Timothy E. Quill, M.D.

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Timothy Quill is a pioneer in palliative care and end-of-life decision making, regularly helping patients and their families confront some of the thorniest issues in the practice of medicine in the 21st century. He has worked to increase the availability of palliative care to all seriously ill patients, not just those who are facing the end of life. This includes routinely addressing pain and other quality-of-life issues, and helping patients and their families work through the growing number of options available to them.

As patients approach the end of their lives, additional choices include activating do-not-resuscitate orders, deciding about feeding tubes, transitioning to hospice, and exploring last-resort options to treat intractable symptoms. Quill has helped train a generation of physicians in medical schools across the country about how to work effectively with patients who are facing these and similar issues.

Quill was the lead physician plaintiff in a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997, challenging the New York State law prohibiting physician-assisted death. He has written several books on end-of-life issues, including Physician-Assisted Dying: The Case for Palliative Care and Patient Choice, and Caring for Patients at the End of Life:  Facing an Uncertain Future Together. He is also a frequent contributor to the New England Journal of Medicine, helping the medical community put palliative care and end-of-life issues into perspective.

Topics:

  • Palliative care
  • Hospice
  • End-of-life decision-making
  • Pain and symptom management

Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Medical Humanities

Director of the Center for Ethics, Humanities and Palliative Care

University of Rochester Medical Center

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