An incredible testament

The doctor came into the crowded room and turned off the ventilator. He twisted the monitor around so that we couldn’t see it. He walked out silently. A long 10 minutes would be an understatement. Ben struggled to breathe, fluid rattling in his lungs. And then he breathed his last. Six months earlier my 23 year old brother was fit and healthy and was completing his science degree to progress on to medicine.

I meant to flag up before this beautifully written but desperately sad testimony written by a medical student in Australia who witnessed the death of his brother in the BMJ. Yet going through the ordeal he realised the crucial importance both of holistic care and how family relationships are handled. It’s a tragedy you wouldn’t wish on anyone, but the author and those he reaches will transform more lives because of it.



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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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