Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

A Vivid Illustration of How Medicine Has Changed


This movie clip form the 1950s (Not As A Stranger) depicts Robert Mitchum as a doctor, trying to save the life of an elderly patient another doctor has written off as not worth treating. Mitchum discovers the patient has typhoid fever and saves the day.

Today, the scene would be written completely in the opposite manner. The "do nothing" doctor would be depicted as the hero and the aggressive doctor denigrated as either religious or fanatic. The patient would have Alzheimer's and the sympathy of the audience would be clearly directed on permitting death rather than saving life.

My, how times have changed.

HT: Jerri Ward and Bobby Schindler


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