Derek Willis

Department of Theology and Religion
Honorary Research Fellow

Contact details

Derek Willis is the Lead Consultant at Severn Hospice in Shrewsbury. He was Vice Chair for the Ethics Committee for the Association of Palliative Medicineand Chair for the Palliative Care Congress 2016. He is also Programme Director for West Midlands Palliative Care Training. He has an MSc in Biomedical Ethics and Law from University of Birmingham. He has had a varied medical career working in the Midlands, the North East and New Zealand. He is both qualified as a physician and a general practitioner. His interest in ethics relates to medicine and spiritual care within health care settings and professionalism, especially within the context of palliative care.


  • MbChb(Hons) Bham University 1993
  • MRCP 1998
  • JCGPTE 2000
  • Msc ( Health Care Ethics) Bham 2002
  • Diploma Clinical Education Newcastle University 2010
  • Admitted to Speciality Register 2011
  • Awarded Fellowship 


  • Blaber M, Jones.J Willis.D Spiritual Care: What is the Best Assessment Tool in a Palliative Care Setting? International Journal Palliative Nursing 2015 Aug 21 6 p 480-488
  • Willis D The Eleventh Palliative Care Congress - Why Rediscovering Holism? European Journal Of Palliative Care 2015 Vol22 No 6 p302-304
  • Willis D, Rediscovering Holism BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care 2015 Sep;5(3):317
  • Willis.D, Hart.C, Willis TA, A Patient with Muscular Dystrophy Who Wishes to Have a Child European Journal of Palliative Care 2015 July 22(5) 175-177
  • Willis.D, Kitchen.R, Jones.J ‘What is the Evidence for Evidence ?’ International Journalof Palliative Care 2015 May 21(5) 213-15
  • Willis.D ‘Grumpy Old Ethicist’ BMJ Support Palliative  Care 2015;5:99
  • Willis D.Reasons to be cheerful.BMJ Supportive  Palliative Care. 2014 Sep;4(3):230
  • Willis D, Gannon C, Jones J.’ Specialist palliative care, non-cancer conditions, and guilt: an unholy triad?International Journal  of Palliative  Nursing . 2014 Mar;20(3):121-3
  • Willis D, Gannon C, Harlow T, Baker I, George R. ‘ A Response toAnquinet et al.'sarticle on Terminal Sedation’ Palliative Medicine. 2014 Apr;28(4):367-8
  • Harlow T, Baker I, Bullock R, Gannon C, George R, Shuler A, Willis D. ‘BMJ is not Always Impartial About the Advertisements it Includes’ British Medical Journal 2013 Dec 4;347
  • Willis D ‘Does a Background in General Practice add to a Doctor’s Ability to Communicate in Palliative Care’ British Medical Journal Palliative and Supportive Care 2013 3 221-2
  • Willis D ‘CESR: a Guide to Survival’ British Medical Journal Careers 2013 9 March  p 3
  • Willis.D Draper.H ‘To Make The Unusual Usual’ International Journal of Palliative Nursing  2012 Jan; 18(1):5-7
  • Willis D ‘Dilemmas in Donation’ Darlington and County Durham Medical Journal 2009; Spring Vol 3 No1 p70-71
  • Willis D ‘In Search of True Autonomy’ Journal of Primary Health Care 2009; Vol 1 No 2 June p152-3
  • Willis D ‘Health Crunch’ BMJ Rapid Response 2009; 20 April: email online posting
  • Willis D ‘Health and Safety Will be the Death of Us’ New Zealand Medical Journal 2009; Jan p111
  • Willis D ‘No Privacy in Death’ New Zealand Medical Journal 2007; 120 July p 1258
  • Willis D ed. by Faull (2005) ‘Chapter 4: Ethics and Palliative Care’ Handbook of Palliative Medicine Second Edition Blackwell Publishing
  • Willis D and Jones J ‘Letters Doctors’ Communication of Trust, Care and Respect: It Takes Two to Make Therapeutic Relationship to Work’British Medical Journal 2004; May 328:1318a
  • Willis D and Jones J ‘What is a Good Death? British Medical Journal 2003; 7408 July p224
  • Willis D ed by Charlton (2002) ‘Chapter 12: Ethics and Dying’ Primary Palliative Care Radcliffe Medical Press