Ivan Dominic Illich (; 4 September 1926 – 2 December 2002) was a 20th century polymath, polyglot, philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, theologian, historian, polemic, teacher, writer, and critic of the institutions of modern Western culture. Illich himself wished to be known as a friend.
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The compulsion to do good is an innate American trait. Only North Americans seem to believe that they always should, may, and actually can choose somebody with whom to share their blessings. Ultimately this attitude leads to bombing people into the acceptance of gifts.
We look for medicine to be an orderly field of knowledge and procedure. But it is not. It is an imperfect science, an enterprise of constantly changing knowledge, uncertain information, fallible individuals, and at the same time lives on the line. There is science in what we do, yes, but also habit, intuition, and sometimes plain old guessing. The gap between what we know and what we aim for persists. And this gap complicates everything we do.