We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Martha L. Donnelly. Dr. Donnelly was a Geriatric Psychiatrist and Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a valued member of the CCA’s Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying. We are grateful for her thoughtful contributions to these reports, particularly The State of Knowledge on Advance Requests for Medical Assistance in Dying.
Dr. Donnelly was Head of the Division of Community Geriatrics for Family Practice at UBC from 1987 to 2011 and Head of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry for UBC from 2002 to 2012, as well as the Program Director for the Geriatric Psychiatry Subspecialty at UBC from 2011 to 2016. She was Board Chair for the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry from 2004 to 2008 and had worked at the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient/Outreach Team at Vancouver General Hospital since 1984.
Throughout her career, she focused on collaborative care and interdisciplinary teamwork. She taught extensively about healthcare consent and financial and personal capacity assessments in British Columbia. In 2010, in recognition of her significant contributions to education within the Faculty, Dr. Donnelly was awarded the UBC Killam Excellence in Teaching Award.
Her passing is a tremendous loss to many. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and colleagues.