John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre

The John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta is the only academic health ethics organization in the province. It provides health ethics education, research and community engagement under the leadership of Paul Byrne, interim director. The Dossetor Centre promotes ethical engagement, mutual respect and critical reflection. These ideals guide how we teach students, care for patients, work with other health-care professionals and maintain the highest moral standards.

Health ethics education

Faculty members teach health ethics to students of all levels in the health sciences faculties at the University of Alberta. Education opportunities include:

  • INT D 570: Healthcare Ethics
  • Instructional academic half-days (12 to 20 per year) that amount to all medical sub-specialty ethics teaching. These days are directly related to ethics content requirements for accreditation in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

Health ethics research

Faculty members conduct research on a broad spectrum of ethical, moral and human-rights issues, including:

  • clinical practice
  • compassion
  • disability ethics
  • human rights
  • mental health
  • moral distress
  • health policy
  • gender issues
  • public health
  • relational and reproduction ethics
  • neonatology-perinatology

Community engagement

The Dossetor Centre reaches out to scholars, students, health-care practitioners, clinical ethics committee members, health-care administrators, patients and their families, media and the general public through:

  • Health Ethics Seminar Series
  • Health Ethics Symposium
  • Health Ethics Today, a newsletter published two to three times per year with a distribution list of 9,000, including all medical doctors across Alberta.
  • Media contacts to discuss health ethics topics in the news (e.g. Alberta Primetime: Reopening Abortion Debate).

The Dossetor Centre has also developed a partnership with Alberta Health Services to provide support to the clinical ethicists and clinical ethics committees for the University of Alberta Hospital, the Stollery Children's Hospital and the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute.