Members of the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death

Afsan Bhadelia (Boston, US): Senior Research Associate in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She has a PhD in health systems science with a focus on bioethics and metrics. She managed the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief and co-Chaired the Commission’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

Jane Blazeby (Bristol, UK): professor of surgery, Bristol University; proponent of randomised trials in surgery, and working to change surgical culture, including around death

Tracey Bleakley (London, UK): chief executive of Hospice UK

Yali Cong (Beijing, China): professor of bioethics, dean of the department of medical ethics and health law, and chair of Peking University institutional review board. She has overseen a dissertation on decision making of cancer patients and teaches on assisted suicide, using the philosophies of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.

Luckson Dullie (Neno, Malawi): family physician, researcher, chief executive officer of Partners in Health, Malawi

Robin Durie (Exeter, UK): senior lecturer in political theory and principal investigator at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health; and cofounder of the Connecting Communities [C2] programme for transformative community regeneration.

Eric Finkelstein (Singapore): health economist, professor of health services and systems research program at the Duke-NUS Medical School; executive director of the Lien Centre for Palliative Care; researches the complicated decisions that revolve around end of life care

Nahla Gafer (Khartoum, Sudan): clinical oncologist and head of palliative care unit at Radiation and Isotope Center Khartoum, director of palliative care courses at Comboni College of Science and Technology.

Sam Guglani (Cheltenham, UK): oncologist; director and founder of Medicine Unboxed, an events project that aims to engage public and health professionals in exploring medicine, life, and mortality through the arts and humanities; author of Histories, a book about hospital life 

Jenny and Celia Kitzinger (Cardiff, UK) (job share): Jenny is director of research: impact and engagement, Cardiff University, and codirector of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre and curator of  the Before I Die Festival – a festival for the living about dying; Celia Kitzinger is honorary professor in the Law School at Cardiff University, codirector of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre ( and founding member of the charity Advance Decisions Assistance (  She is a member of the core group of the British Medical Association responsible for the new guidance on clinically assisted nutrition and hydration.

Felicia Marie Knaul (Miami, US): Professor at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, University of Miami. a globally known health and social sector economist. Her current research focuses on global health, access to pain control and palliative care, health financing, health systems and reform, cancer and especially breast cancer in low- and middle-income countries, poverty and inequity, and gender equity. Felicia chairs the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Relief

Arnoldo Kraus (Mexico City, Mexico): physician who has written extensively about death and dying in books and columns in two newspapers in Mexico

Julia Neuberger (London, UK):  senior rabbi at West London Synagogue; member of the House of Lords; chair of a Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway for Dying Patients, and author of Is that all there is? – reflections on life, mortality, and leaving a legacy.

Seamus O’Mahony (Cork, Ireland): gastroenterologist; author of The Way We Die Now and Can Medicine Be Cured?The Corruption of a Profession

M R Rajagopal (Trivandrum, India): palliative care physician; founder chairman of Pallium India, a palliative care non-governmental organisation based in Kerala

Libby Sallnow (London, UK/Trivandrum, India): palliative care physician with a PhD in compassionate communities, associate course director for the new fellowship in palliative care at the Institute of Palliative Medicine, Kerala, India

Eriko Sase (Japan, based in Boston):  researching into palliative care and human rights at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Harvard University

Sheldon Solomon (Saratoga Springs, US): professor of psychology at Skidmore College; one of the authors of The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life

Richard Smith (London, UK): former editor of the BMJ, blogger, has a talk “Death: the Upside”

Ros Taylor (London, UK): palliative care physician at the Royal Marsden, London; clinical director of Hospice UK

Mpho Tutu van Furth (Amsterdam, Netherlands/Cape Town, South Africa) preacher, teacher, writer, retreat facilitator, Episcopal priest

Katrina Wyatt (Exeter, UK) professor of relational health and deputy director for engaged research in the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter. All her research is co-created with patients, service users, carers and people from low income communities to ensure their voices are at the heart of the questions we ask and the responses we develop.

Support from the Lancet:

Richard Horton, editor

Jocalyn Clark, executive editor

The commentary that launched the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death

This is the version of The Lancet commentary that launched the Commission that was submitted to The Lancet. The published version, which is almost exactly the same, can be accessed here.

Continue reading “The commentary that launched the Lancet Commission on the Value of Death”