Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles - Newbigging Chapel Limited
1403 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, ON M4G 3A8
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Dr. John Laidlaw

Dr. John Laidlaw Obituary

CM, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FRSC, FRCP (Lon), DSc (Hon)


Died on Saturday, June 6, 2015, at the Palliative Care Unit of St. Michael's Hospital, after a lengthy illness due to kidney disease. Beloved husband of Ann, devoted father of Kate and the late Meg (September 4, 2014). He leaves his sister Jane, her husband William Dale and their three sons, Michael (Julia), John (Rose) and Tom (Maria); his brother-in-law Tom LePoidevin (the late Shirley) and their two sons, David (Teresa) and Mark.

Jack was a gentleman and a scholar. He enjoyed theatre, film, music, travel, literature, art, sports, great restaurants and good stories. Most of all he valued people and caring for them.

Graduating from U of T Medical School in 1944, he pursued his studies in endocrinology for the next six years, three in the U.K. and three years at Harvard. He returned to Toronto as an endocrinologist. Throughout his career he had many notable accomplishments, U of T Faculty of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award (2014), Order of Canada (2003), the Jack Laidlaw Chair in Patient-Centered Health Care at McMaster University (2002). Earlier in his career, he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was the Director of the Clinical Investigation Unit at Toronto General Hospital and the founding director of U of T Institute of Medical Science in the Graduate School for clinical investigators. He was Chairman of Medicine and then Dean of McMaster Health Sciences Faculty and later Executive Director of the Medical Affairs for the Canadian Cancer Society. Jack was a consultant to Cancer Care International in the organization of cancer control in many different countries and served on the Advisory Committee on Medical Research for the World Health Organization.

Since 2000 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Healthcare Communication in the U.S. which supported the improvement in communication between health professionals and patients. Jack felt so strongly about this aspect of patient care that in 2005 along with the late Dr. Don Cowan he established a comparable institute in Canada.

Jack led from his heart in everything that he did so all of us who knew him will dearly miss him.

"…the secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient."

- Dr. Francis Peabody ("The Care of the Patient." Harvard, 1927)

The family will receive friends at the HUMPHREY FUNERAL HOME A.W. MILES – NEWBIGGING CHAPEL, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) from 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 10. The funeral service will be held in ROSEDALE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 129 Mount Pleasant Road on Thursday, June 11 at 2:00 p.m. If you wish to make a donation in memory of Jack please consider St. Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1W8 or http://www.stmichaelsfoundation.com or 416-864-5000. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymilesnewbigging.com


Published in the Toronto Star from June 9 to June 10, 2015
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