In a sweary episode, we begin by talking about the peculiarities of those who threaten to sue Goldacre for libel, and the way quacks will create misleading statistics. Then via Nick’s desire for robot doctors, we discuss whether doctors are obliged to tell the truth to their patients, how new technology may change the role of doctors in diagnosis, and the potential for conflicts of interest depending upon how doctors are paid. And Nick lets John speak after the first half hour.
We ponder the potential privatisation of the NHS, and the impact that may have on patients and doctors, what happens when you privatise blood donation, and in turn, the nature of an altruistic act. We ask what doctors should be doing with drugs they know don’t perform better than placebo, even if they appear to help patients.