Council on Health Care Economics and Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and ManagementReturn to this website's homepageBrandeis University

    Ira Byock

    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.


    We Can't Fix the End of Life

    Presentation Date

    Princeton Conference XVII: May 20, 2010

    Copyright 2019 • Brandeis University • All rights are reserved