nor the real world around him have convinced
Dr. G. that "health care is deteriorating"
then, dear sir, you must surely live on a different planet.

Health Care, technically, is of course a misnomer since Health is not
cared for by Modern Medicine. At best, health can be cared for and
nurtured by the concerned 'owner' of the body and/or by family and
Modern Medicine is in the Disease Business,it is not concerned with the
maintenance of health nor with the prevention of illness per se; if it
were it would put the Disease Business out of business. It is all about
Intervention and that is precisely the root of the deterioration.

If we could take the profit motive out of Medicine I believe that the
downhill course could be reversed, or, to put it another way,
deterioration could possibly be prevented from reaching the state of

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

19 July 2004
Dr. Herbert H. Nehrlich
Private Practice
Bribie Island, Australia 4507