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Lucky fibrillator

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 20 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:943
  1. Colin Douglas, doctor and novelist
  1. Edinburgh

    Once or twice I have wakened from a jumbled dream, more a nightmare. Examining in finals, I am determined to fail a young man who would undoubtedly be a menace to the citizenry.

    “All right,” I say, the model of the tolerant assassin, “causes of atrial fibrillation?”

    The victim ponders. “Well, appendicitis, I suppose.” My coexaminer clutches his brow. Surely it's all over.

    But is it as simple as that? Once, a long time ago, I was on call as a …

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