Cold comfortBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7425.1225-a (Published 20 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1225
- Mark Griffiths, professor of oral medicine
- Eastman Dental Institute, University College London
In 1968 I was doing my first job as a preregistration surgical house officer in a small district general hospital. The consultant general surgeon was competent, benign, and compassionate, the nurses were good, and we all thought that the whole team functioned rather well, apart from the usual 100 hour working week.
A young woman with inoperable widespread ovarian cancer appeared in one the beds. I was not sure why she had been admitted; I think she probably had a transfusion, and there may have been a problem with her home care. She was skeletally thin with that translucent quality associated with terminal …