About the Department of Clinical and Organizational Ethics

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Patients or their Substitute Decision-Makers can contact a Bioethicist at all of UHN's hospital sites.​

Hours & Contact

Monday – Friday 
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Urgent after-hours and weekend requests are made to the Administrator On-Site who can escalate to the Director of Bioethics as needed.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Phone: 416 340 4800 ext. 2710

Ajmera Transplant Centre
Phone: 416 946 4501 ext. 5527​

Toronto General Hospital
Phone: 416 946 4501 ext. 8607

Toronto Rehab
Phone: 416 597 3422 ext. 3972​ or ext. 7611​​​

Toronto Western Hospital​
Phone: 416 603 5800 ​ext. 2521

What We Do

​​​​​A bioethicist provides support to staff, physicians, patients and their family members in dealing with ethical issues in a patient's care. This work involves ensuring that:

  • Patients are at the centre of their care, with the information and support they need to make free and informed decisions about treatment in view of what matters to them.
  • Reasonable, fair and transparent boundaries exist when individual preferences affect others.
  • Mediation is offered to help identify common interests and resolve conflicts when parties disagree about patient care​​.

For example, Bioethicists are often contacted to help Substitute Decision-Makers when a patient can't express their own wishes. Sometimes a family member needs help understanding their new role. In other cases, the substitute decision-maker's views may differ from those expressed in the past by the patient.

Bioethicists also develop policies and guidelines, conduct research, and promote the ethical conduct of research on human subjects by reviewing protocols as members of the organization's Research Ethics Board (REB).​

 Patient Education Materials

We have a short brochurePDF icon image that describes what a Bioethicist does, provides examples of situations where they may help, and supplies contact information for Bioethicists at UHN.

Here is some useful information for patients who want to appoint a Power of Attorney for Personal Care and/or Continuing Power of Attorney for Property.

Advance care-planning is a time for you to reflect on your values and your wishes, as well as to let others know your future health and personal care preferences in case you can't consent or refuse treatment in the future. National resources are now available to help you make an Advance Care Plan: