Lachlan Forrow

Dr. Forrow has been a member of the Coordinating Committee of Dignity Alliance Massachusetts since shortly after the organization was founded, and serves as co-chair of its Communications Work Group,  He brings decades of experience as a practicing clinician and as a statewide and national leader in efforts to improve the care of patients with serious illness and conditions.

Dr. Forrow also serves as President and Board Chair of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and Senior Fellow at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics.  As a physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (1986-2020), Dr. Forrow founded and served as Director (1996-2020) of BIDMC Ethics Programs, and founded and served as Director (1998-2016) of BIDMC Palliative Care Programs.  He served as Chair of the Massachusetts Expert Panel on End-of-Life Care (2009-2011), and as lead author of its landmark report Patient-Centered Care and Human Mortality: The Urgency of Health System Reforms to Ensure Respect for Patients’ Wishes and Accountability for Excellence in Care, which outlined a comprehensive roadmap for progress that remains the primary guidepost for work in this area.  He serves as Chair of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Interdisciplinary Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life, and as senior adviser to the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care

Dr. Forrow left his longtime roles at BIDMC and HMS in October 2020 to focus entirely on supporting transformational health system and political reforms that successfully address the longstanding and widespread inequities in health and health care that are unconscionably incompatible with the founding ideals of the Commonwealth and the country.

Dr. Forrow earned his A.B. (summa cum laude in Philosophy) from Princeton University in 1978 and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School (HMS) in 1983.  In 2007 Dr. Forrow was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service from Harvard Medical School. He was honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society with the 2016 Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health, presented annually to “a Massachusetts physician who demonstrates creativity, commendable citizenship, initiative, innovation and leadership in the public health and advocacy fields.” 

He and his wife Susan Reidy Forrow live in Newton, Massachusetts, and have four adult children.  A longer biography on Dr. Forrow is available.