Kindness, Humanity, and Respect

These core values of health care must be safeguarded in our time-pressured world. Dignity in Care provides practical ideas and tools to support a culture of compassion and respect throughout the health care system. Read more.

New + Noteworthy

Dignity in Care video produced by Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit with funding from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Highlights from the Dignity in Care video.

Government of Canada Establishes External Panel on options for a legislative response to Carter v. Canada

July 17, 2015

The Government of Canada has announced that Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, Director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, will chair a panel that will consult with Canadians on how to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada’s Carter decision.

Read the Government of Canada’s News Release here:

Dignity Therapy Training Workshop:
May 24-26, 2017, Winnipeg, Canada

The Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit is proud to announce the next Dignity Therapy Training Workshop will be held May 24-26, 2017 in Winnipeg, Canada. This intensive two-and-a-half day workshop is a blend of expert lectures, lively panel discussions, and plenty of small group sessions for participants to practice Dignity Therapy and edit a transcript of a therapy session, all under the guidance of workshop leader Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov and a team of experienced therapists. The workshop also provides a rare opportunity to observe Dr. Chochinov conducting a live Dignity Therapy session.

This workshop will be of interest to:

  • clinicians who work with palliative care or geriatric patients and who are in a key position to use Dignity Therapy
  • researchers who wish to include Dignity Therapy in the development of new research projects
  • health care administrators/nursing home administrators responsible for creating and operationalizing an approach to care that supports and affirms patient dignity and personhood


Complete details will be available when registration opens in September 2016.  For immediate inquiries, contact:

What is Dignity Therapy?

The ultimate goal of Dignity Therapy is to help bolster the dignity of dying patients and address their suffering.  This therapeutic intervention invites individuals with life-limiting illnesses to reflect on matters of importance to them.

Using the Dignity Therapy protocol and following the respondent’s cues, a trained therapist facilitates the expression of thoughts, feelings, and memories that are compiled in a narrative document for the patient to share with a friend or loved one.  The benefits of Dignity Therapy have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Dignity Therapy: Final Words for Final Days now Available

Published by Oxford University Press, this text provides a blueprint for the psychological intervention Dignity Therapy developed by Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov and his internationally lauded research team. Dignity Therapy has been designed to address many of the psychological, existential and spiritual challenges that patients and families face as they grapple with the reality of life drawing to a close.

To purchase Dignity Therapy visit and use promo code AMFLY1Q to receive 20% off the hard cover price.

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Recent publications by Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit

Eliciting Personhood Within Clinical Practice: Effects on Patients, Families, and Health Care Providers. Chochinov HM, McClement S, Hack T, Thompson G, Dufault B, Harlos M. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2014 Dec 17. pii: S0885-3924(14)00914-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.11.291. FREE

Health care, health caring, and the culture of medicine. Chochinov HM. Current Oncology. 2014 Oct;21(5):e668-9.

The secret is out: patients are people with feelings that matter. Chochinov HM. Palliat Support Care. 2013 Aug;11(4):287-8.

Dignity in care: time to take action. Chochinov HM. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2013 Nov;46(5):756-9.

Cause and rate of death in people with schizophrenia across the lifespan: a population-based study in Manitoba, Canada. Kredentser MS, Martens PJ, Chochinov HMPrior HJ. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2014 Feb;75(2):154-61.

 Health care provider communication: An empirical model of therapeutic effectiveness. Chochinov, H. M., McClement, S. E., Hack, T. F., McKeen, N. A., Rach, A. M., Gagnon, P., Sinclair, S., Taylor-Brown, J. (2013), Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27949

This paper provides an empirical model of optimal therapeutic effectiveness, offering healthcare professionals detailed insights regarding the elements of effective communication and psychosocial care for patients experiencing illness-related distress.

This article can also be accessed from:

ResearchGate: (
Cancer – Wiley Online Library

Supplemental Material:

1. Table of theme and sub-theme definitions and exemplars
2. One page black and white handout of Model of Therapeutic Effectiveness
3. One page colour handout of Model of Therapeutic Effectiveness