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The JCB Voice

Jan-Feb 2020 / Vol. 25 / No. 4
In this month's issue:
Featured / In the News / JCB Seminars & Events / Announcements / Events / Fellowship Opportunities / Call for Submissions / Publications


Early experience with MAiD in Ontario

Dr. Jennifer Gibson and Dr. James Downar discuss the results and insights from a research study on cases of medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in Ontario between 2016 and 2018.
» Read the Study
» Listen to the CMAJ Podcast

In the News

Wealthier Patients More Likely to Use Medical Assistance in Dying, Data Show

Patients who choose medically assisted death are wealthier, younger, more likely to be married and less likely to live in long-term care than those who die naturally, according to a major study of assisted dying in Canada’s most populous province. (Jennifer Gibson and James Downar, The Globe and Mail)
» Read more

Communication, Transparency Key as Canada Faces New Coronavirus Threat

As Canada faces the threat of the new coronavirus spreading within its borders, there are important communication lessons to recall from the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, say infectious disease experts. (Ross Upshur, CMAJ News)
» Read more

Biohacking: From Sci-Fi to Reality

On this week's episode, we explore what our future could look like if we start to modulate our own biology at the genetic level. (Michael Szego, Raw Talk Podcast)
» Read more

Less Stigma for More Health

Minimizing harm by identifying and targeting negative beliefs about people who use opioids. (Daniel Buchman, UHN Research News)
» Read more

It’s Complicated: The Ethics of Pandemic Preparedness and Response

Ross Upshur decided to focus his research on the ethics of pandemic response when he was working in public health during the SARS outbreak of 2003. (Ross Upshur, University Affairs)
» Read more

Opinion: Canada Must Learn Lessons From Belgium on Assisted Dying

Expanding our current MAID law in haste is fraught with risks. (Trudo Lemmens, Montreal Gazette)
» Read more

Canada Playing Global Role With Coronavirus Quarantine — But Ethics Expert Urges Support for People Confined

Coming weeks will show if global co-operation effective. (Max Smith, CBC News)
» Read more

Old Age: The Secret to Happiness?

If you're middle-aged and miserable, just wait. As the years go by, you'll become happier. (Marcia Sokolowski, The Agenda with Steve Paikin)
» Read more

China Locked Down Millions in Hubei. Has It Done More Harm Than Good?

Fifteen days after Wuhan - ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak - was placed under an unprecedented lockdown, the picture is bleak. (Ross Upshur, Asia One)
» Read more

Race Is on as Coalition Sets Tight Timeline for Coronavirus Vaccine

When Chinese scientists released the genome of a mysterious new coronavirus earlier this month, Canadian microbiologist Gary Kobinger and his team got to work developing a vaccine to fight it. (Ross Upshur, The Globe and Mail)
» Read more

Cruise Ship Passenger Describes Life Since Partner Tested Positive for Coronavirus

On a quarantined cruise ship anchored outside Yokohama, Japan, Rebecca Frasure ticked ‘yes’ to an inquiry on a questionnaire about painkillers –and found herself taken for extra screening that led to a positive test for coronavirus. (Kerry Bowman, The Loop)
» Read more

JCB Seminars & Events

Patient Choice to Live at Risk: Are Healthcare Providers Capable of Objectivity?

January 22, 2020
Kevin Reel, MSc (Medical Ethics), OT Reg (Ont), Program Director, MHSc in Bioethics, Joint Centre for Bioethics, Assistant Professor, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto
» Watch video

AI and Digital Technologies for Health Care and Public Health: Considerations for Research Ethics

February 5, 2020
Jay Shaw, PT, PhD, AMS Phoenix Fellow in Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence for Health, Scientist, Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, Women's College Research Institute, Research Director, Artificial Intelligence, Ethics & Health, Joint Centre for Bioethics, Assistant Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
» Watch video

Canadian Bioethics Society: 31st Annual Conference

June 3-5, 2020
Save the date! We're hosting the 2020 Canadian Bioethics Society Annual Conference here in Toronto. This year's theme is "The Role of Bioethics in AI and Emerging Health Technologies: Activator, Inhibitor or Collaborator?". Details on how to register will be available soon.
» Read more


Asma Fazal received a fellowship position in Pediatric Bioethics at the Children's Hospital of Minnesota. She will be joining them in September 2020.


