Fluffy thinking

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 04 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:574
  1. Rosemarie Anthony-Pillai, registrar in palliative medicine
  1. Sue Ryder Care St John's Care Centre, Moggerhanger, Bedford

    In a hospice setting it is not unusual to be confronted by anguished relatives witnessing the physical deterioration of their loved ones. Their reproachful gaze pierces you and seems to implore you to end their loved ones' suffering. “This is cruel,” they so often say, “If this was a pet we would have it put down.”

    When I was 8 years old I had a pet kitten, Fluffy. He was a funny little black and white bundle of furry joy. He brought us no end of happiness. One day when I came home from school I was not immediately greeted by Fluffy, as was his way. …

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