Plenary Session Speakers

Desire For Death

Keith Wilson
Keith Wilson

Keith Wilson is a psychologist who has worked clinically in hospital settings for over 30 years. He is currently an emeritus clinician investigator with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and an associate professor of Medicine and Psychology at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Wilson has published over 100 articles and book chapters, mostly related to behavioural and mental health concerns in palliative care and rehabilitation populations. He was the principal investigator for the Canadian National Palliative Care Survey, a multi-centre study of the quality of life of patients who were receiving palliative care for cancer. Dr. Wilson was the 2013 recipient of the Research Excellence Award from the Canadian Association for Psychosocial Oncology




Prof Bregie Onwuteaka-Philipsen
Prof Bregie Onwuteaka-Philipsen

Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen is professor of end-of-life research and leads the research group public health at the end of life at the department of public and occupational health and head of the Expertise Center for Palliative Care at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. She has lead and participated in many (inter)national studies on palliative care, advance care planning and end-of-life decision making, including studies on wish to die.





Dr Regina McQuillan
Regina McQuillanI qualified in 1985 at UCD. I did my general medical training in Ireland and specialist training in palliative medicine in United Kingdom in London and Cardiff. I have worked at St Francis Hospice and Beaumont Hospital since 1996.

I have a long standing interest in health services  development and research and have contributed locally and nationally to the development of general and speciailist pallitive care services for patients with cancer, heart failure, dementia and other illnesses.

I have an interest in providing care for vulnerable people including travellers, those with limited english proficency, people with intellectual disability and homeless people, and have carried out resaerch and developed resources and education for these groups, including the Understand Me and Speak To Me Apps.

I am a member of local and national clinical and research ethics committees.

I am involved in undergraduate and postgraduate education and training and am the current National Speciality Director for higher specialist training in palliative medicine.



Prof Rob George
Prof Rob GeorgeFollowing accreditation in Respiratory and General Medicine and a doctorate on breathlessness, Rob pioneered HIV & non-cancer palliative care from 1987-2003 at UCL Hospitals during which time he established the first NHS Hospice@Home service.

From 2003-2006 he had a portfolio of consultancies working with specialist palliative care services facing various operational difficulties in settings across the voluntary sector, combined NHS and Independent Hospice Services and in NHS posts spanning the community, specialist beds and acute hospitals.

From 2006-2015 he was back in the NHS full time covering the community around Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in Central London.

In September this year he became Medical Director at St Christopher’s Hospice, but will continue with some NHS sessions;

As a leader and influencer, he was clinical lead for Palliative/EoLC for London from 2007-13 and is now President of the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland;

He has sat on RCP working parties reporting on aspects of palliative and end of life care and Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness. He advises various Government Departments on EoL matters, the latest of which is as the independent, clinical expert to the LCP Review led by Lady Neuberger. He sits on various ethics committees. He is a clinical academic, rather than an experimental researcher and before gaining his professorship at the Cicely Saunders Institute, KCL, he was Senior Lecturer in Bioethics at UCL. He has something over a hundred and twenty publications. Prof George has been selected as the Wiley Speaker at the IPOS Congress.




Dr Paul D’Alton
Dr Paul D'AltonDr. Paul D’Alton is Head and Clinical Lead of the Department of Psycho-oncology at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin and Adjunct Lecturer at The School of Psychology, University College Dublin.  Paul is immediate past President of The Psychological Society of Ireland, the professional body for psychology in Ireland representing over 2500 psychologists nationally.

He is founder and co-director of the MSc in Mindfulness Based Interventions in UCD having himself trained in Mindfulness based interventions at the Oxford Centre of Cognitive Therapy and at the University of Massachusetts (USA) where mindfulness-based interventions in healthcare originated.  Paul completed his clinical psychology training in Trinity College, Dublin in 2004 and has worked as a clinical psychologist, educator, and researcher since this time.  His primary area of clinical & research interest is the application of mindfulness-based interventions in healthcare with a particular interest in end of life care. Paul has taught and presented at a number of national and international universities including several post-graduate programmes at University College Dublin, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, and UCLA.  Paul has chaired the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Equality and Inclusive Practice Group (EQuIP) for the last 4 years.  He was actively involved in the Marriage Equality referendum (May 2015) and is committed to using psychology to advance equality and social justice.  He is principal investigator on several ongoing and completed funded research projects and has presented and published research both nationally and internationally.  In October 2016 Paul will chair the World Congress in Psycho-oncology.



