Editorials

Growing pressure on BMJ's obituaries

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6971.5 (Published 07 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:5
  1. Liz Crossan,
  2. Richard Smith
  1. Obituaries editor Editor BMJ, London WC1H 9JR

    Something will have to give

    Our obituary pages are experiencing growing pressure for the simple reason that the number of British doctors has more than doubled in the past 45 years. In 1950 there were just under 70000; now there are more than 140000. Unlike in any other part of the BMJ, in the obituariessection we accept everything that is submitted to us—provided that it arrives within our time limit of three months and we have not received any other submission on the person who has died. But we are unlikely to be able to sustain this policy indefinitely, and we welcome readers' ideas on how we might change.

    We publish obituaries on about 400 doctors annually, which must be less than half of the British doctors who die each year. We commission obituaries of the famous, which amount to one or two a month; we simply wait for …

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