Soundings

Fags and feminism

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7007.756 (Published 16 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:756
  1. James Owen Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Leeds

    Good weather brings the patients to the front door. After the ward round their pains abate and they wheel their drip stands into the lift. On armchairs dragged from the foyer they sit, in dressing gowns and antiembolism stockings, enjoying their first cigarette of the day.

    The sight does not inspire their carers. We like to believe in the myth of the deserving patient who needs our protection. Instead we see self confident women with rhonchi, forsaking their £700-a-day beds for a drag and a gossip about the perceived inadequacies of the NHS.

    If I'm having a bad day …

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