National Health Ethics Week 

Exploring Ethics from Coast to Coast to Coast
April 4 - 10, 2016

In collaboration with participating organizations across Canada, the Canadian Bioethics Society is coordinating the 3rd annual National Health Ethics Week, taking place April 4-10, 2016.


What is National Health Ethics Week?

National Health Ethics Week is a time set aside for health and educational institutions, ethics committees, health care professionals, community organizations, businesses and members of the general public, to host and take part in educational events that explore health ethics issues.

National Health Ethics Week was designed with the following goals in mind:

  • Encourage the organization of events to raise awareness of ethics issues related to health and health care across Canada
  • Provide greater visibility for Canadian ethics committees, services and supports 
  • Provide an opportunity for Canadians to engage in dialogue regarding current health ethics issues facing their communities

We invite you to join us in participating in Canada's National Health Ethics Week!

To view events that happened across the country as part of National Health Ethics Week 2015, please click here. To view 2014 Health Ethics Week events, please click here

If you are participating in National Health Ethics Week 2016 and would like to publicize your event, please send the details to and we will share them here.

How Do I Participate?

All organizations, groups, and individuals who are interested in health ethics issues are invited to participate. By participating in National Health Ethics Week, you will show a commitment to ethical discussion and decision-making and will open lines of communication with others in your community.

Involvement in Health Ethics Week is encouraged at a level relevant to and comfortable for you and your organization or group. For example, you may attend an event in your area and advertise the initiative by displaying a National Health Ethics Week poster in your workplace. Or you might host a presentation, facilitate a lunchtime discussion group, distribute print materials or organize a half-day workshop. You are best able to decide where to focus your energies for maximum benefit in your organization or community.

Your organization may choose to organize an event that explores any area of health ethics that is of interest or importance to your organization. The aim is to get Canadians thinking and talking about a variety of health ethics issues – be creative! 


To participate, please download and complete the registration form found here, or contact us at

What Resources Are Available?

Upon registration, Participating Organizations will receive:

  • Electronic poster templates that can be easily printed and customized in order to publicize National Health Ethics Week and your local events
  • Event publicity, including access to the National Health Ethics Week Event Listing on the Canadian Bioethics Society website, which will be referred to in national publicity campaigns prior to the event
  • An invitation to post their organization’s name as a participating organization on the Canadian Bioethics Society website 
  • Assistance with locating health ethics and event planning resources

To view some additional resources, including a trivia game, open source presentations, podcasts and case studies for use by participating organizations, please click here. 

Who Should Participate?

All Canadian organizations with an interest in health and health care are encouraged to participate by hosting an activity exploring a health ethics issue. Because of each group's unique association with the health system, everyone will have an important contribution to make and experience to share.

This includes:

  • Child and family service groups 
  • Churches and religious organizations 
  • Community based health organizations and groups 
  • Environmental organizations 
  • Health care institutions 
  • Health ethics committees  
  • Health professional associations 
  • Health-related businesses and corporations 
  • Members of the public 
  • Mental health agencies 
  • Post-secondary institutions and schools 
  • Regional health authorities and provincial boards 
  • Research ethics boards
  • Social justice groups

2016 Participating Organizations

This list will be updated as organizations register for National Health Ethics Week 2016.  


(1) Canadian Association of Practicing Healthcare Ethicist- Association canadienne des éthiciens en soins de santé

(2) Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards (CAREB)

(3) Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

(4) Canadian Institutes for Health Research- Instituts de recherché en santé du Canada

- Tuesday, April 5, 2016 from 1:00pm-2:00pm, RKTE Journal Club, Discussion of an ethics-related article led by Dr. Jaime Flamenbaum, Senior Advisor Ethics

- Wednesday, April 6, 2016 from 12:00pm-1:00pm, Confessional technologies and the will to disclose: Mobilizing emotions and lived experience in AIDS service organizations in Canada, Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Kilty, Faculty of Criminology, University of Ottawa

- Friday, April 8, 2016 from 12:00pm-1:00pm, Organ Transplantation after Physician assisted Death, in the changing Canadian Landscape, Speaker: Jennifer Chandler, Bertram Loeb Research Chair, Associated Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa

(5) Veritas IRB Inc.