Bioethics Grand Rounds

Toronto, ON
February 20, 2020
Hype, Hope & High Stakes: Ethical Implications of AI in Paediatric Healthcare
Presenter: Melissa McCradden, PhD, MHSc (c), Junior Bioethicist, The Hospital for Sick Children
12:00 to 1:00 pm. Room 1527, Hill Wing, The Hospital for Sick Children.
» Read more

John R. Evans Lectureship in Global Health with Nísia Trindade Lima

Toronto, ON
February 28, 2020
Join the Dalla Lana School of Public Health for the official launch of the Centre for Global Health with a talk about Brazil's Unified Health System: history and perspectives.
» Read more

Health Ethics Seminar

Edmonton AB
February 28, 2020
The Difficulties Faced by the Mentally Ill When Incarcerated
Presenters: Austin Mardon, CM, FRSC, Order of Canada, Assistant Adjunct Professor, John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta; Catherine Mardon, JD, DCSS, Special Advisor, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
12:00 to 1:00 pm MST. Dvorkin Centre (2G2.07 WMC), University of Alberta Hospital
» Read more

16th Annual International Conference on Clinical Ethics & Consultation

Spier Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa
March 31-April 3, 2020
Beyond Borders: Exploring New Frontiers
The conference will explore clinical ethics challenges that traverse borders and shift paradigms against a backdrop of cultural complexity and diversity.
» Read more

21st International Nursing Ethics Conference and 6th International Care Ethics Conference

Toronto, ON
June 6-7, 2020
Sustaining Ethical Care through Resistance and Conscientious Commitment
This year's conference theme examines the place of conscientious commitment and resistance in building and sustaining moral agency within current healthcare systems.
» Read more

Fellowship Opportunities

Postdoctoral Fellow in Biomedical Ethics / Clinical Trials

McGill Biomedical Ethics Unit / Studies of Translation, Ethics, and Medicine, Montreal, QC
Applications are being accepted for two postdoctoral research fellows (PDFs) with a background in research ethics, epidemiology, biostatistics, or meta-research.
Deadline to apply: Until filled
» Read more

Call for Submissions



21st International Nursing Ethics Conference and 6th International Care Ethics Conference

Abstracts are invited for oral presentations in the concurrent sessions to address the main theme – Sustaining Ethical Care through Resistance and Conscientious Commitment.
Submission deadine: February 24, 2020
» Read more

34th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine & Health Care

The conference will focus on challenges posed by moral, religious and cultural diversity to healthcare, the life sciences and bioethics. Abstracts addressing any of the issues mentioned in the link below from a philosophical and/or ethical perspective will be favored, although work on other topics can also be submitted.
Submission deadine: March 1, 2020
» Read more


  • Bombard Y, Clausen M, Shickh S, et al. Effectiveness of the Genomics ADvISER Decision Aid for the Selection of Secondary Findings From Genomic Sequencing: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Genetics in Medicine. 11 December 2019:1-9. Read more
  • Buchman D. Ethical Decision-Making and Mass Casualty Incidents. Hospital News. January 2020:44. Read more
  • Daneman D, Benatar SR. Dynamic Tensions in Education Pedagogy for Undergraduate Medical Education. Academic Medicine. 2019;94(12):1873-7. Read more
  • Desveaux L, Soobiah C, Bhatia RS, Shaw J. Identifying and Overcoming Policy-Level Barriers to the Implementation of Digital Health Innovation: Qualitative Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2019;21(12):e14994. Read more
  • Downar J, Fowler RA, Halko R, Davenport Huyer L, Hill AD, Gibson JL. Early Experience With Medical Assistance in Dying in Ontario, Canada: A Cohort Study. CMAJ. 11 February 2020:1-9. Read more
  • Henry B. End of Life Feeding: Ethical and Legal Considerations. Physiology & Behavior. 1 April 2020;217:1-5. Read more
  • Im J, Mak S, Upshur R, Steinberg L, Kuluski K. "Whatever Happens, Happens" Challenges of End-Of-Life Communication From the Perspective of Older Adults and Family Caregivers: A Qualitative Study. BMC Palliative Care. 2019;18(113). Read more
  • McCradden MD, Baba A, Saha A, Ahmad S, Boparai K, Fadaiefard P, Cusimano MD. Ethical Concerns Around Use of Artificial Intelligence in Health Care Research From the Perspective of Patients With Meningioma, Caregivers and Health Care Providers: A Qualitative Study. CMAJ Open. 2020;8(1):E90-5. Read more
  • Nixon SA. The Coin Model of Privilege and Critical Allyship: Implications for Health. BMC Public Health. 2019;19(1637):1-13. Read more
  • Smith MJ, Bean S. [Invited Commentary] AI and Ethics in Medical Radiation Sciences. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences. 2019;50(4)Sup 2:S24-6. Read more
  • Winsor S, Ala-Leppilampi K, Spitzer K, Edney DR, Petropanagos A, Cadesky KI, Casper R, Laskin C. The Affordability and Accessibility of Ontario's Publicly Funded IVF Program: A Survey of Patients. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada. 13 December 2019:1-8. Read more

If you have a publication you would like to add to next month's list, please email
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