Obituaries

Michael Anthony HeasmanAlick Smart Ritchie PeffersDaireen Ione Rees (née Forster)David Samuel RosenbergRosalie Taylo

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7244.1279 (Published 06 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1279

Michael Anthony Heasman


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Former director Scottish NHS Information Services Division, 1965-86 (b 1926; q St Mary's 1947; FRCPE, FPHM), died from heart failure on 7 March 2000. Mike developed his knowledge of statistics while in the Royal Air Force and, after five years at the General Register Office, he established a medical statistics branch at the Department of Health. An invitation in 1965 to inaugurate a research and intelligence unit at the Scottish Home and Health Department started his affection for Scotland. His unit pioneered advances to ensure that data were accurate and accessible. From analysis of population data a formula for allocating funds to health boards was devised. Mike published papers on vital statistics and epidemiology and took part in the study of the fluoridation of water and the incidence of childhood leukaemias. He represented the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh on the Faculty of Public Health Medicine and the faculty on the college council. In retirement he studied the philosophy of science, birds, and wild flowers. He continued to be attracted to the Scottish uplands and becameleader of the college hill walking group. He leaves a wife, Barbara; two children; and grandchildren.

George Forwell

Alick Smart Ritchie Peffers

Former deputy director medical services British Airways (b Forfar, Scotland, 1915; q St Andrews 1938), d 1 April 2000. At university he was a double blue in swimming and soccer. He took a short service commission in the Royal Navy, trained as a pilot, and was awarded his wings in 1940. He was the first staff air medical officer to be appointed by the Royal Navy. After the second world war he joined BOAC and in 1951 was appointed assistant director medical services, initiating the medical investigations into the comet aircraft disasters. He was a fellow of the Aero Space Medical Association and received the Queen's silver jubilee medal. When he retired he concentrated on lowering his golf handicap and was a past captain and president of his local golf club.

[Douglas Peffers]

Daireen Ione Rees (née Forster)

General practitioner Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, 1946-77 (b 1909; q Royal Free Hospital 1935), died from carcinoma of the pancreas on 6 March 2000. After house jobs she moved to Bristol, doing maternity and child welfare work while starting up in practice with her husband, Gwyn. When they moved to Nailsworth she also did anaesthetics at the community hospital in Stroud. After retirement she was town councillor and deputy mayor and was a member of many local societies. She travelled widely, taking her grandchildren on 11 foreign holidays, and she visited every continent, including Antarctica, after she was 80. As the mother of a child with learning difficulties, she campaigned for the welfare of the disabled and was active with the Home Farm Trust. She leaves four sons (two general practitioners); seven grandchildren (one a medical student); and two great grandchildren.

[Hugh Rees]

David Samuel Rosenberg


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Former general practitioner London and Leicester (b 1926; q Manchester 1951), d 21 March 2000. He always insisted that he was a family doctor, treating the whole person, and in practice with his wife combined physical medicine with psychotherapy for many patients. In 1974 he founded the international medical charity Inter Care, remaining its honorary director until he died. He realised that many drug samples given to GPs were often thrown away and could be used in ruralAfrica. Starting with nothing but enthusiasm and a little time, he built up a charity tothe point where over 100 small rural medical units in seven countries are being supported on a regular basis. All spare time was spent fund raising and all holidays in visitingthe African units. He claimed that the African patients treated through his efforts merely represented an extension of his English practice. His last few years were handicappedby the effects of diabetic neuropathy. Predeceased by his wife, Patricia, he leaves two sons

[Margaret Greiff]

Rosalie Taylo


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Former family planning doctor (b Pinsk, Russia, 1906; q Royal Free Hospital 1931), died after a long illness with degenerative brain disease on 1 December 1999. Rosalie was a founder member of the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine and worked with the Family Planning Association and with marriage guidance and Marie Stopes clinics. She also practised privately and was a member of the Balint group thatstudied non-consummation. She was involved in the development and teaching of family planning and medical and psychosomatic gynaecology, and she constantly emphasised the need “to strengthen the link between the physical body and the emotions that inhabit it.” Rosalie was energetic and a kind, sensitive, and dedicated doctor. She had great charm andan irreverent wit. She wrote well and often corresponded with friends in doggerel verse.She loved art, travel, and parties, and read widely in Russian and French as well as English. She learnt Italian in her 80s. Although only 8 when she left Russia she retained a love of the country and its language and literature. Predeceased by her first husband, Mark (a GP and a psychoanalyst), and her second husband, James (also a psychoanalyst), she leaves a son and a daughter; two granddaughters; and three great grandchildren.

[Mary Burke,Elisabeth Shoenberg]

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