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April 1979

Twelve Good Men and a Dog

Author Affiliations

Charing Cross Hospital (Fulham) Fulham Palace Rd London W6 8RF, England

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(4):447. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130040101028

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London.—On Nov 9th, our consultant geriatrician was attacked and nearly murdered. The news spread like wildfire through the hospital, kindling consternation, outrage, and dismay. The response contained all the usual reactions except surprise. Mental sickness is, after all, common and crazy people finish up in hospitals sooner or later. According to the latest United Kingdom figures, psychiatric illness affects one woman in six and one man in nine at some time in their lives. Coming up against a homicidal maniac is just one more occupational hazard of being a doctor. There is little more to be said, but is it really so simple?

This hospital, unlike so many of our antiquated bastions, is a splendid new building of advanced design hardly four years old and is considered something of a showpiece in our ailing Health Service. But for the sour fermentation of industrial strife and the sorry mirage of

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