(1) John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre:

For a full list of events that are coordinated by Alberta Health Services’ Clinical Ethics Service, in collaboration with various partners, including the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, the Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta at Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions, and other clinical partners within Alberta Health Services please see attached poster. 

(2) Covenant Health Ethics Centre

Ethics at the Movies
Sponsored by the Covenant Health Ethics Centre
Friday, April 8th, 2016, 5 – 7 PM Grey Nuns Community Hospital Auditorium, 3015 62 Street NW, Edmonton, AB, T6L 5X8 

(3) The Good Samaritan Society

(4) Alberta Innovates- Health Solutions

The Health Research Ethics Boards of Alberta, managed by Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, presents

April 5: In collaboration with the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (MST)

Ethics and Challenges of Collecting and Using Healthcare Data in Rehabilitation  

Presenter: Linda Woodhouse, PhD, Chair, Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta  

Presentation sponsored by Alberta Health Services

April 7: In collaboration with Alberta Health Services: 12:00 - 1:00 pm (MST)

Compassionate Use of Drugs: Ethical Considerations

Presenters: Dr. Brendan Leier, Clinical Ethicist, University of Alberta and Stollery Children’s Hospital and Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, and Dr. Sunil Desai, Pediatric Hematology, Oncologist 

Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions

April 5: In collaboration with the Institute of Health Economics as part of the Health Policy Speaker Series: 7:30 am - 9:00 am (MST)

On Sharing Data in a Data-Focused World: Navigating Ethical Issues and the Policy Environment to Promote Health

Presenter: Dr. Eric Meslin, President and CEO, Council of Canadian Academics   


(1) University of Toronto- Joint Centre for Bioethics

- April 6, 2016, 2nd Annual Balfour Lecture in Surgical Ethics- "High Stakes Surgical Decisionsand Unwanted Care", Dr. Margaret L. (Gretchen) Schwarze. For further details, please see attached.

(2) Guelph General Hospital

(3) Hamilton Health Sciences

(4) Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences

(5) St. Joseph's Health Care London 

(6) The Champlain Centre for Health Care Ethics

(7) Trillium Health Partners

Presentation 1: April 4, 12:00-1:00pm, in conjunction with Quality Improvement Rounds, "Conversations about Patient Preference at End of Life", Speaker: Dr. John You- Hamilton Health Sciences/McMaster University

Presentation 2: April 5, 1:00-1:30pm, in conjunction with the Regional Ethics Program, "Interprofessional Advisory Council", Speaker: REP Staff, Trillium Health Partners

Presentation 3: April 6, 8:00-9:00am, in conjunction with Oncology Rounds, "No CPR Conversations", Speaker: Dr. Laura Harild, Cathy Kiteley, Patricia Hood-MacNicol, Trillium Health Partners 

Presentation 4: April 7, 8:00-9:00am, in conjunction with Family Medicine Rounds, "Breaking Bad News Conversations, Speaker: Dr. Bob Saul, Trillium Health Partners

Presentation 5: April 8, 8:00-9:00am, in conjunction with Neuro/MSK Rounds, Consent Conversations before Major Surgery, Speaker: Daphne Jarvis, Borden Ladner Gervais

(8) University Health Network

(9) Women's College Hospital 

(10) Champlain Community Care Access Centre

(11) Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare

(12) Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

(13) Windsor Regional Hospital

Poster board display manned by the Ethics Facilitator Committee April 4-8, 2016 including information to staff and the public regarding the following:

- Information of the Research Ethics Board

- Ethics Consults and the Ethics Facilitator Team who responds to the consult requests

- Information on the "Idea Framework" that guides our ethical decision making at Windsor Regional Hospital

- Providing copies of the CNO interim guide Registered Nurses regarding physician assisted death

- We will be showing the videos "Introduction to informed choice", "Introduction to Personal Directives", "Privacy and Confidentiality"

