Obituaries

Laman Amin-ZakiMurray Thomson GreigHorace HartillDorothy Avril Jean Oatway (née Hamilton)

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7253.115 (Published 08 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:115

Laman Amin-Zaki


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Former professor of paediatrics Baghdad University college of medicine (b Baghdad 1923; q Baghdad 1945; DCH, FRCP), d 25 February 2000. After postgraduate training in London, Edinburgh, and Liverpool, she returned to Baghdad. Besides her clinical and teaching duties she was interested in social paediatrics and was founder and first director of the maternal and child health centres in Iraq from 1952-8. She founded day nurseries and the society of handicapped children in Iraq. She was awarded the silver medal of the Red Crescent Society for her services to Iraqi children. Her most important scientific contribution was her clinical studies and research on pregnant women and children who were exposed to methylmercury during the 1971 epidemic. She published many articles on neonatal mercury poisoning, was a member of the World Health Organization's committee on mercury poisoning, and lectured at many international conferences. She was modest and unassuming and an eloquent speaker on social and literary matters. She leaves a husband, Salem; two sons (one a doctor); and a daughter.

[Amna S Murad]

Murray Thomson Greig


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Former general surgeon Waitako Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand, 1948–73 (b Kirin, Manchuria 1908; q Otago, New Zealand 1933; FRCS, FRACS), died from multiorgan failure and old age on 19 March 2000. Murray spent the first 12 years of his life in China where his father served with the Irish Presbyterian Mission, establishing a hospital in Kirin before and after the Boxer rebellion. He moved to London for his postgraduate studies, working in London hospitals during the blitz with Hamilton Bailey and McNeill-Love. He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and landed in Normandy on D Day plus two. He also served in west Africa and India. His early years in Hamilton were difficult, coping with patients with hydatid disease and prostate problems and being almost constantly on-call for obstetric disasters after caesarean sections. But he was imperturbable and a natural peacemaker in hospital politics. His lifelong love of rugby probably stemmed from his two years as one of the more diminutive members of the Wellington College first XV. For many years he was honorary medical officer to the Waikato Rugby Football Union and served on various committees of the Australasian College of Surgeons. He was blind at the end of his life but maintained his independence with cheerfulness. Predeceased by his wife, Benita, he leaves a son (an otolaryngologist in Christchurch, New Zealand).

[J W Hamer, M H Greig]

Horace Hartill


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Former general practitioner Birmingham (b Dudley 1928; q Birmingham 1951), died after a short cardiorespiratory illness on 5 March 2000. While serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps in the Middle East Horace developed ankylosing spondylitis and was discharged on medical grounds. He suffered the sequelae of the condition for the rest of his life. After 25 years in general practice he joined the prison medical service, serving at Winson Green Prison for 10 years. Outside medicine he pursued a lifelong love of railways and later in life became interested in travel. He was active in the postgraduate activities of Birmingham medical school and in his local Probus Club. He leaves a wife, Mary, and three sons.

[R G Russel]

Dorothy Avril Jean Oatway (née Hamilton)


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Former consultant pathologist Wolverhampton hospitals, 1954–82 (b 1921; q St Andrews 1944; MD, FRCPath), d 8 March 2000. While an assistant pathologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Avril published papers on haemolytic disease of the newborn. In 1952 she moved to Scotland and was appointed director of the east of Scotland blood transfusion service, assistant pathologist at Dundee Royal Infirmary, and assistant lecturer in pathology at St Andrews. At Wolverhampton she specialised in cytology and introduced the cervical cytology screening service. Despite her heavy professional responsibilities Avril found time to be a charming hostess and excellent correspondent. She played golf and tennis until ill health forced her to stop, but she continued to tend her beautiful garden almost to the end of her life. She was predeceased by her husband, Nat (also a doctor).

[Keith Lovel, Marjory McFarlane, Kenneth Scott]

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