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August 1983

Laypersons and Medicine

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(8):808-809. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140340088031

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Sir.—In reading the January issue of the Journal, I came across the letter "What You Don't Know" (1983;137:86) by one James William Johnson relative to what the layperson should know about medicine.

I was dismayed, nay appalled, by the subversive and obstructive attitude of a man who is a member of the English department in a neighboring university. What is more, I fear for the poor fellow's safety, for the medical establishment may well take out a contract on his life for uttering such heresy in public. I would not like to see him stuffed in the trunk of a car suffering from acute rigor mortis.

Medicine is a multibillion dollar industry that must not be tampered with, for else the country would fall into total economic chaos. We already must cope with an excess number of physicians, empty hospital beds, and unemployed paramedical professionals. If we were to