The Story of Dr. Balfour Mount
January 18, 2009
Dr. Balfour Mount is to the palliative care movement what Dame Cecily Saunders is to the hospice movement. Of course Saunders came first and introduced Mount to the new philosophy of caring for the dying in 1973; but, it is Mount who is the father of palliative care in the hospital setting. He coined the term ‘palliative’ and it was he who first brought this type of care into a large university teaching hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
“What has surprised me is how little palliative care has to do with death. The death part is almost irrelevant. Our focus isn’t on dying. Our focus is on quality of living.” â€”Mount.
I’m sending you to a couple of places to read about him. His influence and dedication is the very beginning of the hospital-based, pre-hospice palliative care movement that has been picking up speed in the last several years.