Category Archives: New England Journal of Medicine

No China, no North Korea…

The fate of Mussolini

…and no North Korea, Kim Jong-un hanged from the nearest lamp-post.

Certainly, says Dalrymple, there will be no more men

standing behind Kim and taking down his precious words in their notebooks. (On hospital visits, not a word of that wisdom must be lost for posterity; when Kim speaks, the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine are redundant.)

There will be no more men

taking notes of the pearls of medical wisdom and advice that fall from Kim’s lips.

There will be no more notebooks at the ready,

taking down Kim’s immortal vapourings.

There wil be no more

guidance for orthopædic surgeons on how to treat the injured.

There will be no more of this on the great day of the fall of the North Korean tyranny.

Pearls of medical wisdom and advice fall from the lips of the Supreme Leader (and behind him, in the display cabinet, adequate supplies of liquor — the reward of eloquence)

Food sensitivity as a mark of sensitivity in general

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 12.34.44Dalrymple comes across a couple of papers in the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting that food avoidance very early in life promotes food sensitivity rather than prevents it.

He comments:

You are right to be worried if you are worried. On the other hand, you are right not to be worried if you are not worried.

Important information for torturers

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 13.17.38Dalrymple writes that experiments reported in the New England Journal of Medicine

offer the hope, perhaps illusory, that brain imaging techniques might one day distinguish between real and severe pain on the one hand from exaggerated or false pain on the other.

Fæcal physick

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 09.06.07Dalrymple comments on a cloacal cure:

I had fondly supposed that medicine had passed what Freud would have called the anal stage. Here is a case in which rationality must overcome revulsion. The raw material is abundant and cheap and not, I presume, under patent.

The pusillanimity of the New England Journal of Medicine

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 09.09.57Dalrymple writes:

The NEJM does not want to court unpopularity, or notoriety, by suggesting that millions of parents are failing their children. It is safer, from the point of view of gaining the esteem of the intelligentsia and of avoiding censure, to blame those in authority or large corporations.


to absolve ordinary people of blame for the obesity of their children is to deny them agency as full human beings. Far from being respectful of ordinary people, it is condescending. They are but putty in the hands of television companies and the food industry. If the only mentionable locus of responsibility for the diet of children is the government, we have accepted the premise of totalitarianism.