Gabriel Richet was one of the great pioneers of European Nephrology. After a pivotal period of work with Jean Hamburger, whom we owe the name of our discipline, Nephrology, he contributed to all aspects of this specialty and was, in particular, a forerunner in dialysis and in the study of interstitial nephropathies. In this passionate and lucid interview, recorded in Paris in 2010, he describes himself as a "lucky man", able to transform folly in happiness. He does not describe himself as an intellectual, but as a warrior, and closes a detailed history of the early days of European Nephrology with a strong statement of the moral stature a physician should have: he underlines, in line with his strong personality, that a physician is a man able to decide, to give orders and to assume their consequences. However, science and care of human beings cannot exist without a heart. "A doctor is someone who decides; when he writes a prescription, this means he prescribes and takes responsibility. Is it possible to give a prescription and decide regardless of compassion?". In his interview, he commented that this last statement is probably not uniformly agreed, but that he'll always defend it, adds freedom as a moral value that a physician should proudly defend: "Unfortunately I know that many do not share my idea, but that's life. I am like the Queen of Holland, whose motto is: I will maintain!".
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