2020 INDUCTEE Harvey Max Chochinov, MD PhD Patient Care, Public Health, Health Promotion & Advocacy


March 9, 1958

(Winnipeg, Manitoba)


MD, University of Manitoba (1983)

PhD, University of Manitoba (1996)

Awards & Honours:

2024: Distinguished Alumni Awards, The University of Manitoba

2024: International Psycho-Oncology Society Award Winner

See All Awards
Picture of Harvey Chochinov

Shaped the landscape of palliative care around the world

Chochinov, Harvey Max portrait

A Champion of Personalized and Dignified End of Life Care

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of Oncology and Haematology, CancerCare Manitoba, is one of the world’s most innovative and influential proponents of improved and expanded palliative care across multiple dimensions of life-limiting or life- ending conditions. His pioneering work has significantly advanced effective recognition and treatment of end-of-life distress, depression, desire for death and vulnerability. In addition, his empirical research provides guidelines for psychosocial intervention and aiding individuals to die with dignity. Over his career, Dr. Chochinov has reached tens of thousands of people with the life affirming insights of Dignity Therapy.

Key Facts

Recognized worldwide as a leading expert in the psychosocial and spiritual impacts of terminal illness

His “Patient Dignity Question Study” was named one of Top Canadian Cancer Society Funded Research Stories of 2013

Co-edited the Handbook of Psychiatry in Palliative Medicine (Oxford University Press) and the Journal Palliative and Supportive Care (Cambridge University Press)

Published over 250 articles and has offered Dignity Therapy Training around the world

Governments around the world have sought his expertise on the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide in institutionalized medical care

Remains committed to rigorous empiricism combined with profound humanity

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

Dr. Chochinov’s widely respected and frequently cited work is helping to assure that our medical management of dying and death does not disregard alleviable pain nor violate the dignity of patients and their families. In addition, Dr. Chochinov’s efforts have enabled patients, families, and health care practitioners to have increased access to palliative care resources.  Today, the Canadian Virtual Hospice is visited by more than 1.6 million people annually from some 200 countries worldwide, reaching people in remote and rural regions where access to palliative care is limited.

Picture of Harvey Chochinov


  • Dignity in Care

    Dr. Chochinov publishes "Dignity in Care: The Human Side of Medicine"

    Patient Care

    Dignity in Care provides readers with knowledge about the humanity and tone of care, and how they can engage in these facets of care in a thoughtful and meaningful way that satisfies their patients' needs to be seen and appreciated as 'whole persons.'

  • Inducted photo

    Harvey Max Chochinov inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Virtual Ceremony (Originally scheduled to take place in Vancouver, BC)

  • In July of 2015, the Federal Government appointed Harvey Max Chochinov to chair the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada

    Patient Care, Leadership in Organizational Development

    Afterwards, he was asked to appear as a witness to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

  • Dignity Therapy

    Harvey Max Chochinov published, Dignity Therapy: Final Words for Final Days with Oxford University Press

    Patient Care

    The book is a beautiful mediation of human mortality and a blueprint for the palliative intervention developed by Chochinov and his research colleagues.

  • Recognized as an innovative leader in his field, Chochinov was named chair of the CIHR Standing Committee on Ethics

    Leadership in Organizational Development

    He remained in this position for the next seven years.

  • The province of Manitoba and The University of Manitoba established a Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care

    Leadership in Organizational Development, Health and Medical Education & Training

    Chochinov was appointed to the position and grew the University into a centre of excellence of palliative care research.

  • CVH

    Dr. Chochinov co-founded the Canadian Virtual Hospice (CVH) and served as its chair for the next 16 years

    Patient Care, Leadership in Organizational Development, Health and Medical Education & Training

    The CVH became the world’s most comprehensive online platform providing information and support to patients, families and health providers on issues related to palliative care and bereavement.

  • Upon completion of his PhD, Chochinov was appointed Professor in the Division of Palliative Care in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Family Medicine

    Health and Medical Education & Training

    At the same time, he became a member of the Department of Community Health Sciences.

  • Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov’s article on desire for death in the terminally ill was published

    Patient Care

    The article became one of the most highly cited papers in the history of The American Journal of Psychiatry.

  • Returning to his home province, Dr. Chochinov became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at his alma mater

    Health and Medical Education & Training

    Within a few years, he was appointed Head of Clinical Services and Academic Affairs in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology.

  • University of Manitoba

    Harvey Chochinov graduated from medical school at the University of Manitoba

    He then pursued further training with a fellowship in psychiatry at New York Hospital and Cornell Medical College.


The reflection that patients see in the eye of the health care provider is the most likely thing to predict whether or not their dignity is intact.