Letter to a daughter: On the imminent death of a child

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 24 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:j
  1. John Black, retired paediatrician
  1. Framlingham, Suffolk

    An undated letter from Jean-Henri Fabre to his daughter on learning of the imminent death of her child

    My dear Claire,

    Every day I have been waiting, and hoping that the little invalid had improved. And then I receive this distressing letter. At the extremity of life, you tell me. Let us not lose hope yet; no doctor has ever been infallible.

    Though not yet giving up hope, I share deeply your pain and sorrow, and knowing you, they must be very great. Such a catastrophe strikes at the very basis of life. Yes, you are undoubtedly right, it …

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