April 14, 1939

(Ottawa, Ontario)


MD, Queen’s University (1963)

Awards & Honours:

1986: Honorary Degree LLD, Dalhousie University

1988: Officer of the Order of Quebec

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Picture of Dr. Balfour Mount

Championed compassionate and ‘whole-person’ end of life care

Balfour Mount

The father of Canada's palliative care movement

A medical graduate of Queen’s University, Dr. Mount began his medical career as a urologist and a surgical oncologist. In 1973, a research study of patients with life-limiting illnesses at McGill’s Royal Victoria Hospital, and his own personal experiences as a cancer patient, intensified Dr. Mount’s interest in the needs of the terminally ill and their families. Dr. Mount has travelled worldwide promoting and explaining palliative care, the pathophysiology of symptoms and their management, and the human experience of suffering endured by patients and families.  Dr. Mount combined the rigours of scientific analysis with deep appreciation for individual human beings, a combination that helps to humanize the intellectual and procedural triumphs of modern medicine.



Key Facts

 Coined the term “palliative care"

Received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

By 2015, 67% of acute hospitals in North America with more than 50 beds had palliative care teams

Has been honoured by three named awards from the American Journal of Hospice Care, The Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

End of life care brings with it some of life’s greatest challenges. Because of the work and vision of Dr. Balfour, future generations of patients and their families will experience those challenges with dignity and compassion. The integration of palliative and acute care facilities not only provides a more humane health care system, it also creates a centre from which to establish new ways of assessing and managing complex physical and psychosocial symptoms.

Picture of Dr. Balfour Mount


  • A copy of Dr. Mount's memoir

    Ten Thousand Crossroads: The Path as I Remember It

    Dr. Mount publishes his memoir

  • Canada Post Stamp of Dr. Balfour Mount

    Canada Post issued five stamps honouring six Canadian physicians and researchers whose discoveries have saved lives and revolutionized patient care around the world

    CMHF Laureates Drs. Bruce Chown, Julio Montaner, Balfour Mount, Vera Peters, and James Till and Ernest McCulloch were honoured in this stamp series

  • Balfour Mount portrait with 2018 Inductees

    Balfour Mount inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    London, Ontario

  • McGill University established the Balfour Mount Palliative Care Unit

  • Under the leadership of Dr. Mount, the McGill Program in Whole Person Care began this year

    Public Health, Health Promotion & Advocacy

  • Dr. Mount became the Eric M. Flanders Chair in Palliative Medicine at McGill University

    He remained in this role for the next 11 years.

  • Dr. Mount played an integral role in the development of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians

    Public Health, Health Promotion & Advocacy

    He was a founding member in 1993 and served as president the following year.

  • The Division of Palliative Care in McGill University’s Department of Oncology was founded


    Dr. Mount served as its first director for seven years.

  • Dr. Mount published the Royal Victoria Hospital Manual on Palliative and Hospice Care

    Public Health, Health Promotion & Advocacy

    The book has become a guide for program development internationally.

  • The International Congress on the Care of the Terminally Ill was established

    It continues to meet biennially.

  • Dr. Mount persuaded the leadership of the Royal Victoria Hospital and McGill University to open the first comprehensive palliative care service at the Royal Victoria Hospital

    Public Health, Health Promotion & Advocacy

  • Saunders, Dr. Cicely

    Dr. Mount travelled to the United Kingdom to learn about the hospice movement firsthand from Dr. Cicely Saunders


It is possible to die healed.