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Medicine and War—A Metaphor

Medicine and War—A Metaphor James Childress is a doctor of philosophy and a thoughtful fellow. At a recent meeting, he suggested that war was a metaphor for medicine. Now Dr Childress has a long reputation as a medical ethicist and careful writer about many dilemmas in medicine, but I thought his pronouncement strange. He then related to me examples of the diction of medicine that illustrated his point well. Consider the following examples: We declare WAR on heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Our chief national medical officer is the SURGEON GENERAL who leads the PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE CORPS. Patients suffer from ATTACKS of disease. We LAUNCH investigations by ordering a BATTERY of tests to define the OFFENDING organism or weakness in the body's DEFENSE system. An ARMY of specialists might help us with a COMBINED ATTACK in the STRUGGLE to survive against the RAVAGES of disease. We scour the therapeutic ARMAMENTARIUM to define the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Medicine and War—A Metaphor

JAMA , Volume 249 (15) – Apr 15, 1983

Medicine and War—A Metaphor

Abstract


James Childress is a doctor of philosophy and a thoughtful fellow. At a recent meeting, he suggested that war was a metaphor for medicine. Now Dr Childress has a long reputation as a medical ethicist and careful writer about many dilemmas in medicine, but I thought his pronouncement strange. He then related to me examples of the diction of medicine that illustrated his point well.
Consider the following examples:
We declare WAR on heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
Our chief national medical...
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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1983 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1983.03330390083043
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

James Childress is a doctor of philosophy and a thoughtful fellow. At a recent meeting, he suggested that war was a metaphor for medicine. Now Dr Childress has a long reputation as a medical ethicist and careful writer about many dilemmas in medicine, but I thought his pronouncement strange. He then related to me examples of the diction of medicine that illustrated his point well. Consider the following examples: We declare WAR on heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Our chief national medical officer is the SURGEON GENERAL who leads the PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE CORPS. Patients suffer from ATTACKS of disease. We LAUNCH investigations by ordering a BATTERY of tests to define the OFFENDING organism or weakness in the body's DEFENSE system. An ARMY of specialists might help us with a COMBINED ATTACK in the STRUGGLE to survive against the RAVAGES of disease. We scour the therapeutic ARMAMENTARIUM to define the

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Apr 15, 1983

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