WHEN his mother, a pioneering female surgeon, learned that renowned neurologist Dr Oliver Sacks was gay, she reacted by shrieking: “You are an abomination. I wish you had never been born.”

Sacks added poignantly: “The matter was never mentioned again, but her harsh words made me hate religion’s capacity for bigotry and cruelty.”

Sadly, yesterday we learned that Sacks has died at the age of 82.

According to Why Evolution is True, Sacks died of cancer on Sunday in New York.

He documented his terminal condition (a melanoma in his eye that eventually metastasized to his brain) and his thoughts on mortality in a series of poignant pieces

… read on …