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Thank you letter to David Bowie from a palliative care doctor
  1. Mark Taubert
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark Taubert, Department of Palliative Medicine, Velindre NHS Trust, Whitchurch Road, Cardiff CF14 2TL, UK; mtaubert{at}

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In January, the BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care social media blog experienced a surge in activity after an article we published, entitled ‘Thank You Letter to David Bowie from a Palliative Care Doctor’. It was shared across the world and read out by the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Jarvis Cocker over the months that followed. As the first anniversary of the starman's death approaches, we are publishing the letter in the hard-copy version of the journal. By doing so, we hope to draw attention to the online BMJ SPC blog, specifically for those readers and contributors who mainly read the print issue of BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care. Perhaps, if there is something you feel passionate about within palliative care that could be added as an interesting and thought-provoking blog, then please get in touch; regardless of whether you are an absolute beginner when it comes to blogging, or not.

Credit: J. Ourlin.

Published 15 January 2016 on BMJ SPC blog site

Original blog article accessible online here: The BMJ SPC blog site can be accessed here:

Dear David,

Oh no, don't say it's true—while realisation of your death was sinking in during those grey, cold January days of 2016, many of us went on with our day jobs. At the beginning of that week I had a discussion with a hospital patient, facing the end of her life. We discussed your death and your music, and it got us talking about numerous weighty subjects, that are not always straightforward to discuss with someone facing their own demise. In fact, your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation. But before I delve further into the aforementioned exchange, …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.