Poignant moments in palliative care
At times, break the rules on behalf of the patient
I always wanted to be a doctor from the age of three when I was in hospital for three months. In those days your parents could only visit briefly once a day so the staff became very important to me. I didn’t know what to do after medical school. I started in anaesthetics but didn’t like the fact that patients were asleep most of the time. I decided to go into paediatrics and absolutely loved it. But in those days there was a view that you had to work full time, so when I became pregnant I spent eight years in general practice.
From my pre-medical school days I had concerns about dying patients and gravitated towards hospice work. The experience I gained as a volunteer hospice doctor from 1983 to 1986 in Scotland stood me in good stead for setting up a Marie Curie Hospice in Cardiff in 1987.