Medicine, as physician and literary scholar Abraham Fuks has pointed out, often borrows language from the military. Patients “battle” cancer, which “invades” bodily tissues, hoping for a “magic bullet.” Similarly, doctors, unlike lawyers, architects, and accountants, give “orders.” The implication seems to be that while a person who rejects advice from any other sort of professional is a discriminating consumer, someone who fails to follow a doctor’s orders is foolish, self-destructive, or even insubordinate.
Why patients don’t always follow doctor’s orders
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