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David Maginley - Nova Scotia Health Authority. Halifax, NS, CA

David Maginley

Spiritual Care Practitioner | Nova Scotia Health Authority

Halifax, NS, CANADA

Spiritual counsellor, four-time cancer survivor, near death experiencer, public speaker and author



David Maginley Publication






Areas of Expertise (10)

Integrative Medicine

Compassion fatigue

Medical assistance in dying

Grief & bereavement

End-Of-Life Care

Palliative Care

Spiritual Care

Psychosocial Oncology

Cancer Care

Near-Death Experiences

Accomplishments (4)

Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Award of Excellence in Professional Practice (professional)


This award is to be given to an individual who has exemplified excellence in their professional practice, in the areas of education, psycho-spiritual therapy, or spiritual care.

Nautilus Book Awards - Silver (personal)


The Nautilus Book Awards honour titles of exceptional merit that make a literary and heartfelt contribution to spiritual growth, conscious living, high-level wellness, green values, responsible leadership and positive social change, as well as to the worlds of art, creativity and inspiration. Nautilus award-winning authors include Brené Brown, Rob Bell, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eckhart Tolle, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Shelf Unbound Top 100 Indie Book Award (personal)


Shelf Unbound Magazine selects the best Indi published books of the year.

Cancer Care Nova Scotia Award of Excellence Nomination (professional)


These awards honour health care providers in the areas of leadership, innovation, patient care and practice.

Education (2)

Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon: M.Div.

University of Saskatchewan: B.A., Philosophy and Religious Studies

Affiliations (5)

  • Canadian Association for Spiritual Care : Certified Specialist
  • Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology : Member
  • American Center for the Integration Of Spiritually Transformative Experiences : Member
  • International Association for Near-Death Studies : Member
  • Atlantic Therapeutic Touch Network : Teacher

Testimonials (3)

Ann Kwasnik-Frawczy, MD, ABFP, CCFP, Family Physician | Aberdeen Hospital

"David has the uncanny capacity to walk into a patients room as a stranger, and bring about a transcendence that provides not only a nurturing of the soul, but solace and ease of suffering in a multi-dimensional fashion. As a Family Physician for over 30 years and now studying Palliative Medicine, I have had the privilege to experience the true harmony of spiritual care in the comforting of patients near end of life. David shares his wisdom in a very relatable way. He has a delightful ease about him as well as a great learned proficiency of our existential being."

Marilyn Landry RN, BN, M.Ed, Health Services Manager, Dalhousie University | Nova Scotia Health Authority

"David has an amazing ability to touch the emotional core of what patients and their loved ones are thinking and feeling as they go through the cancer experience. Patients and family members often share that David's presentation is the highlight of the day and can often brings them to tears."

Lisa Covey, BScN,RN, Clinical Nurse Educator, Professional Practice | Nova Scotia Health Authority

"I have had David share his wisdom on death, dying and transformation with some new nurses in our organization. These care providers face tragedy and death frequently in their jobs, and often find end of life care emotionally challenging. His calm, gentle, yet humorous presentation style leaves them feeling peaceful and safe.  Many of the new nurses identify him as a 'gem to keep' for these sessions and 'very motivating.' Here's what they say: '[I now know] death is perfectly safe, it's getting there that's hard.' 'My mind was blown away; extremely interesting presentation.' 'David's talk was amazing!! Please always have him speak with the new grads' David's lecture was incredible – great energy, great info, great connection'"

Media Appearances (10)

How to die well: What David Maginley has learned from counselling hundreds on their deathbeds

CBC The Current  radio


David Maginley is a hospital chaplain who sits with people on their deathbed. He shares the most common regrets people reveal, and what's holding them back from being at peace in their final hours.

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Our housecall focuses on spiritual counseling

CTV News Atlantic  tv


A spiritual counselor at the QEII helps patients cope with difficult diagnoses...

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Beyond Surviving

Global TV Halifax  tv


Paul Brothers and I discuss facing cancer, using the crisis to deepen our humanity, and my new book, Beyond Surviving: Cancer and Your Spiritual Journey.

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How important is a positive mindset to good health?

The Pulse AMI Radio  



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He Has Died. He Has Risen.

