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February 1963

Teaching and Learning in Medical School

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(2):265-267. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620260125024

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Samuel Butler, in Erewhon, transposed the concepts of crime and sickness. The Erewhonians attached no guilt to crime. When a man stole a pair of socks, his family and friends offered him their sympathy and hoped that he would soon recover from his unfortunate attack of burglary. Indeed, when Mr. Nosnibor defrauded his clients on the stock exchange, he was treated for the condition not only by his family practitioner, but also by one of the most celebrated straighteners of the kingdom, who was called in consultation.

Conversely, the Erewhonians punished illness. If a man became sick, he was charged and might go to jail. Butler described the Erewhonian judge sentencing a man for tuberculosis:

Prisoner at the bar, you have been accused of the great crime of laboring under pulmonary consumption, and after an impartial trial before a jury of your countrymen, you have been found guilty.... The sentence

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