April 1964

The Paradox of the Well-Intentioned Enemies of Medical Research

Author Affiliations


Arch Surg. 1964;88(4):511-514. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310220001001

There are those who seem to have an abiding memory of their first violent moment outside the womb, when the doctor held them upside down by the feet and spanked them. Either forgetting or never knowing the purpose of this obstetrical routine, they continue in adult life to hold this event against all doctors—and maybe they are right—they shouldn't have breathed. This is only one explanation for the existence of a strange group of people who have created an American paradox. That is, they willingly, almost anxiously, spend immense amounts of time and money to fight for measures which are against their own general welfare and to fight against measures which are in their own general interest.

Someone has said, "If there were no problems there would be no need for people," and so it may be a jest of the gods that the types of persons I have just

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