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Presidential honour

8 July 2014

Baroness Ilora Finlay

A University expert in palliative care has taken up the reins as President of the influential doctors' union and professional association, the British Medical Association (BMA).

Baroness Ilora Finlay, Professor of Palliative Care in the School of Medicine, is one of the UK's leading figures in shaping palliative care.

She was the first Consultant in Palliative Medicine in Wales in 1987 and has played a leading role in developing palliative and hospice services across Wales.

She currently Chairs the Implementation Board for the Palliative Care Strategy.

Commenting on her new role as BMA President, Baroness Finlay said: "I am privileged to take on this position. I plan to build on the good teaching in palliative and end of life care we have established here at Cardiff University and widen awareness of how to support those patients and their families who are facing dying.

"I also want to widen the debate about the threats to our environment from plastics and from agri-chemical residues on our food, and the dangers of ignoring the warnings over antibiotic resistance. And of course I want to promote Wales across the rest of the globe".

Since her elevation to a Peerage in 2001, Baroness Finlay has been actively involved in debates on health issues, particularly relating to Health and Tobacco.

As a Member of the Select Committees on Science and Technology she chaired the enquiry into Allergy. She also served on Select Committee on the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill.

Baroness Finlay was named Welsh Woman of the Year 1996-97 and in 2008 secured the coveted 'Woman Peer of the Year'.

She has published and lectured widely on palliative care, and researched into aspects of cancer palliative care and remains an active clinician, teacher and academic.

She is co-Chairman of Living and Dying Well, a think-tank to look at the evidence around euthanasia and assisted suicide and the wider implications of legislation.