Trish Bartley
Trish BartleyTrish Bartley has been involved in teaching and developing Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for people with cancer, within a hospital oncology department, since 2001. She teaches people with all types and stages of cancer. She is a member of the core teaching team at the Centre for Mindfulness, Research and Practice at Bangor University, UK. She trains mindfulness-based students and teachers, and leads workshops and retreats in the UK and abroad. With a background in development work, Trish has a keen interest in community and group process and works in South Africa using mindfulness with people affected by HIV & Aids.  Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer (Bartley, 2012) and Mindfulness: A Kindly Approach to Being with Cancer (Bartley, in press)



Prof Gary Ansdell
Prof Gary AnsdellProf Gary Ansdell has been a music therapist for twenty-eight years, working mostly in the area of adult mental health in the last decade, and currently in elder care settings.

He has been involved in a wide range of areas of music therapy practice, and in developing the Community Music Therapy movement. Gary has also been active in training and research, developing new Masters and PhD programmes for Nordoff Robbins. His longterm collaboration with the music sociologist Tia DeNora has led to their joint editorship of the new book series Music and Change for Ashgate Publishers. Gary is an Associate of Nordoff Robbins, UK where he is Convenor of the MPhil/PhD programme (Nordoff Robbins/Goldsmiths, University of London).

He is Honorary Professor in the Dept of Philosophy, Sociology & Anthropology at the University of Exeter. Gary Ansdell is author/co-author of seven books on music therapy, most recently How Music Helps: In Music Therapy and Everyday Life (2014) and Musical Pathways in Recovery: Community Music Therapy & Mental Wellbeing (2016).



Prof. Riccardo Valdagni
Prof. Riccardo ValdagniProf. Riccardo Valdagni received his medical degree from Università di Bologna, Faculty of Medicine, and his MS in Radiation Oncology from Università di Padoa, Italy. He was a Research Scholar in Radiation Oncology at Stanford University Medical College, USA.

He is presently Associate Professor at the Department of Oncology and Hemato-oncology of Università degli Studi di Milano and Director of Radiation Oncology 1 Unit and Prostate Cancer Program at Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan. He chairs the Italian Society for Urologic Oncology (SIUrO) and coordinates the Prostate Cancer Programme of the European School of Oncology (ESO).

He has authored more than 140 publications, his major interests including Prostate Cancer, Radiation Oncology, Active Surveillance and Predictive Modeling



Dr Kelly Edwards-Irwin
Dr Kelly Edwards-IrwinDr. Irwin is an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a faculty psychiatrist at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and MGH Schizophrenia Program.  She is the founding director of the Collaborative Care and Community Engagement Program, a clinical and research program dedicated to improving cancer outcomes for individuals with severe mental illness.

Dr. Irwin is interested in understanding why people with severe mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are more likely to die from cancer and in developing interventions to improve cancer outcomes throughout the continuum of cancer care including prevention, early detection, treatment, and end-of-life care. She is investigating communication about smoking cessation, perceptions of cancer risk, and cancer screening in individuals with schizophrenia.  Currently, Dr. Irwin is piloting an interdisciplinary intervention which incorporates proactive psychiatry consultation and case management at the time of cancer diagnosis for patients with severe mental illness.

Her research has been funded by the American Cancer Society, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Irwin graduated from Harvard University in 2001, worked with Doctors for Global Health in El Salvador, and then returned to Harvard Medical School, receiving her MD in 2008, and completing her residency in psychiatry at MGH and McLean Hospitals in 2012. She received the Dupont-Warren Fellowship from Harvard Medical School in 2013 and the Program in Cancer Outcomes Research Training (PCORT) fellowship in 2015.



Dr Grainne Healy
Dr Grainne HealyGrainne Healy was the Chairwoman of the European Women’s Lobby’s Observatory on Violence against women from 1997-2009. Former Chairwoman of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (1999-2003). Grainne is a feminist activist and has worked on feminist and social justice-change since the early 1980’s. She was Chairwoman of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency, a Member of the Board of the Equality Authority of Ireland and the Women’s Health Council. In the 1990’s Grainne worked specifically on the issue of trafficking and prostitution as Project Co-Ordinator of the Dignity Project which sought to deliver inter-agency services for victims of sex trafficking. She Chaired the Immigrant Council’s emerging Demand Campaign meetings and was involved in the initiation of the ‘Turn off the Red Light’campaign and was a member of the Irish Observatory on Violence Against Women.

A former secondary school teacher and journalist, Grainne was editor of the women’s publishing house Attic Press for some years in the early 1990’s and she taught Women’s Studies part-time in the community with WERRC at UCD during that time. She worked for many years with lone parent representative groups and local development organisations and has conducted research, developed strategic plans and successful funding applications to Irish and EU funding bodies. Involved in the significant campaigns for equality and women’s rights in Ireland, including reproductive health issues of abortion and contraception, violence against women and anti-poverty issues. Grainne is the chairwoman of the Marriage Equality initiative which seeks equal access to civil marriage for gays and lesbians in Ireland and is currently a PhD scholar with SALIS in DCU.