Intended for healthcare professionals

Art Art

Matters of Life and Death

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 22 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:246
  1. Irene J Higginson, professor of palliative care and policy
  1. King's College London

    Season of arts events at Battersea Arts Centre, London, 16 June-15 July 2000

    A consultant in a famous teaching hospital once said to me: “Only 50% of my patients ever die.” But death is an inevitable part of life. As the Scottish historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), observed: “Death means going over to the majority.” Almost all doctors will care for patients whose illness progresses and who ultimately die.

    Matters of Life and Death probed this last great taboo. The festival united an array of artists exploring death and all that surrounds …

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