Whole Person Care & the Need for a Paradigm Shift in Health Care


(2012) 58 minutes

Palliative care addresses the needs of the whole person – physical, psychosocial, and existential/spiritual – and includes the distress of the sufferer’s family as an integral aspect of care. This 58-minute film adaptation of the closing Plenary Lecture of McGill University’s 2012 International Congress on Palliative Care explores the challenges that define suffering and colour our quality of life. It argues for a health care paradigm shift from the existing disease-oriented, science-based medical model to the more comprehensive perspective of whole person care. Our effectiveness as healers is determined by our openness, self-awareness and capacity for radical presence. It is how we are present to one another that counts. Curiously, humility and silence trump theoretical expertise as we accompany one another on the all-important journey of discovery toward the inner peace that is our neuro-biologic birthright.

Includes PDF attachment: Mount, B (2013) Healing, Quality of Life & the Need for a Paradigm Shift in Health Care. Journal of Palliative Care, 29(1)

A medical graduate of Queen’s University, Balfour Mount trained as an urologist and surgical oncologist at McGill University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He was the founding director of the pioneering Royal Victoria Hospital Palliative Care Service, Palliative Care McGill, and the McGill Programs in Whole Person Care. He is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at McGill University where he held the Eric M. Flanders Chair in Palliative Medicine. He was the founder and chairperson of McGill’s biennial International Congresses on Palliative Care. Mount is an officer of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Quebec and was named “Great Montrealer (Science)” by the city of Montreal in 2009.

Produced for Palliative Care McGill.

Film available in English only.

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