Following 20 years as a specialist physician in rural NSW, Dr. Michael Barbato moved to Sydney in 1989 to commence work in what was then the relatively new specialty of palliative care.

In the following years he directed services within NSW and the ACT before transferring to the Illawarra and Shoalhaven Palliative Care Service. Prior to his retirement in 2012 Michael did regular locums for the Northern Territory Palliative Care Service working in both Alice Springs and Darwin.

Together with his wife and partner Ann, Michael now runs a correspondence course for professional and community groups on the art of Midwifing Death ( His research interests and publications include the doctor as healer, unusual experiences around the time of death, the nature of unconsciousness and the experience of dying.