A Well-Deserved Reputation

The longest-running Congress in Palliative Care and the leading event in the field since 1976.

A unique opportunity to meet, share experiences and exchange ideas with colleagues from 60 countries, representing all disciplines – nurses, physicians, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, music therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, pastoral care providers, administrators, volunteers...

In-depth workshops and seminars covering all aspects of end-of-life care, from the most current scientific developments in pain and symptom control to the large existential questions, to hands-on experiential sessions addressing practical issues faced every day.

Renowned speakers that deepen your understanding, and inspire you to renew your commitment to palliative care.

All sessions are structured to allow ample time for dialogue, questions and thoughtful interaction.

The Organizers



The 23rd International Congress on Palliative Care is presented by:

Palliative Care McGill (PCM) has been at the fore of advances in palliative care: integrating PC into health care systems; developing the McGill Quality of Life questionnaire; promoting a whole-person approach to care; pioneering undergraduate and postgraduate training in palliative medicine; developing new ways to manage pain and other symptoms; and hosting the International Congress on Palliative Care. Today, under the direction of Dr. Bernard Lapointe, PCM continues to develop as an exceptional academic program and unique network of PC services.

In collaboration with:


Specialists in conference, exhibit and special event management since 1991, O’Donoughue & Associates Event Management Ltd. is recognized in the industry as one of the leading event management companies in Québec. The company handles everything from planning to on-site management. Over the past twenty six years, the company has grown steadily, organizing hundreds of events, from small personalized meetings to large-scale international conferences, as well as festivals and concerts; and in doing so has acquired a reputation for excellence. Since 2005, O’Donoughue has been organizing the International Congress on Palliative Care.

Executive Committee

Bernard J. Lapointe, Chair

Eric M. Flanders Chair in Palliative Medicine; Director, Palliative Care McGill, McGill University; Chief, The Marjorie and Gerald Bronfman Division of Palliative Care, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Vasiliki Bessy Bitzas

Clinical Administrative Coordinator, Geriatrics and Palliative Care, CIUSSS West Central Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada

Linda Crelinsten

The Council on Palliative Care, Montréal, QC, Canada

Vincent Dagenais-Beaulé

Pharmacist, Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Kappy Flanders

Past Co-Chair, The Council on Palliative Care, Montréal, QC, Canada

Mary Ellen Macdonald

Associate Professor, Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada

Christopher MacKinnon

Psychologist; Faculty lecturer, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada

Suzanne O'Brien

Co-Chair, The Council on Palliative Care; Chair, Hope & Cope, Montréal, QC, Canada

April O’Donoughue

President, O’Donoughue & Associates Event Management Ltd., Montréal, QC, Canada

Devon Phillips

Program Advisor, Palliative Care McGill, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada

David Kenneth Wright

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Programme Committee

Hitesh Bhanabhai

McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, QC, Canada

Maryse Bouvette

Palliative Care Advanced Practice Nurse, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Shirley Bush

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Franco Carnevale

McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada

Harvey Chang

Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Robin Cohen

McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada

Rose DeAngelis

St-Raphaël, Palliative Care Home and Day Centre, Montréal, QC, Canada

Dominique Dion

CIUSSS de l’Est de l’Ïle de Montréal, Montréal, QC, Canada

James Downar

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Justine Farley

Palliative Care Physician, Montréal, QC, Canada

Marie-Laurence Fortin

Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Zelda Freitas

CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Ile-de-Montréal, Côte Saint-Luc, QC, Canada

Pierre Gagnon

Université Laval, Québec, QC

Justine Gauthier

Montreal Neurological Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Jeffery Hall

Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Marc Hamel

McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, QC, Canada

Leonie Herx

Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada

Cory Ingram

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Elizabeth Mac Namara

Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Dale MacCandlish Weil

West Island Palliative Care Residence, Kirkland, QC, Canada

Judith Marchessault

Mount Sinai Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Elena Neamt

West Island Palliative Care Residence, Kirkland, QC, Canada

Antoine Payot

CHU Sainte-Justine, Montréal, QC, Canada

Jordi Perez

McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, QC, Canada

Adam Rapoport

Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada

Zeev Rosberger

Jewish General Hospital; McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada

Deborah Salmon

McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, QC, Canada

Hal Siden

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Marianne Sofronas

Student Representative, Montréal, QC, Canada

Erica Srinivasan

University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI, USA

Deborah Ummel

Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC

Antonio Vigano

McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, QC, Canada

Anna Voeuk

Palliative Care Physician, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Kim Widger

University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Jean Zigby

Jewish General Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada











Senior Advisory Committee

Carla Alexander

University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA

Sharon Baxter

Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Ann Berger

The National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD, USA

Myra Bluebond-Langner

University College London, Institute of Child Health, London, UK

Gian Domenico Borasio

University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Ira Byock

Providence Institute for Human Caring, Torrance, CA, USA

Susan Cadell

Renison University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Tanguy Châtel

Société française d’accompagnement et de soins palliatifs, La Celle Saint-Cloud, Yvelines, France

David Clark

University of Glasgow, Dumfries, Scotland, UK

Shelly Cory

Canadian Virtual Hospice, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Betty Davies

University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

Mellar Davis

Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA, USA

Johanne de Montigny

Psychologist, Montréal, QC, Canada

Serge Dumont

Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada

Betty Ferrell

City of Hope, Duarte, CA, USA

Jean-Marie Gomas

Home Hospitalization, Fondation Santé Service, Paris, France

Stein Husebø

National Dignity Center, Care for the Frail Old, Bergen, Norway

Tom Hutchinson

McGill Programs in Whole Person Care, Montréal, QC, Canada

Louise La Fontaine

Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada

Stephen Liben

The Montreal Children's Hospital, Montréal, QC, Canada

Mary Lynn McPherson

University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, MD, USA

Balfour Mount

Emeritus Professor of Palliative Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada

Robert A. Neimeyer

University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA

Claire Oppert

Hopital Sainte Perine (Paris), Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France

David Praill

Chair, ehospice, London, UK

Kelli Stajduhar

University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

Ros Taylor

Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK

Anna Towers

MGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada



Special feature

Official Territorial Acknowledgement & Welcome



The 23rd International Congress and McGill University recognize that we are meeting on Indigenous land. Montréal sits on the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka (People of the Flint), also known as the Mohawk. The island called “Montreal” (Tiotia:ke in the language of the Kanien’kehá:ka) has historically been a meeting place for other Indigenous nations, including the Algonquin people.

The Significance of Acknowledging Traditional Territory: A connection to the land is inextricably linked to Indigenous identity. For many Indigenous peoples in Canada, and increasingly in broader Canadian society, traditional territory acknowledgements are an important cultural protocol practiced at important events as a way to acknowledge and honour Indigenous peoples’ connections to their ancestral lands.

Therefore, the Congress Opening Plenary will begin with a territorial acknowledgement. This acknowledgement aims to show recognition of and respect for Indigenous Peoples – of their presence both in the past and the present. It is a part of establishing healthy relations with Indigenous communities, a key to reconciliation, a process to which the Congress is committed.



Congress Logo: The Hummingbird

The hummingbird has, in Native American traditions, represented a messenger between worlds, helping to maintain balance between nature and spirit.

This tiny bird appears in Native lore as a creature that opens the heart and teaches us to appreciate the magic of being alive. The hummingbird helps us awaken to the beauty of the present moment.