Intended for healthcare professionals


2015: a year in review

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 23 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6921
  1. Sophie Arie, freelance journalist, London, UK
  1. sarie{at}

In a year of growing financial strains on healthcare around the world The BMJ has repeatedly pushed for evidence based decisions in medical practice and health and continued to push for greater transparency over drug trials. Sophie Arie looks back at some of the journal’s most important and widely read articles of 2015

January: Dying of cancer is the best death, Richard Smith

Is dying of cancer the best death? Richard Smith, the journal’s former editor, triggered a global debate among clinicians, patients, and carers in a New Year blog post ( about the best way to die. Cancer, he argued, unlike dementia and organ failure, lets you say goodbye, and “reflect on life, leave last messages, visit special places etc,” His post and a follow-up one ( quickly went viral across social media and garnered UK and international coverage.1

February: Sugar’s web of influence, graphic by Will Stahl-Timmins

This graphic ( showing the links between the UK’s leading sugar experts and the sugar industry was one of the most viewed graphics of the year. It accompanied an investigation, at a time of growing debate worldwide over whether a tax on sugar is the best way to tackle obesity, into the financial ties between academics advising the government on nutrition and the companies producing our food.2 The controversy that followed has fuelled discussions among food researchers about their …

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