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Sigmund Freud

A new biographer of Freud sheds some light on conflicts of interest in medicine.

According to Peter Kramer, author of "Sigmund Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind," sometimes the good of Freud's was overridden by self-centered, self-interested and excessive ambition. Kramer talked of a case in which Freud wrecked the lives of two couples in an effort to aggrandize himself.

He was an incompetent diagnostician who set aside well-established nineteenth century categories in favor of theories that were dubious even at the time. He often was lacking in empathy. Didn't see the people before him in an ordinary way. Had no feeling for their problems. The theory was more important than all of that. And so his own ambitions for his own career and theories were pursued at the expense of his patients.

It is important to crack the myth of healthcare professionals being reliable and selfless caretakers of the safety of patients.