My friend Michael Wilks, who has died of prostate cancer aged 69, was a forensic physician. His professional achievements were underpinned by his courage and honesty in confronting his problems with alcohol and he made an outstanding contribution to changing attitudes towards addiction.

Michael was born in Paddington, west London, to Dennis, a GP, and Bridget (nee Chetwynd-Stapylton), a nurse. After attending St John’s school in Leatherhead, Surrey, he graduated in 1972 from St Mary’s hospital medical school in London, where we met in 1967. Afterwards he became a GP and soon became a principal at practices in Kensington and then Richmond upon Thames (1975-92).

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