Intended for healthcare professionals

Filler All Things Considered

Till death do us part

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 21 August 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4574
  1. Claudia Sellers, CT2 ACCS anaesthetics, University College Hospital, London,
  2. David Harrington, CT2 core medical trainee, University College Hospital,
  3. Vivian Sathianathan, ST6 anaesthetics and intensive care medicine, University College Hospital,
  4. Reema Patel, CT2 ACCS anaesthetics, University College Hospital,
  5. David Howell, intensive care consultant, University College Hospital
  1. Correspondence to: claudiesellers{at}

Recently our intensive care unit was asked to organise two “emergency marriages” in the space of a week, reminding us that the most important wish of dying patients may be one we are ill prepared to ask about. Discussions about the wishes of patients and families regarding care at the end of life are commonplace in critical care, but the desire for marriage in a couple dealing with terminal illness is more common than we expect. Marriage may have the power to help meet some of the spiritual and emotional needs of dying patients and …

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