Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Between the Lines

Murder most ordinary

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 10 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2490
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    Perhaps it is only my nostalgia for the good old days, but I can’t help believing that coroner’s courts used to be less hostile to—or merely less searching of—doctors than they are now.

    The first time I ever attended a coroner’s court is etched on my memory. For some reason, the flat and monotonous voice of a pathologist, reading out the findings from his postmortem examination of a murder victim over the public address system in the lobby of the court, was more soothing than, say, pop music.

    I realised I had nothing to fear when the coroner assured the family of the deceased in the case before mine, a man who died as a result of …

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