Down Among the Dead Men: A Year in the Life of a Mortuary Technician
Although of interest to anyone in medicine, this book should be compulsory for any budding pathologist
- By: Alex Cumberworth
When she decided to start work in a mortuary, Michelle Williams was either unfamiliar with the words of author W Somerset Maugham or elected to pay them no attention. Despite working in the NHS for a decade, she had had little experienced happens to patients after they die. This may not be surprising, given that hospital mortuaries are notoriously hard to find. What follows, from her difficult early days as a mortuary technician to her eventual mastery of the job, is a very readable collection of humorous, touching, and unusual anecdotes.
Although it would have been interesting to read more about her reasons for choosing the job, some of the stories she recounts are fascinating, albeit not for the fainthearted: there is the tale of the decapitated motorcyclist, and a particularly memorable account of a morbidly obese patient slowly decomposing because of red tape. We read in detail of the