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    #1

    Could they be OR Could they not be

    I was listening to an NPR show about health care and it was ok until I got to this part where I confused

    RELMAN: Ira, I agree with much of what my friends, Dr. Topol and Dr. Tuckson, are saying. But I would point out to your listeners that it's a matter of balance. I don't see what Eric calls a creative destruction of medicine. Medicine's not going to be destroyed. Medicine will continue to play an important role, and that's because no computer, no instrument can really care for patients.
    That's what the essence of medicine is. And to care for patients, you need an intelligence human being, a well-informed, compassionate physician who is able to operate, of course, in a health care system that encourages him or her to act in an appropriate way.
    FLATOW: We've got to stop there. We'll pick it up after the break. Stay with us. We'll be right back after this short break.
    (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
    FLATOW: You're listening to SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. We're talking this hour about the future of medicine with my guests, Dr. Eric Topol, author of "The Creative Destruction of Medicine"; Dr. Reed Tuckson, executive vice president, chief of medical affairs for UnitedHealth Group; Dr. Arnold Relman, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.Dr. Relman, you were talking about how the need for doctors is never going to go away. Well, could they not be integrated into the system here?
    RELMAN: Yes, of course, I think doctors will be increasingly aided, as Eric says, by the wonderful new technology. There's no question that doctors can do much more, can be much more effective, with the help of computers and wireless devices of all kinds, and undoubtedly by using knowledge gained from the sequencing of each individual person's genome.
    Now, FLATOW said:
    could they not be integrated into the system here?
    What I understand here is that Flatow is asking about doctors and their ability to be integrated into the new technologies that he and his guests are discussing. And Dr.Relman is saying: yes of course they will be!

    If this understanding is right, then why did Flatow say (Could they not be ..) why didn't he say (Could they be ...)

    I'm sorry! my question may sound strange and you may need to read some lines from the show transcript to be able to get the general idea but because I have not yet achieved the number of posts required to include links and images. Anyway, I'll be grateful and thankful for whatever kind of help you would give me here

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    #2

    Re: Could they be OR Could they not be

    He could have asked 'Could they be integrated. . . .?' and Relman replied as if he had.

    'Could they not be integrated into the system here?' means 'Is there any reason why they shouldn't be integrated . . . .'

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: Could they be OR Could they not be

    Thanks a lot Rover
    But, you mean to say both options are the same in this context?

    Also, if its meaning would be something like 'Is there any reason why they shouldn't be ...', wouldn't Dr.Relman have answered with (no)! because Dr.Relman sees doctors are able to integrate?

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