Don't say the W word

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 19 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1243
  1. Neville Young, database manager
  1. Wolfson Institute for Preventive Medicine, St Bartholomew's and the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine and Dentistry, London

    Having been admitted to hospital with a deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism for the second time in a couple of years, I was feeling a little discouraged about my immediate future. One thing that started to bother me was the realisation that I had made no will: I had the idea that for me to die intestate would cause all sorts of horrible complications for my wife.

    So, trying to find a practical solution to what seemed to me to be a worrying problem, I jotted down what sounded like a reasonable, basic will in the back of a paperback book and asked the patient in the next bed to witness it. (Apparently just one witness signature is not enough, so my will would not have worked anyway, but I did not know this at the time.) …

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