David Oliver, pre-eminent palliative care teacher, dies at home

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Along with his wife, Debbie – also a university professor and a former hospice director – David chronicled his journey with cancer through a series of video blog posts, sharing his experience of each stage of his illness and, by doing so, “depriving death of its strangeness”.

Following his death, Debbie wrote on the blog: “David’s Exit Strategy was fulfilled at 7:30am on March 14 – Pi Day. As he had hoped he died at home, surrounded by others, pain free, and was excited about life until the end.”

At the recent AAHPM meeting in February, David and Debbie received the AAHPM PDIA Palliative Medicine Community Leadership Award, recognising their “outstanding contributions to the field of hospice and palliative care”.

David has left a legacy of valuable knowledge and wisdom from which future generations of palliative care students – as well as the general public – can learn.

Through his generosity in the face of great personal difficulty, David has helped, and will continue to help, exponential numbers of people needing care, support and understanding at the end of the lives.

As Debbie wrote on the blog: “No more pain, no more anxiety, no more labour – only peace and pride that David’s exit was on his terms and those of us surrounding him were honoured to walk that transition.”

Access David’s cancer video blog online

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