It Changed My Life: A life devoted to helping others die with dignity

Pioneer in palliative care in Singapore now aims to do more for developing countries

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A strong believer in treating the body and soul, Dr Cynthia Goh spearheaded the hospice movement in Singapore in the mid-1980s. Since then, she has been transforming palliative care services in Asia.
Prof Goh was medical director of Assissi Hospice for five years, from 1994. Under her watch, Assissi became a comprehensive hospice provider. Professor Cynthia Goh, 69, recognised a need for hospices and palliative care in Singapore long before other
Professor Cynthia Goh, 69, recognised a need for hospices and palliative care in Singapore long before others did. Her many achievements include setting up palliative care services at the National Cancer Centre Singapore and Singapore General Hospital, and founding HCA Hospice Care. Thanks to her efforts, palliative medicine became a recognised medical subspeciality here. ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG
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Steel magnolia is an evocative term to describe a woman who exemplifies graceful femininity and indomitable strength.

It is also an apt description for Professor Cynthia Goh, a youthful 69-year-old with gentle manners, an instinct for kindness and an unwavering belief in human dignity.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 07, 2019, with the headline It Changed My Life: A life devoted to helping others die with dignity. Subscribe