The investiture ceremony on June 10, 2016 was highlighted by a talk entitled “The Civics of Dying Well” by BJ Miller, M.D., senior director/advocate for the Zen Hospice Project, San Francisco, and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco.
Miller’s passion for palliative care stems from personal experience — an electrical shock sustained while a Princeton undergraduate that cost him three limbs and nearly killed him. But his experiences, chronicled in his popular TED talk, "What Really Matters at the End of Life", form the foundation of a hard-won empathy for patients. Along with the Zen Hospice Project he directs, Miller helps patients face chronic pain and their own deaths realistically, comfortably, and on their own terms. Through the work of Zen Hospice Project, Miller is cultivating a model for palliative care organizations around the world, and emphasizing healthcare’s quixotic relationship to the inevitability of death.