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    Dr Margaret McCartney in her book ‘ The Patient Paradox’ argues we should concentrate resources on people who are ill. Over a decade ago, I read an article in the Independent which claimed that regular CT body scans were the way to stay well. At first glance, it sounded perfect – why wouldn’t you want to have preventative healthcare, spotting problems before you even knew about them? How clever, to want to pick up health problems at such an early stage – how could I object? At that time, I had been reading up on the science of mammography screening. […]
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    When doctors began to measure their work, they measured what they saw and did, not what they didn’t see and there­fore couldn’t do. Cobblers don’t assess their work by count­ing barefoot children; like other entrepreneurs, doctors perceived their customers, not the population as a whole. In 1966, before immunization against rubella (German measles) was available and abortion was legal only if a mother’s life was in danger, I was consulted by a 42-year-old woman with an unplanned and unwanted sixth pregnancy. There were no reasonable grounds for abortion, though that is what I would have recommended, and what she would […]
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    Fabian occasional paper 8  This paper is based on the sixth Somerville Hastings memorial lecture delivered at Ruskin College, Oxford on the 7 March  1974 by Sir Richard Doll, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. The lecture was endowed by the Socialist Medical Association. This   pamphlet,   like  all  publications  of  the   Fabian   Society, represents not the collective view of the Society but only the view of the  individual who prepared it.   Fabian Society,  11 Dartmouth Street, London SW1H 9BN. November 1974  ISBN 7163 3008 3 INTRODUCTION Few people who were not members of the organisations in which Somerville Hastings worked can have any appreci­ation of […]
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