Archive

Quotes

It is not a case we are treating; it is a living, palpitating, alas, too often suffering fellow creature.

—John Brown, 1904

If a patient is poor, he is committed to a public hospital as “psychotic”; if he can afford the luxury of a private sanitarium, he is put there with the diagnosis of “neurasthenia”; if he is wealthy enough to be isolated in his own home under constant watch of nurses and physicians, he is simply an indisposed “eccentric.”

—Pierre Marie Janet, 1930

Well now, there’s a remedy for everything except death.

—Miguel de Cervantes, 1605

I reckon being ill as one of the greatest pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work until one is better.

—Samuel Butler, 1903

In the name of Hippocrates doctors have invented the most exquisite form of torture ever known to man: survival.

—Luis Buñuel, 1983

A miracle drug is any drug that will do what the label says it will do.

—Eric Hodgins, 1964

The doctor occupies a seat in the front row of the stalls of the human drama, and is constantly watching and even intervening in the tragedies, comedies, and tragicomedies which form the raw material of the literary art.

—W. Russell Brain, 1952

The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man’s body.

—Francis Bacon, 1605

The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown to him.

—Sigmund Freud, 1912

Doctors don’t know everything really. They understand matter, not spirit. And you and I live in spirit.

—William Saroyan, 1943

We have to ask ourselves whether medicine is to remain a humanitarian and respected profession or a new but depersonalized science in the service of prolonging life rather than diminishing human suffering.

—Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, 1969

Let me recommend the best medicine in the world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant country, in easy stages.

—James Madison, 1794

Keep away from physicians. It is all probing and guessing and pretending with them. They leave it to nature to cure in her own time, but they take the credit. As well as very fat fees.

—Anthony Burgess, 1964