Magazine article Humane Health Care International

Pair of Worthies (John O. Godden and Dimitrios G. Oreopoulos)

Magazine article Humane Health Care International

Pair of Worthies (John O. Godden and Dimitrios G. Oreopoulos)

Article excerpt

We now come upon a group of worthies . . . whose connection with the famous Lunar Society shed a lustre upon the history of Birmingham, while it increases considerably the reverence which every true Birmingham man has for the name of Soho.

Matthew Boulton . . . when at home took pleasure in gathering about him persons of kindred tastes and pursuits, . . . to cultivate his nature by intercourse with minds of the highest culture. Hence the friendships . . . for Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Small, Dr. Darwin, Josiah Wedgewood, Thomas Day, Lovell Edgeworth, and others equally eminent; out of which . . . grew the famous Lunar Society.

The members met once a month, by turns at each other's houses, always at the full of the moon, in order that distant members might drive home by moonlight [from Samual Smiles' Lives of Boulton and Watt. London: John Murray, 1869]. (1)

That was over 200 years ago. We now come upon another pair of worthies--Dimitrios Oreopoulos and John Godden--who took pleasure in gathering about them persons of kindred tastes and pursuits, to publish a journal which would cultivate intercourse with minds of the highest culture. They called it Humane Medicine and, as long as organized medicine provided the wherewithal, it seemed all plain sailing. But then came the time when "downsizing" was the order of the day, and "needs-based planning," and "controlling physician numbers and expenditures" (2) took precedence over "humane" medicine. So our two worthies, with their group of "kindred tastes and pursuits," went "international," switched from "medicine" to "health care" and invited patients as well as professionals of every colour and persuasion to take part in the dialogue. …

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