When the internationally esteemed neurologist, oncologist, and palliative care specialist Dr. Richard Payne died January 3, 2019 at the age of 67, the fields of medicine and religion lost “a generous, thoughtful, and insightful colleague.” A “tireless advocate for patients in chronic pain,” he long exhorted medicine to acknowledge and address the disparities in access to health care for people of color—particularly in cancer care, palliative medicine, and end of life care. He called us to recognize and respect each person’s inherent worth and dignity and to connect with patients and families inclusive of their race, religion, and culture.
Among his 275 publications is this noteworthy essay, featured in the special Journal of Palliative Medicine African American Issue, Vol. 19 No. 2, published in February 2016. The entire issue, which can be accessed by paid subscription, can be found here.
The Conversation Project is grateful for the vast contributions Dr. Richard Payne made to compassionate care for all, and for his leadership in calling for respectful, values-centered conversations about what matters most when it comes to living and dying. We extend our sincere condolences to family and wide community.
For more information about Dr. Payne’s extraordinary career, read Duke Divinity School’s online obituary here.