A life well lived in service to humanity – Dr. Cynthia Goh

Categories: Care and Featured.

WHPCA Notes the Death of our Founding Co-chair Dr. Cynthia Goh. She passed away on the 13th of February 2022. She dedicated her life to service by helping people living with palliative care needs live out their days in comfort and dignity.

Back in 2008 after a series of National Association Forums on Global Palliative Care held around the world, Dr. Goh along with the UK Help the Hospices CEO David Praill became the founding co-chairs of the WHPCA (then Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, WPCA). Cynthia brought her grace, wisdom, deep clinical knowledge, and leadership skills to help launch the new global organization and continued as co-chair for 8 years until her term ended in 2016.


Dr. Cynthia Goh with friends


She was instrumental in setting up palliative care services at Singapore General Hospital and the National Cancer Centre Singapore in 1999. She also founded the HCA, the largest home hospice care in Singapore. Cynthia recognised a need to improve the quality of life for the terminally ill and set up hospices and palliative care services in Singapore, despite being told that there was no need for such services in the 1980s. Cynthia was the long-time leader of the Asia Pacific Palliative Care Network based in Singapore and moved to the advisory chair position last year. For many years, she was the head of the Lien Center for Palliative Care and a highly respected leader in the Asia Pacific region. She worked in many countries in the region and was a champion for palliative care. She was also a warm and loving person who at the same time could challenge inequities and self-imposed limitations. Everyone who knew her respected her knowledge and personal commitment to palliative care.

“The field of palliative care worldwide has lost one of our foremost leaders. We mourn the passing of Cynthia and join our colleagues around the world in expressing our deep sorrow for her family and all who loved her.” Dr. Stephen Connor – Executive Director WHPCA

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