- We have an online quiz for staff to complete regarding ethics to raise awareness, the winner receives a gift card

-  National Health Ethics Week advertised in our "Frontline Tribune" communication out to all staff

- Lunch and Learn scheduled on Wednesday, April 6th from 12:00pm-1:00pm on "Goals of Care" Integrating the Patient's Health Care Values, Wishes and Goals in Health Care Decision Making. Presented by: Dr. W. Liang MD, LLB, MHsc, Bioethics and Monica Staley Liang, RN, BScN, LLB 

(14) Timmins District Hospital

(15) Mount Sinai Hospital and CCAC:

Presentation Date: March 30, 2016, 11:00am-12:30pm,  250 Dundas Street West, Suite 305, Toronto, ON, Training Rooms 1 and 2

Title: Physician Assisted Dying in Canada: A Primer on How to Respond February 6- June 6, 2016. For full details, please see attached poster.

(16) Hôpital Montfort

(17) Brant Community Healthcare System

(18) Optimum Care


(1) CISSS-Chaudière-Appalaches:

Conférence : Actualité et défis de l’éthique en santé
Conférencier: Bruno Leclerc, professeur et chercheur, UQAR
Date: 5 avril
heure: 12h00-13h00
Endroit: Hotel Dieu de Levis Salle Levis-St David; et en visioconférence: Centre de documentation (Hôpital St-George), salle 212 (Hôpital de Thetford-Mines), Salle Dupuis (Hôpital de Montmagny), salle de gestion (siège social, Ste Marie) 
Résumé de la conférence:  
La création des CISSS a provoqué une remise en question des dispositifs éthiques établis au sein des établissements des CSSS. Il y a là une opportunité de renouveau à saisir, mais aussi un risque de recul de la culture éthique au sein des organisations. Pour assurer une relance de l’éthique en contexte de turbulences, je soumets trois pistes conceptuelles et pratiques:

- Se donner une compréhension commune de l’éthique comme activité de réflexion et comme responsabilité;  distinguer l’éthique des autres modes de régulation; clarifier le rapport entre valeurs et normes, puis entre valeurs personnelles, professionnelles et organisationnelles. Il s’agit d’un préalable à la relance des dispositifs éthiques (comités, énoncés de valeurs, formations).
- Centrer la réflexion sur les valeurs communes qui donnent sens aux relations avec les usagers, et offrir aux personnes oeuvrant au sein des programmes et des installations les moyens de donner une tonalité à ces valeurs selon leur expérience.
- Prendre conscience que plusieurs enjeux éthiques naissent de l’organisation du travail et des modes de gestion; d’où l’importance de fonder la définition des valeurs organisationnelles sur une conception de l’organisation collaborative, centrée sur l’interdisciplinarité, le dialogue, la reconnaissance et l’initiative.  

Ces pistes de réflexion seront illustrées par des enjeux actuels qui touchent autant les soignants que les gestionnaires

(2) Centre for Applied Ethics, McGill University Health Centre

For MUHC staff:

1. Town Hall Forum: Research Ethics

Tuesday April 5, 12-1pm, Glen Auditorium, McGill University Health Centre, 1001 Boulevard Décarie

Description: The CAE will present updates and an overview of research ethics practices and procedures and respond to questions and concerns about REB review from members of the MUHC research community.  

2. Town Hall Forum: Bill 2

Wednesday April 6, 12-1pm, Glen Auditorium, McGill University Health Centre, 1001 Boulevard Décarie 

Presented by: Eugene Bereza MD CM, CCFP, Sylvie Douyon MD, other panelists to be confirmed

Description: Panelists will provide an overview of the implementation of Bill 2 to date and respond to questions from MUHC clinicians and staff about the new legislation covering palliative care, medical aid in dying, palliative sedation and advanced medical directives.  

