Centre for Clinical Ethics

What Do We Do?

Centre for Clinical Ethics logo

1. Education

The Centre for Clinical Ethics offers ethics education sessions for medical and non-medical hospital staff, students, volunteers and the larger community. These sessions are designed to meet the needs of the participants and include:
• Participation and presentations at multi-disciplinary rounds
• Monthly ethics lectures focusing on current ethical issues
• Ethics Grand Rounds for the hospital community
• Presentations at national and international conferences
• Lectures and leadership to a variety of community groups
• Facilitation of workshops
• A yearly ethics conference
• Practica for program credit offered to graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Toronto
• Teaching of medical students, interns and residents in the Medical Faculty of the University of Toronto

2. Ethics Consultation

The Centre for Clinical Ethics provides consultative services to patients, families, non-medical and medical staff, volunteers and students on a wide variety of issues. Such issues include treatment decisions such as withholding or withdrawing treatment, consent and capacity, allocation of resources, hospital restructuring and institutional ethics.

The purpose of an ethics consult is to identify, analyze and resolve ethical issues and to facilitate and support the decision-making process and the decision-makers.

The goals are to enhance the ethical decision-making process, mediate value conflicts, and ultimately to improve patient care.

A request for an ethics consult may be initiated by anyone who has an ethical concern about a particular situation (including patients or family members).


3. Policy Development & Review

The Centre for Clinical Ethics is a valuable resource for policy development, implementation, evaluation and review both with the supporting institutions and the wider community. We collaborate with a variety of organizations including the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada, the Catholic Health Association of Ontario and the Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario.

4. Research Ethics & Ethics Research

Staff members of the Centre for Clinical Ethics sit as members of the Research Ethics Board at St. Michael’s Hospital. The primary mandate of this committee is the protection of human research participants from harm. We are also committed to collaborative research in the area of health care ethics and theology and to developing further relationships to foster this.

Our research group consists of physicians and researchers from a variety of specialties, who together engage in scholarly research focused on an ethic of care.