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Michael James Henry Piachaud

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 31 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5678
  1. Angela Burnett,
  2. Nicholas Piachaud,
  3. Thomas Piachaud,
  4. Marko Kerac,
  5. Sheila Hollins,
  6. Chris Harmer,
  7. Phil Cowley,
  8. Lynn Barnett

    Michael James Henry Piachaud (“Jack”) devoted his career to the countless people throughout the world whose health, wellbeing, and access to proper health care are jeopardised by the effects of war, poverty, and environmental damage. His multifaceted career and voluntary activities were a reflection of his humanity and his passions.

    He grew up at a time when enormous questions were being asked about the nature of our society: Who should it be for? Who is responsible for it? His life was dedicated to answering these questions. He was born in June 1948, just a month before the NHS was established, and it was to this organisation, this big idea of the time, that he would dedicate his professional life. Having studied medicine at Oxford, he became a psychiatrist, and later a consultant specialising in learning disabilities, as well as a senior lecturer at Imperial College School of Medicine, where he inspired the next generation of medical students to think about the issues which he considered profoundly important.

    He worked for the most vulnerable in our society, believing that society should be for everyone. He did not see disabled or helpless people, but a disabled and helpless society that …

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