Brian Finnemore, MD
During his forty years of medical practice, Brian saw
several people die. Some died with equanimity but they were the exception.
It seemed that most people died in a hospital environment encumbered by
IV lines, catheters, and oxygen masks. Death was the enemy, to be fought
at all costs (death always won). Analgesia was eschewed — the patient might
Fortunately, thanks to Kubler-Ross and others, the hospice
and palliative-care movements came into being, and in some quarters attitudes
towards death and dying have changed.
As medical schools began to recognise the value of rural
training, Brian became a tutor for a great number of medical students and
residents, as well as nurse practitioners. His goal was to help them appreciate
that understanding and compassion are the most important qualities for
any member of the healing professions.
Brian and many like-minded physicians have abetted and
probably expedited the transition from life to death, for patients who
keenly desired that transition, with liberal amounts of narcotics.
He strongly believes that every person has the right
to choose the manner of his/her passing.
With the exception of ten years practising family medicine
in Kelowna his professional life was spent in underserviced areas of the
central Arctic, Newfoundland, northern Ontario and B.C. Now in retirement,
he is involved with a variety of volunteer groups, one of which is actively
promoting the idea of fair trade for primary agricultural products, particularly
from the "third world".
Although Newfoundland is his favourite province,
he and his wife live on Saltspring Island in British Columbia.