An Intelligent Person's Guide to Medicine
- By: Christopher Martyn
Nietzsche famously diagnosed the death of God more than 100 years ago. Nowadays, even church leaders seem to agree with his diagnosis. The trouble is that, without the consolation of religion and the hope of eternity, it becomes harder to find a meaning to life. According to Dalrymple, man's search for transcendence has degenerated into a self absorbed quest for health. Instead of praying for deliverance from evil, we have become obsessed with avoiding risk.
The title is promising. Even the most intelligent lay person must find it hard to make sense of the conflicting stories about modern medicine. How is he or she supposed to reconcile the rhetoric about the benefits of the human genome project with headlines proclaiming the NHS in crisis or the figures that show a steadily increasing life expectancy with official anxiety about the rising epidemic of obesity? But the promise of the title isn't