Dr Idris Baker is a consultant in palliative medicine in Swansea. He grew up in Knighton and Bangor and trained mainly in Cambridge, London and Leicester. He has interests in the theoretical and applied ethics of end of life care which he has studied at Keele University. Before taking up his post in Swansea he was visiting scholar at the Hastings Center in New York, looking at questions of autonomy and proxy decision making. He currently has responsibilities in medical management, postgraduate training and education, and clinical ethics, but although he has read a couple of books he has learnt most of what he knows at patients’ bedsides. He teaches and speaks widely on palliative care and ethics on undergraduate and postgraduate courses and with other groups.