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About The Bioethics Program

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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).​

Hours & Contact

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

Monday – Friday 
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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

Toronto General Hospital
Phone: 416 340 4800 ext. 8750

Multi-Organ Transplant Program
Phone: 416 340 4800 ext. 5527

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
Phone: 416 597 3422 ext. 3972​

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

 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: