The Doctor’s Dilemma – George Bernard Shaw

Jun 16

This play is by George Bernard Shaw.  The dilemma: Who should receive medical care?  This is the question that faces Dr. Ridgeon.  In the early 1900s, he is lauded for finding a cure for tuberculosis.  The problem: there is only a finite amount of the medicine needed.  So….do you help out the hot woman who begs you to help her husband who is a gifted artist (and kind of a d-bag), or do you come to the aid of a colleague who has no cash?   The question of who “deserves” medical care is still just as important today as it was 100 years ago.  The doctors friends all argue their own specific viewpoint;  BB goes for rest and relaxation and whatever meds are available, and Walpole wants to perform surgery on everyone; according to him we all pretty much suffer from blood-poisoning.  Walpole smacks of modern day cosmetic surgeons.  George Bernard Shaw put a spotlight on a problem that still exists today:  Who gets treatment…those who can afford it?  And who gets to make that decision??

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