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The nurse stops me as I'm on my way past the desk: “Doctor, thank goodness you're here! Your patient Mr Jones passed away a while ago. Can you declare him?” Hmmm. Mr Jones, 90-something years old; I operated on him a few days ago, but post-op he kind of gave up the ghost. I had been expecting him to go downhill, but I hadn't actually heard he had died.
On the walk to the room it occurs to me, I haven't done this for a very long time. At least 10 years. I mean, when does a consultant surgeon ever have to declare one of his patients dead? It's a task usually done by those on …
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