The Hoffenberg Memorial Lecture

Sir Raymond ‘’Bill’’ Hoffenberg trained as a physician in South Africa and committed himself to a career in academic medicine, specialising in endocrinology.

His prominent involvement in the anti-apartheid movement caused him and his wife to move to the UK in 1968, where he became Professor of Medicine at the University of Birmingham, and later President of the Royal College of Physicians and, simultaneously, President of Wolfson College Oxford.

His humanitarian convictions and fortitude equipped him for a position of power and influence at a time of radical change in the political control and structure of the NHS. As a popular and influential leader of his profession he focussed on preserving the basic tenets of the service, ethical issues in medicine, and improving standards in medical care.

Bill was crucially involved in the acceptance of the concept of brain stem death by the profession. He took a keen interest in the ethical issues involved in transplantation, in particular organ donation. He was a founder member of the International Forum for Transplant Ethics, and contributed superbly to the exhaustive debates and eventual publications on contentious bio-ethical issues. He believed that questions of what is right, good or just in human conduct should be examined de novo and not conflated initially with social, religious or professional tradition. This Memorial Lectureship celebrates his manifold contributions to medicine and in particular to clinical transplantation.

The inaugural Hoffenberg Memorial Lecture was given by Professor Sir Ian Kennedy at the 13th Annual Congress of the British Transplantation Society on Thursday 18 March 2010. A transcipt of the lecture is available here

A biography entitled ‘Hoffenberg: Physician and Humanitarian’ is available.