Intended for healthcare professionals

Obituaries

Thomas Stuttaford: media doctor and celebrity patient

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2704 (Published 20 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2704
  1. John Illman
  1. London
  1. john{at}jicmedia.org
Credit: Neil Spence/Alamy

Thomas Stuttaford was the medical correspondent and columnist for the Times newspaper for over 25 years. He was also an MP, medical adviser to Conservative Central Office, broadcaster, renovator of historical houses, and ornithologist, as well as a highly controversial celebrity patient (by virtue of his prostate gland) and a great believer in the healing power of a glass of red wine.

“Dr Tom” was one of those charmed men who pick up life’s glittering prizes by being in the right place at the right time with the right people—particularly Harold Evans, one of his patients and then editor of the Times. Stuttaford’s journalistic career spanned the explosion in health reporting over the past 40 years and the new era of mass market magazines devoted entirely to men’s health, women’s health, complementary medicine, and general fitness.

Embracing controversy

He maintained that the media had revolutionised the relationship between doctors and patients and told me in 1999: “I’ve always believed that informing patients was well done by the media. I’m not sure whether doctors would have moved down the …

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