Virtual End of Life Care


In this conversation, Kieran Quinn, a general internist and palliative care clinician-scientist at Sinai Health in the Department of Medicine and at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, and James Downer, a critical care and palliative care physician in Ottawa, discuss virtual end-of-life care during the COVID-19 pandemic. – The Pan-Canadian Palliative Care Research Collaborative is a national network of researchers, healthcare providers, community stakeholders, and patient and caregiver partners who are passionate about palliative care research.

 Dr. Kieran Quinn is a General Internist and Palliative Care Clinician-Scientist at Sinai Health in the Department of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). His research focuses on using advanced analytic methods and large administrative datasets to improve access and delivery of high-quality end-of-life care for patients with terminal noncancer illness, such as heart failure and dementia, and improving the recognition and care of people with post COVID-19 condition (long COVID). Dr. Quinn was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence and the John Charles Polanyi Prize in Physiology and Medicine. He is co-lead of Canada’s national research network on post COVID-19 condition and co-chair for the development of clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of post COVID-19 condition. He served as the Assistant Director of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, the Ontario Public Health Emergencies Science Advisory Committee, and as an Expert Member of the Chief Science Advisor’s National Task Force on the Post COVID-19 Condition. His early research success includes over $28 million in competitive grant funding and 7 CIHR grants as the nominated principal applicant. He has mentored 12 trainees who have published and won several awards for their work together. He has 103 peer-reviewed publications, including 52 as first author or senior author in high-impact journals such as JAMA, JAMA Internal Medicine, and BMJ.

 Dr. James Downar is a Critical Care and Palliative Care physician in Ottawa. He graduated from McGill Medical School and completed residency training in Internal Medicine, Critical Care, and Palliative Care at the University of Toronto. He has a Master’s degree in Bioethics from the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. He is currently the Head of the Division of Palliative Care at the University of Ottawa and a Professor in the Department of Medicine. He is the chair of Palliative and End-of-Life Care at the University of Ottawa, the co-chair of the Pan-Canadian Palliative Care Research Collaborative, the chair of the Ethical Affairs committee of the Canadian Critical Care Society, and the co-chair of the Ontario Palliative Care Network’s Provincial Education Steering Committee. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, has been principal investigator on more than 20 peer-reviewed grants, and is a former Associated Medical Services Phoenix Fellow. Dr. Downar also led several provincial and national efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was involved in planning for medication shortages for both critical care and palliative care and led the development of a critical care triage system for the event of major surge in critically ill patients His research interests include communication and decision-making for seriously ill patients and their families; Palliative Care for the Critically Ill; and Palliative Care for Noncancer Illnesses.

Listen to the Podcast HERE

AMS - GOOD TECH - Kieran and James - Episode Artwork