Observations BMJ Confidential

Raymond Tallis: Every doctor should read Chekhov

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6575 (Published 07 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6575

In the latest in its series asking the movers and shakers of the medical world about work, life, and less serious matters, the BMJ spoke to a passionate believer in doctor assisted suicide


Raymond Tallis, 66, is a philosopher, thinker, and writer and by profession a doctor who was professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Manchester. He has published poetry, fiction, critiques of literary theory, cultural criticism, and extensive writing on the philosophy of mind, as well as 200 medical publications, principally into the neurology of old age, and two textbooks. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. A humanist, Tallis is chairman of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying.

What was your earliest ambition?

Lost, alas, in the mists of Tallis.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Within medicine, without a doubt the neurologist Lee Illis, for whom I worked as a …

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