Ilora Finlay, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

Ilora Gillian Finlay, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, FMedSci (born 23 February 1949) is a Welsh doctor, professor of palliative medicine, and a Crossbench member of the House of Lords.

The Baroness Finlay of Llandaff

Official portrait of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff crop 2.jpg
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
28 June 2001
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1949-02-23) 23 February 1949 (age 71)
Political partyCrossbench

Born the only daughter of Professor Charles Beaumont Benoy Downman, Ilora married Andrew Yule Finlay in 1972, with whom she has two children.

She is a past president of the Royal Society of Medicine. She is a professor of palliative medicine at Cardiff University School of Medicine, and is consultant at the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. On 28 June 2001, she was made a life peer as Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, of Llandaff in the County of South Glamorgan.[1]

In 2003 she proposed a bill to ban smoking in public buildings in Wales, three years before it was eventually implemented.[2]

In 2007, Lady Finlay introduced a private members bill seeking to change the current system of organ donation from 'opt in' to 'opt out'. Parliamentary timing did not allow for this bill to proceed but the principle continues to be debated. Two years later she succeeded in changing government policy on organ donation to allow potential organ donors to be able to specify a family member of close friend to whom they wish to donate their organ(s).[3]

In March 2010, Baroness Finlay sponsored the Sunbeds (Regulation) Bill as it reached the House of Lords for scrutiny. With just weeks before the forthcoming general election, Baroness Finlay, with Government and Opposition front bench support, took the MP Julie Morgan's private members bill through its final stages, to Royal Assent.[4]

Baroness Finlay is a co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group, which brings together parliamentarians committed to tackling carbon monoxide poisoning. In October 2011, following a six-month inquiry which she chaired, the Group produced a report entitled Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, including a number of recommendations for policy and behaviour change. Lady Finlay also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dying Well, which promotes palliative care.

She is a Vice President of Marie Curie,[5] Patron of The Trussell Trust's foodbank network in Wales, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. She is also patron of Student Volunteering Cardiff[6] She was a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and is a Member of its inaugural Council. She is patron of the award-winning charity Students for Kids International Projects (1099804).[citation needed] In 2017, she was appointed one of two patrons of the Royal Microscopical Society, the other being fellow member of the House of Lords, Baroness Brown of Cambridge.[7]

In March 2015, Finlay was awarded the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Honouree for her vigorous champion to improving the care of dying patients.[8]

In 2020, Finlay served as chairwoman of the Alcohol Harms Commission, which recommended that England establish a minimum unit price for alcohol.


Coat of arms of Ilora Finlay, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff
Coronet of a Baroness
Gyronny Azure and Sable upon a Roundel Argent a Roundel invected of eight points Gules charged with a Mullet ribbed of eight points throughout Argent
On either side a Unicorn Argent armed and unguled Or gorged with a plain Collar attached thereto a Line reflexed over the back and terminating in a Ring Gules
The roundel and mullet arrangement suggests a poppy seed case viewed head on. This represents morphine and its treatment of pain, the latter being the speciality of Baroness Finlay of Llandaff. The poppy seed case is placed upon a background of black and blue which is a further allusion to pain as are the unicorns. The unicorn's horn was anciently considered to be an all heal.


  1. ^ "No. 56262". The London Gazette. 3 July 2001. p. 7819.
  2. ^ "Baroness' bill to ban smoking". BBC News. 11 December 2003.
  3. ^ Ilora Finlay, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Patron, Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  4. ^ Sunbed ban for under-18s approved by peers. BBC Democracy Live (30 March 2010). Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Our trustees". Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Successful year for student volunteers". Cardiff University. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Report and Financial Statements (for the year ended 31 December 2017)" (PDF). Royal Microscopical Society. 31 December 2017. p. 2. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  8. ^ "GrassrootDiplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.

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