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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 September 8; 335(7618): 519.
PMCID: PMC1971153

Khaled (“Karl”) Ghattas

Khaled Ghattas (“Karl”) worked as a senior house officer in surgery in several hospitals in London and Chester. Becoming disenchanted with many aspects of medicine, he took an MSc in philosophy at the London School of Economics in 1989. He taught himself to paint and emerged as a wildly original and sought after artist in many media, particularly large and powerful oils, prints, and, most recently, video. His medical education combined with philosophical study informed much of his art. He kept contact with medicine for a while as a permanent locum at the Royal National Ear, Nose, and Throat Hospital, London. He was lecturer in art at Winchester College of Art and London and Barcelona Universities and had several acclaimed one man and group exhibitions in London's Cork Street, Paris, New York, Barcelona, and Newport, receiving a great many commissions and a devoted following. His work is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Fitzwilliam Museum and Courtauld Institute.

In recent years Karl had been turning to poetry, recently winning three international prizes, as well as publishing his first poetry collection. Approaching the peak of his powers, he was tragically cut down eight years after surviving his first myocardial infarction, which had nearly cost him a leg through embolism.

He had a stupendous and highly original intellect, great energy, and a magnetic personality which won the hearts of those who came into contact with him.

He leaves his partner, Celso; two sons; and his mother, Sawson Bekhit, a retired gynaecologist.


Former junior surgeon then artist, philosopher, and poet (b 1958; q Royal Free Hospital 1982; MSc), died from a heart attack in Barcelona on 12 July 2007.

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