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advice to doctors

Galen gives a very modern warning to surgeons contemplating an operation, almost as if he foresees the age of massive claims for medical negligence:

'In surgery we are sometimes forced to cut even the muscles, on account of deep-lying abscesses. And it is most useful to learn their function, so that in the case of extensive injuries, where a whole muscle has been cut across, we may know beforehand what function is lost.

By forecasting this you will avoid being blamed by censorious individuals, who are in the habit of referring loss of function to the doctor's treatment and not to the original injury.'

Quoted Ira Rutkow Surgery, 1993, page 41

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