Associate Professor Bill Silvester is a physician and intensive care specialist at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. He commenced the Respecting Patient Choices program at the Austin hospital in 2002 and it has now spread to many health services and aged care facilities in Australia.
He is committed to improving end-of-life care and recognition for patient centered care, patient autonomy, dignity, informed consent and prevention of suffering.
Bernard “Bud” Hammes was educated at the University of Notre Dame, receiving his BA in 1972 and his PhD in philosophy in 1978. He has taught at the University of Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington and at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Since 1984, he has served as the Director of Medical Humanities and Respecting Choices® for the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation and the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In this position he provides educational programs for house staff, medical students, nursing student and physician assistant students. He also provides in-services and workshops for the medical staff, nursing staff, social workers, and the pastoral care department. Dr. Hammes chairs both the Institutional Review Board and Ethics Committee. For the Institutional Ethics Committee he serves the role of ethics consultant.
Dr Hammes is a Professor of Clinical Science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and an Associate Adjunct Professor of the Institute for Health and Society at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Dr. Hammes’ work has been primarily focused on improving care at the end-of-life. To this end he has developed institutional policies and practices, staff education, and patient/community education with a special focus on advance care planning. This work has resulted in two nationally recognized programs on advance care planning: If I Only Knew… and Respecting Choices®. He has authored or coauthored 40 articles and book chapters that are focused on clinical ethics, advance care planning, and end-of-life issues. Currently he serves as the Chair of the National POLST Paradigm Task Force.
For more information about Respecting Choices go to www.respectingchoices.org.
Professor Keri Thomas is National Clinical Lead of the Gold Standards Framework Centre which focuses on top quality care for all people nearing the end of life. As a practicing GP working in hospices for over 20 years, she was the originator of the Gold Standards Framework (GSF) for primary care in 2001 and in care homes in 2004.
GSF is now used extensively in the majority of GP practices and almost 1000 care homes. She is Hon. Professor of End of Life Care at University of Birmingham, author of ‘Caring for the Dying at Home’, National Clinical Lead for Palliative Care (Generalist) in the Department of Health’s End of Life Care Programme, and Clinical Champion in End of Life Care for the Royal College of General Practitioners. Her greatest achievement, however, is as wife and mother of five children.
Jürgen in der Schmitten is a family practitioner and psychotherapeut in a group practice in the city of Meerbusch (near Düsseldorf). He works part time as lecturer and researcher at the department of General Practice at the university of Düsseldorf. In this function he has co-ordinated the interdisciplinary research project RESPEKT that developed and implemented the regional ACP program beizeiten begleiten (≈ ‘[be] caring betimes’) with a grant of the German Ministry for Education and Research (2008-2011), and he is committed to further regional implementation of ACP programs in Germany.
Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Canada.
Dr. Davison is a clinical nephrologist, bioethicist and health outcomes researcher in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She also has cross appointments with the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre and the Institute of Health Economics. Her program of research is funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and focuses on pain and symptom management, advance care planning, spirituality and other end-of-life issues for patients with chronic kidney disease and how these aspects of care impact health policy. She is active internationally giving talks on renal palliative care and acting as a consultant with respect to developing and integrating end-of-life care policy for nephrology programs.