Sickboy Podcast  online


There’s a mischievious tension in the room. I’m a Reverend sitting with three cool guys, talking about spirituality, cancer, death… and I’m just waiting for the f-bomb.

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Here Right Now Documentary

Clerisy Entertainment  tv


"Life and death are intertwined. We all were born. And we all will die. Yet most of us don’t dwell on the latter. But what happens when we’re forced to confront our mortality? 'Here Right Now' looks at life through the lenses of Julie and Layton, two young adults living with terminal cancer, as they face that very question and candidly share what it’s like to all at once be dying and living.

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Q&A 'What I tried to do was use cancer to evolve into love'

CBC News  


David Maginley is an interfaith spiritual counsellor for the cancer centre at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax. He's also survived pheochromocytoma cancer four times. He first got the cancer at 17 and now, at 53, he's helped thousands of people through their cancer journeys, supporting the person and their family.

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Spirituality and Palliative Care

CBC Radio Information Morning  radio


Spiritual care at the end of life. We get a preview of a talk entitled "Spiritually Transformative Experiences at End-of-Life" by Rev. David Maginley, he's an interfaith spiritual councilor and chaplain with the NS Health Authority.

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Turning darkness into light

QEII Times  print


Patients talk, and chaplains listen, guiding them gently to see the value in their life and to face their fears for the future. “I have no expectations and no desired outcome. I’m not even hoping they’ll feel better after my visit. I simply want to go with them into their own experience, so they can encounter themselves with full authenticity. Your spiritual health is not determined by what you believe; it’s determined by the quality of your love,” says David...

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How We Die Documentary

Centre East Media  tv


"Grief is the price we pay for love." says Chaplin David Maginley. In this short clip from the documentary "When We Die" he shares his insight & experience with cancer patients. Produced and Directed by Johanna J. Lunn

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Event Appearances (4)

NDEs and the Unfinished Love Stories

International Association for Near Death Studies Conference  King of Prussia, Pennsylvania USA


Compassion Fatigue: The Cholesterol of Care (Keynote)

National Association of Perianastesia Nurses Conference  Halifax, Nova Scotia


Spiritual Dimensions of Medical Assistance in Dying (Keynote)

Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology National Convention  Delta Hotel, Chalottetown, PEI


Complete list of presentations can be found at:  

Sample Talks (5)

Spiritual Dimensions of Medical Assistance in Dying

Medical assistance in dying is seen by many either as the ultimate act of compassion, or an act of transgressing the 7th commandment. Few issues have stirred the debate on end-of-life care so intensely, or are so ripe for moral distress. While the conversation has focused largely on medical and legal aspects, it is the spiritual dimensions of MAID that inform the heart of this debate. Such conversations are subliminally shaped by our theology of suffering, death and dying, the afterlife, our concept of moral culpability and of the gift of life. Unless these spiritual aspects are overtly and intentionally honoured, they can actually become a source of even more suffering and distress. Explore the various faith perspectives on MAID, as well as the complex ethical dynamics at play in this ultimate act at the end of life.

Compassion Fatigue: The Cholesterol of Care

Compassion Fatigue Self-care is critical in maintaining vitality and depth in our practice of care of others. Learn in this presentation to recognize supportive and maladaptive coping strategies in the face of suffering, how to bring closure and honour those we care for through rituals, and deepen our own humanity as we witness those who help us prepare for our own eventual death and transformation.

Near Death Experiences - Hope, Hypoxia and Hypotheses

Many patients report mystical experiences near end-of-life, which they hesitate to share for fear of judgment, dismiss as hallucination, or side effects of narcotics. The nature and frequency of these experiences are explored against medical and non-medical explanations. A supportive response from caregivers is reviewed that will help integrate these life-changing events.

The Wisdom of Grief

Grief is the price we pay for love, a necessary wilderness of the soul. Handled well, we emerge both vulnerable and strong. Unresolved, it cripples the heart and soul. Experience in this presentation the gateway of grief to a larger life, a deeper humanity, through integrating the unfinished love stories of our lives.

Unpacking for the Journey

Death is the most undesired event in life, yet one required for our transformation. Explore practical and spiritual preparation helps one face mortality. Prepare for end-of-life with steps that heal the heart, connect with hope, and best support family and loved ones.



  • Keynote
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Author Appearance


3000 to 10000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee