15 Jun 2009

Founding father of hospice in NZ dies

12:27 pm on 15 June 2009

Ivan Lichter, the man regarded as the founding father of the modern hospice movement in New Zealand, has died in Auckland. He was 91.

Mr Lichter was a Member of the Order of New Zealand.

Born in South Africa, he migrated to New Zealand in 1961 and spent most of his working life here as a senior thoracic surgeon at Dunedin Hospital and teaching at Otago Medical School.

In 1976, his interest in palliative care led him to set up hospice care in Dunedin.

He later became the director of the Te Omanga hospice in the Hutt Valley, visited and worked in hospices overseas, and lectured at hospitals and universities around the world.

Mr Lichter retired to Auckland in 1993 but continued working as a consultant and adviser. He published 60 works on surgery and palliative care and served on various committees to do with care of the terminally ill.

He is survived by his wife Heather, three sons and a daughter.