Distinguished Service Award


The Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding and dedicated service to the Canadian Bioethics Society. The award will be presented to an individual or group that has advanced the mission of the CBS in a significant and lasting manner.

Criteria for selection include:

  • Service to the CBS in one or more capacities over an extended number of years
  • Primary driver behind one or more major initiatives that have been crucial to the CBS's development
  • Recognized widely, both within and outside the CBS, as a key contributor and member of the CBS
  • Embraces and reflects the values of the Society

Nomination Process

Any member of the CBS may nominate an individual for either of the two awards. Nominations should be in the form of a letter demonstrating how the nominee matches the stated criteria.  At least three letters of support should accompany the nomination. The deadline for nominations is January 31, 2016.

The final decision will be made by the CBS Board based on recommendations from the Awards Committee.  If, in the opinion of the Committee, there are no nominees who fit the criteria, the Committee may decline to make the award in any given year.  Only one nominee will be chosen in each award year.

Presentation of the award will be made at the annual general meeting of the society. The recipient will be invited to make a major presentation at the meeting.

If you wish to nominate an individual for this award, please submit a letter of nomination, accompanied by letters of support, to the Awards Committee by mail or email c/o:

 CBS Administrator
Canadian Bioethics Society

Past Award recipients

2015: Ian Mitchell

Dr. Ian Mitchell is a Professor of Paediatrics in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He is a long-standing member of the Canadian Bioethics Society, serving as CBS President from 2003-2004 and chairing the CBS conference in 2004. Dr. Mitchell was previously the Director of Bioethics in the Faculty of Medicine at University of Calgary. He led undergraduate medical education in ethics at University of Calgary for many years and has been honoured with numerous awards for excellence in teaching. In 2013, the Canadian Medical Association honoured Dr. Mitchell with the Marsden Award in Medical Ethics, describing him as practicing with "insight, innovation and fearlessness".





2014: Patricia (Paddy) Rodney 

Patricia (Paddy) Rodney is an Associate Professor with the University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Nursing. She is also a Faculty Associate with the UBC Centre for Applied Ethics, a Research Associate with Providence Health Care Ethics Services, an ethics consultant for the BC Provincial Advisory Panel on Cardiac Health, and a Board Member of the Association of Registered Nurses of BC (ARNBC). Paddy's research and publications focus on end-of-life care for seriously ill older adults and the moral climate of health care delivery. Paddy has a long-standing affiliation with the Canadian Bioethics Society, which she considers to be a great source of wisdom and terrific colleagues. She is a Past President of the Canadian Bioethics Society (2007-2009; President-Elect 2006-2007 and Past President 2009-2010). Further, she has co-chaired two Canadian Bioethics Society (CBS) Conferences--one in 1997 and now in 2014.




2013: Al-Noor Nenshi Nathoo

Al-Noor served as a Coordinator and subsequently Executive Director of the Provincial Health Ethics Network of Alberta over a period of 16 years. In 2013, he assumed the role of Executive Director of the Clinical Ethics Service for Alberta Health Services. He is a past President of the Canadian Bioethics Society and has served on a number of ethics committees in Calgary and Edmonton. Al-Noor has worked with a number of NGOs in the area of international/community development and social justice, including the Arusha Centre, Canadian Council on International Cooperation, University of Calgary International Centre, YMCA International and Aga Khan Foundation Canada. His primary interests include poverty and moral obligation, resource allocation and ethics education in organizations. 


2005: Nuala Kenny

Nuala Kenny.jpg

Nuala Kenny was born in New York and entered the Sisters of Charity of Halifax in 1962. She received her BA from Mount Saint Vincent University in 1967 and an MD from Dalhousie University in 1972.

After an extensive career in pediatrics and medical education, Dr. Kenny founded the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University in 1996. She is currently a professor in the Departments of Bioethics and Pediatrics at Dalhousie University.

She was a founding member of the National Council for Bioethics in Human Research. She is Past President of both the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Canadian Bioethics Society. Her research interests include professional character formation, ethics in health policy and public health, pediatric ethics, and end-of-life care.

2004: Michael Coughlin

Michael-Coughlin.jpgDr. Michael D.Coughlin has worked as a clinical ethicist for over 20 years and is an Associate Professor at McMaster University in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences. His background includes degrees in philosophy, theology and developmental biology, and he has held Faculty appointments at New York Hospital/Cornell University Medical College and at McMaster University.

Michael recently retired from the position of Ethics Consultant at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, a position he initiated in 1986. During that time he served both as clinical ethicist and as secretary and ethicist for their Research Ethics Board.

Michael was involved with the Catholic Health Association of Canada in helping to draft the Health Care Ethics Guide and the current Health Ethics Guide. He is a founding member and a Past President of the Canadian Bioethics Society.