Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Undertaker ads on patient cards tell when time is up

It is probably not the best way to reassure patients, but a health centre brushed aside criticism yesterday after handing out appointment cards sponsored by a local undertaker.

St Margaret’s Health Centre in Auchterarder, Perthshire, was accused of insensitivity after issuing cards to patients that include an advert for the town’s funeral director.

One patient, a 23-year-old mother of one, said: “I thought it was hysterical when I first saw it, but it isn’t funny really. I see the card also contains an ad for the local florist so evidently the doctors hope to provide their patients with all necessary information in the event of failing to cure them.”

Sheila Back, assistant practice manager, denied that the undertaker advert was inappropriate. She said: “Unfortunately death is something that doctor’s practices have to deal with — it does happen and people need to be aware of where they can go for help.”

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