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Obituary: Ian Forgacs 1951–2018 BSG President 2014–16

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Prospero: “Be cheerful, sir: our revels now are ended. These our actors as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air: into thin air…”

The Tempest Act IV scene i.

There are two facets to each of us: the private and the professional. Ian Forgacs chose with characteristic self-determination, to keep his final illness private and the news of his death at St John’s Hospice London on 23rd October shocked and saddened the gastroenterology and hepatology community, as it did colleagues and friends in allied professions and specialties.

Ian was born in Bromley, Kent, growing up in a medical family. His father, Paul Forgacs, born in Budapest, studied medicine in Paris and then in London. His mother Eileen Mitchell was a former nurse at the Royal Free. He was educated first at Sevenoaks School, Kent, where he played rugby for the first XV and then at Guy’s Medical School, graduating with a BSc, first class honours in Biochemistry and MBBS (1975). He passed MRCP in 1977 and the University of London granted him an MD in 1986. His thesis on gastrin was supported by a period of elective study at Yale Medical School, USA. Prior to his registrar career at Guy’s, St Thomas’ and Addenbrooke’s Cambridge, he worked at Queen’s Square and the Brompton. In 1986, he took a consultancy at Kings College Hospital, where he spent the whole of his consultant career.

He was in many ways the modern ‘uomo universale’: the ideal which embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance humanism, considering humans as the centre of the universe, limitless in …

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