In search of a good death: Each encounter with a dying patient is a unique privilege

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7408.224-a (Published 24 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:224
  1. Simon Knowles, pathologist (knows{at}est.nhs.uk)
  1. Somerset Pathology Service, Yeovil District Hospital, Yeovil BA21 4AT

    EDITOR—I think that Rabbi Julia Neuberger may be wrong when she says that nothing can prepare a young doctor, nurse, or rabbi for facing people whose death is imminent.1 My experience shows quite the opposite. My work to date has been blessed by the company of pastoral and clinical carers who are passionate about the journey towards death and who, together with eloquent and articulate next of kin, have been only too keen to share their wisdom and experiences, both good and bad.

    Perhaps it is more accurate to say that each and every encounter with a dying patient and their family is unique and, however competent we become, we can always learn and—if we are especially privileged—share.

    If young professionals choose to shy away from sharing the journey then perhaps that says more about the way we are choosing and training the newer generations than it does about the art of pastoral and clinical care.


    • Competing interests None declared.


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