For members of the public:

1. "Exploring End of Life Care Options in Quebec"

Thursday April 7, 12-30-1:30pm, Atwater Library Lunchtime Series, 1200 Atwater Ave

Presented by: Veronique Fraser RN, MSc., Clinical Ethicist MUHC & Lori Seller MA, Clinical Ethicist MUHC

Description: On December 10, 2015 Bill 2: An Act Respecting End of Life Care came into effect in Quebec. This law provides a framework for organizing palliative care in the province and provides Quebec residents with access to “medical aid in dying”. Medical aid in dying consists of a doctor giving medication to an end-of-life patient, at the patient’s request, in order to relieve their suffering by causing death. In this talk, ethicists Véronique Fraser and Lori Seller from the Centre for Applied Ethics at the McGill University Health Centre will provide an overview of Bill 2, with an emphasis on palliative care and medical aid in dying. They will address some of the key ethical issues that surround end of life care and respond to audience questions about this topic.

2. "End of Life Care Options in Quebec: Understanding Bill 2"

Friday April 8 1-2pm, Patient Resource Centre, McGill University Health Centre, 1001 Boulevard Décarie

Presented by: Veronique Fraser RN, MSc., Clinical Ethicist MUHC & Lori Seller MA, Clinical Ethicist MUHCDescription: Ethicists Véronique Fraser and Lori Seller from the MUHC Centre for Applied Ethics present on ethical issues at the end of life. They will focus on the new law in Quebec governing palliative care and medical aid in dying and respond to audience questions about this important topic. 3. "Making Health Care Decisions: Planing for the Future"

Monday April 11 1:30-3:30, Alzheimer Society of Montreal, 4505 Rue Notre-Dame

Presented by: Veronique Fraser RN, MSc., Clinical Ethicist and Jean-Frederic Menard BCL/LLB, BCL Clinical Ethicist MUHC

 Description: An advanced medical directive, or living will, is a document that allows a person to express in advance his or her healthcare preferences in the event that they become unable to do so in the future. In this talk, ethicists Véronique Fraser and Jean-Fréderic Menard from the Centre for Applied Ethics at the McGill University Health Centre, will provide an overview of advanced medical directives in Quebec. They will highlight important things to consider when making an advanced directive, describe the steps involved in the process, and respond to audience questions about this important topic.

(3) l’Association Étudiante en Bioéthique de l’Université de Montréal

Conférence: 3ème Colloque annuel de l’Association Étudiante en Bioéthique de l’Université de Montréal (AÉBIUM)
1. Ghislaine Cleret de Langeant, Commissaire adjointe à l’éthique et à l’appréciation au bureau du Commissaire à la santé et au bien-être
2. Divers éthicien(e)s comme Paule Savignac et Bryn William-Jones
3. Divers étudiant(e)s présentant leur recherche sur le thème des conflits d'intérêts, de la neuroéthique, de l'éthique de la reproduction... ou leur expérience de stage en bioéthique

Date: 5 avril
Heure: 13h00, suivi d'un 5 à 7
Endroit: salle 3171-1, Programmes de bioéthique, Université de Montréal, Pavillon 7101, Avenue du Parc, Montreal, Quebec
Resumé: Différents étudiants, en bioéthique des cycles supérieures, présenteront leur projet de recherche ou leur expérience en tant que stagiaires. Des discussions suivront avec le public, des professeurs et des éthiciens du milieu professionnel. 

For more info, please click here: 

(4) CHU de Québec-Université Laval

British Columbia

(1) Vancouver Coastal Health

Nova Scotia

(1) IWK Health Centre

(2) Maritime SPOR Support Unit

(3) Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network

(4) Harbour View Haven- Home for Special Care


(1) Health Research Ethics Authority (HREA)

(2) Provincial Health Ethics Network Newfoundland- Labrador


(1) Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region

Please view the attached poster for event details!


(1) Riverview Health Centre


(1) Yukon Hospital Corporation

For more information about National Health Ethics Week, please contact us at

If you are participating in National Health Ethics Week and would like to publicize your event here, please send the details to ethicsweek@bioethics.caEvents will be added as they are submitted to us. 

Please note that many of these events are available remotely via webinar, telephone and/or videoconferencing. If connecting from out of province, please note time zones and adjust accordingly!