The very public traumas of Jade Goody have put a whole new gloss on the warning: “Live by publicity, die by publicity.” But there is no reason for supercilious condemnation here. Ms Goody’s determination to spend what time she has left as she chooses is thoroughly admirable. If she reaps the mooted £1m for media coverage of her wedding, good for her. Her aim, to leave as much as she can to her children, is no more nor less than most people want to do: her face and personality are her fortune.
There is already evidence that her illness, and her down-to-earth approach to it, have encouraged young women to go for smear tests they would otherwise have neglected. Doctors may dispute the optimum age to start screening, but greater awareness of this disease must be a good thing. As all the talk about her plight shows, Ms Goody has a gift for reaching those parts of the public many health campaigns fail to reach. Rather than criticism, she deserves congratulation.