[Skip to Navigation]
September 1987


Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(9):948. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460090025015

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The ugliest kind of untruthfulness in children occurs when they accuse one another. The problem is to find a scapegoat. Here a great mistake in rearing children is committed. Punishing a scapegoat is a pointless revenge and constitutes a new wrong.

The Son of a Servant August Strindberg, 1886

The yearly influx of newly minted physicians to our hospitals has led me to reflect on a physician behavior that is so elusive and ingrained that I cannot completely define or change it in this brief note. Even the origin of the word is clouded. In the Mosaic ritual of atonement (Lev 16:8), a goat symbolically invested with the sins of all the people was released into the wilderness to appease Azazel, an evil spirit. A medieval mistranslation of "Azazel's goat," rendered as "escaped goat," is the root of scapegoat, defined as one who is blamed or punished for another's shortcomings

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
Add or change institution