Main Page Content

About Bioethicists

​A​​ bioethicist helps prevent or manage ethical issues in patient care and research through work within five major domains:
  1. Clinical Ethics Consultation
    A bioethicist provides support to staff, physicians, patients and their family members in dealing with ethical issues in a patient's care. In general terms, 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 occurs to help identify common interests and resolve conflicts when parties disagree about patient care
  2. Organizational Ethics Activities
    • Bioethicists engage in organizational ethics activities (such as the development of policies, procedures and guidelines) to help prevent or manage ethical issues in patient care.
  3. Educational Sessions
  4. Educational activities are organized for:

    • Staff and physicians
    • Health care students and trainees within the organization
    • University students in relevant disciplines
  5. Scholarly Research
  6. Bioethicists conduct and stimulate research though publication in peer-reviewed journals and collections, and by generating research grants.

  7. Research Ethics Review
  8. UHN Bioethicists help promote the ethical conduct of research on human subjects by reviewing protocols as members of the organization's Research Ethics Board (REB).

Bioethics Practice

In Toronto, the Clinical, Organizational and Research Ethics (CORE) Network of the Joint Centre for Bioethics forms a community of practice for Bioethicists. The Canadian Bioethics Society links them at a national level, and many are also members of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

We have a short brochure about UHN Bioethics​ that describes what a Bioethicist does, provides examples of situations where they may help, and supplies contact information for Bioethicists at UHN. ​​


Professional Resources