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29th November 2018

We recognise the passing of Dr Douglas McAdam who was a pioneer of palliative care medicine in Western Australia.  Dr MacAdam died on 17 October.

Douglas Macadam was a remarkable man. He was a general practitioner, teacher, innovator and pioneer. He did theological training concurrently with his medical degree, and was an ordained minister in the Uniting Church.

He migrated to Perth from England, bringing with him experience in palliative care, which was a very new concept at the time. He was one of the driving forces behind the construction of the Cottage Hospice in Shenton Park, and the Silver Chain Hospice Care Service. He started the first home care service in the Claremont region. It was so successful that it rapidly spread to cover the whole of Metropolitan Perth, divided into eight teams.

I got to know him in 1983, when he asked me to provide an inpatient backup service in Fremantle hospital, for patients receiving homecare who required hospital admission. He was responsible for the creation of the position of “senior Lecturer in Palliative Care”, which I believe was the first academic position in the southern hemisphere. He persuaded Rosalie Shaw to accept the position, and persuaded me to join Rosalie providing medical services at the Cottage Hospice, which opened in 1987.

Please visit The West Australian to read a comprehensive obituary on this remarkable man.


Dr Doug Bridge