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Eric J. Cassell, MD

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California is honored to announce that Eric J. Cassell, MD, MACP, will keynote our 9th annual palliative care summit in Sacramento, CA, on March 13-14, 2017.

As one of the early pioneers of palliative care, Dr. Cassell is well known for authoring The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine, a book considered by many as the founding cornerstone of the palliative care movement.

In 1971, Cassell was appointed to serve on the Task Force on Dying with The Hastings Center, a research institute known for establishing bioethics as a field of study. This experience, “Literally changed my life and broadened my horizons,” Cassell says. “I began to wonder whether a doctor could actually treat patients in a useful and special way because they were dying.”

Since that time, Cassell wrote about the moral problems in medicine and the care of the dying, which was a then-new look at how we see care of the dying as part of the health continuum and not as a failure of medicine.

Cassell is the author of numerous books, including The Healer’s Art, The Place of the Humanities in Medicine, Changing Values in Medicine, Talking with Patients, and Doctoring: The Nature of Primary Care Medicine. His latest book, The Nature of Clinical Medicine, was published by Oxford in the fall of 2014, and took him 25 years to write.

Dr. Cassell retired from active practice in 1998 after 37 years in internal medicine, and has spent the last several years writing, speaking and lecturing around the world.

Now at the age of 88, Dr. Cassell is passing the torch and looks forward to addressing the change makers of today who are taking palliative care mainstream.

Learn more about the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California 9th Annual Summit at

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