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April 4, 1966

Mr. Shaw on Doctors

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, New York.

JAMA. 1966;196(1):67-69. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100140121032

When the eminent playwright George Bernard Shaw was beginning to age, he wrote a play called Back to Methuselah which he considered to be his masterpiece since in it he portrayed his idea of Utopia. The elite characters in this play lived to be 300 years old and all were brilliant conversationalists just like the author. They apparently did little else but converse. An aging man is likely to regard young adults as mere children. Shaw at this time believed that a proper adolescence lasted 78 years and that a man could not become an adult unless he turned 100.

However, when the great dramatist reached his 90's he seems to have lost his zest for a three-century life span. In fact, he lost his enthusiasm for most of the opinions that he had propounded during his career. But his antagonism towards doctors persisted. In the preface to Far Fetched

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