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CHAPTER 12


CHAPTER 12


Love and laughter to the end


Dr Michael Blackmore has 30 years’ experience as an NHS GP. He was a senior partner at a practice in the South West of England and has chaired a number of local health authority committees.


Dr Michael Blackmore has spent decades helping people live as well as possible right to the end of their lives. He explains how dying can be a gentle, peaceful passing.


When I arrived at St Christopher’s Hospice in south London, I was pretty nervous as I had no experience of working with patients who were close to dying. Yet I quickly discovered that St Christopher’s was the happiest ‘hospital’ I have ever known. I was lucky enough to train with Dame Cicely Saunders, an icon of terminal care -- some say she invented it -- and the experience was invaluable and humbling. It taught me that I would have another chance to do better but you wouldn’t. My job was not to help you die but to help you live as well as you could until the end came. If we got this right between us, dying would be as natural as possible.


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