Eric L. Krakauer, MD, PhD

Eric L. Krakauer, MD, PhD

Director, Center for Palliative Care
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Assistant Professor of Global Health & Social Medicine
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Dr. Krakauer is Assistant Professor of Medicine and of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a practicing internist and palliative medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital where he also co-chairs the Clinical Ethics Committee. He has been working in Vietnam since 2001 when he founded the Vietnam-CDC-Harvard Medical School AIDS Partnership (VCHAP) to provide training and technical assistance in HIV/AIDS treatment to Vietnam's physicians and nurses and thereby to help enable introduction and scale-up of anti-retroviral therapy.

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In 2005, he became Founding Director of the International Program of the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care. Based in the Palliative Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, this Program provides training and technical assistance in pain relief and palliative care to Ministries of Health, hospitals, and colleagues in developing countries. In Vietnam, Dr. Krakauer has collaborated with major cancer centers and general hospitals to integrate pain relief and palliative care into comprehensive care for patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other serious chronic illnesses. He is also working with Partners In Health, an NGO based at Harvard Medical School, to integrate palliative care into cancer and non-communicable disease treatment programs in Rwanda and Malawi.

Other Appointments

  • International Associate Faculty and Mentor, International Palliative Care Leadership Development Initiative, The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice, San Diego, California, USA, 2010 to present
  • Associate Faculty Member, San Diego Institute of Palliative Medicine
  • Consultant, International Palliative Care Initiative, Open Society Foundations
  • Member, Board of Directors, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care
    Member, Technical Advisory Committee, Global Task Force for Expanding Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries
  • Member, International Expert Collaborative, International Pain Policy Fellowship, University of Wisconsin


  • MD, Yale University School of Medicine, USA
  • PhD in Philosophy, Yale University Graduate School, USA

Key Publications
Journal articles

  • Blinderman CD, Krakauer EL, Solomon MZ (2012). Time to revise our current approach to determining cardiopulmonary resuscitation status. JAMA, in press.
  • Billings JA, Krakauer EL (2011) On patient autonomy and physician responsibility in end-of-life care. Arch Intern Med, 171:849-853
  • Krakauer EL (ed.). Palliative Care in Vietnam / Chăm Sóc Giảm Nhẹ ở Việt Nam (CD). Boston: Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care, 2011. This CD contains in both English and Vietnamese the complete basic and advanced training materials in palliative medicine developed by the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care in collaboration with Ministry of Health of Vietnam
  • Krakauer EL, Cham NTP, Khue LN (2010). Vietnam's palliative care initiative: successes and challenges in the first five years. J Pain Symptom Manage, 40:27-30
  • Krakauer EL, Quinn TE. Sedation in palliative medicine. In: Hanks G, Cherny N, Christakis N, Fallon MT, Kaasa S, Portenoy RK, eds. Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine, fourth edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2010
  • Krakauer EL, Wenk R, Buitrago R, Jenkins P, Scholten W (2010). Opioid inaccessibility and its human consequences: reports from the field. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother, 24:239-243

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  • Krakauer EL. Palliative care. In: Goroll Ah, Mulley AG, eds. In: Primary Care Medicine: Office Evaluation and Management of the Adult Patient, sixth edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott; 2009
  • Gwyther L, Krakauer E. World Palliative Care Alliance policy statement on defining palliative care. World Palliative Care Alliance, 2009, Available at:
  • Krakauer EL (2008). Just palliative care: responding responsibly to the suffering of the poor. J Pain Symptom Manage, 36:505-512
  • Krakauer EL. To be freed from the infirmity of (the) age: subjectivity, life-sustaining treatment, and palliative medicine. In: Biehl J, Good B, Kleinman A, eds. Subjectivity: ethnographic investigations. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007
  • Krakauer EL, Nguyen NM, Green K, Le KV, Luong KN (2007). Vietnam: integrating palliative care into HIV/AIDS and cancer care. J Pain Symptom Manage, 33:578-83
  • Smith AK, Davis RB, Krakauer EL (2007). Differences in the quality of the patient-physician relationship among terminally ill African American and white patients: impact on advance care planning and treatment preferences. J Gen Intern Med, 22:1579-82
  • De Lima L, Krakauer E, Lorenz K, Praill D, MacDonald N, Doyle D (2007). Ensuring palliative medicine availability: the development of the IAHPC list of essential medicines for palliative care. J Pain Symptom Manage, 33:521-26.
  • Krakauer EL. The disposition of the subject: reading Adorno’s dialectic of technology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press;1998


About the International Palliative Care Leadership Initiative (LDI) at the Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice (100 KB)

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