Eat five portions of fruit and veg, drink eight glasses of water, exercise five times a week... these figures grab our attention, but do the numbers really add up?
In the mid-60s, the psychiatrist Charles Hofling wanted to know more about the way nurses and doctors interact with one another, so he devised an experiment, in a real hospital. While on duty, the nurses would receive a telephone call from a doctor, who ordered them to give a 20mg dose of medicine to a patient. The doctor said he'd sign the paperwork when he got in. Despite clear instructions on the bottle of medicine that explained a 20mg dose could be fatal, 21 out of 22 nurses were prepared to give the drug. And none of them had met the doctor who made the call.