Medicine: Shameful Deception

After a hard day, the doctor is comfortably settled with pipe & slippers—and the telephone rings. Does he answer the phone? Of course. But in the British Lancet last week, an anonymous doctor revealed a "valued little secret"—a deception not specifically forbidden by the letter of the Hippocratic oath.

"To answer in your own voice is to be left defenceless in case of an unurgent call, and few people can disguise their voices effectively. Now—grip the telephone in your right hand and your nose in your left. 'Is the doctor in?'

" 'I don't think he is, but I'll go and...

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