Medicine: Britain & Barbiturates

Britain, once proud of the epithet "a nation of shopkeepers." is in danger of becoming a nation of barbiturate addicts. At least, so thinks Sir Heneage Ogilvie, one of its most eminent surgeons. About one-tenth of all the 200 million prescriptions written annually by the doctors in the National Health Service are for barbiturates. Half the 545 suicides in 1951 were committed with barbiturates.

Writes Sir Heneage in the Practitioner: "It would not be a particularly difficult produce quite a convincing thesis that the present lackadaisical outlook of the country, so repeatedly castigated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, is a...

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