MDCM, MHSc, FRCPC
Critical Care and Palliative Care physician in Ottawa. Co-chair of the Pan-Canadian Palliative Care Research Collaborative and the Secretary of the Canadian Critical Care Society. Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
James Downar is a Critical Care and Palliative Care physician in Ottawa. He is currently the Head of the Division of Palliative Care at the University of Ottawa, and holds a Clinical Research Chair in Palliative and End of Life Care. He is the co-chair of the Pan-Canadian Palliative Care Research Collaborative and the Secretary of the Canadian Critical Care Society. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, has been principal investigator on more than 20 peer-reviewed grants, and is a former Associated Medical Services Phoenix Fellow. His research interests include communication and decision-making for seriously ill patients and their families; Palliative Care for the Critically Ill; and Palliative Care for Noncancer Illnesses.
Bereavement before, during and post-pandemic
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, bereavement support was a clinical and research priority in Canada and around the world. The pandemic made a bad situation worse by causing a substantial increase in mortality, and then disrupting normal social interactions that occur around the time of death. We still don’t know the full burden of complicated grief that will arise as a result of COVID-19 and the public health measures taken, but we can expand our understanding of what drives complicated grief, and consider some scalable interventions that might help.