The medical firm: today the consultant is away, and the tempo is relaxed. Mrs Wilson is the last patient on the ward round. “I've got to give her a diagnosis,” says the registrar, and we walk towards the bed. I suddenly find it hard to take in the reality of what will occur; here is a woman who is about to be told she is going to die. I feel myself disconnecting, viewing from a distance. I imagine a hand held camera filming the scene for some documentary or other, picking out the bare details. This gives me the necessary detachment to cope with the situation.
The opening shot is Mrs Wilson sitting in her chair. Her hair is white, with the memory of a perm. She wears a white night. dress with braiding round the neck, slightly unpicked. Her slippered feet are together, and her right hand grips the