Ira Byock, M.D.
Ira Byock is a practicing physician, who directs the Palliative Care Service at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He is a Professor at Dartmouth Medical School with appointments in the departments of Anesthesiology and Community and Family Medicine and holds the Dorothy & John J. Byrne, Jr. Distinguished Chair of Palliative Medicine.
Dr. Byock has been involved in hospice and palliative care since 1978, when during his residency, he helped found a hospice home care program for the indigent population served by the university hospital and county clinics of Fresno, California. He is a Past President (1997) of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. During the 1990s he founded and was principal investigator for the Missoula Demonstration Project, a community-based organization in Montana dedicated to the research and transformation of end-of-life experience locally, as a demonstration of what is possible nationally. From 1996 through 2006, he served as Director for Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, a national grant program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Dr. Byock has authored numerous articles on the ethics and clinical practice of palliative and end-of-life care. His books include Dying Well (1997), which has become a standard in the field and The Four Things That Matter Most, (2004) which is used as a counseling tool widely by palliative care and hospice programs, as well as within pastoral care.
He has been a consistent advocate for the voice and rights of dying patients and their families. He has been a featured guest on numerous national television and radio programs, including NPR: All Things Considered, Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, ABC Nightline, PBS The News Hour, and CBS 60 Minutes.
Princeton Conference XVII: May 20, 2010