Claire Hazel EpsteinBMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2031 (Published 19 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2031
- Helen Parker
The death of Claire Hazel Epstein, at the age of 31, from bowel cancer, has shocked and devastated her family and friends, and left a significant gap in the medical community in which she was so highly valued.
Claire was born in Newcastle on 10 November 1977. The middle child of three, she remained at the centre of her close family throughout childhood and adulthood. She was educated at Durham High School, where her enormous popularity with both students and teachers made her the obvious choice for head girl, a role she undertook with just the right combination of humour and seriousness. Despite what her mother, Barbara, described as “an alarming lack of rhythm,” Claire worked hard to overcome this to be involved in school plays and musicals. This determination was to become one of Claire’s hallmarks in her chosen career of medicine.
Although Claire would have excelled in the arts, of which she was very fond (especially history), her decision to specialise in science, to go to medical school, came as no surprise to …