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Current and Upcoming


Bioethics Works in Progress Sessions (WIPS) 2016-2017

Unless otherwise noted, these are held at noon in room G-36.
Everybody is welcome.
If you'd like to attend by videoconference, please advise Tamatha at least one week in advance, so she can make the arrangements.
Also, if you'd like to be added to our mailing list, to receive reminders of Bioethics WIPS and similar events, simply send an email to Tamatha with that request.

Tentative Schedule:
September 26, 2016 — Presenter: Marika Warren
     Topic: Ethics Consultants and Organizational Confidentiality
October 14, 2016 — Presenter: Michael Mackley
     Please note: this is a Friday.
November 14, 2016 — Presenter: Sharon Batt
December 12, 2016 — Presenter: Jeff Kirby
January 16, 2017 — Presenter: Tim Holland
February 13, 2017 — Presenter: Christy Simpson - postponed due to weather
March 13, 2017 — Presenter: Christy Simpson - postponed again, will be re-scheduled
April 10, 2017 — Presenter: Ben Capps
May 8, 2017 — Presenter: Lynette Reid
June 12, 2017 — Presenter:  Tim Krahn




Visiting Professorship in Medical Citizenship

"Medical citizenship means every doctor should have a voice and use it, and every doctor's voice matters. If doctors cannot speak out, we have a problem." This annual visiting professorship is an opportunity to discuss issues of medical citizenship. For more information about the medical citizenship and the annual visiting professorship, please see our Visiting Professorship in Medical Citizenship page.  



Bioethics events elsewhere



2017 Pediatrics Bioethics Conference (Seattle)

The Cutting Edge - Ethical Controversies in Pediatric Surgery
Seattle Children's Hospital
Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics
July 21-22, 2017

Visit their page or this document (PDF) for more information.

The abstract deadline is May 5, 2017.



Recent Events, here and elsewhere


Health Law Institute (HLI) Seminar Series

The schedule of seminars for the 2016-2017 year is available here on their website.

Location: Room 104, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Avenue
Time: 12:10 - 1:30pm
A light lunch will be set out at noon, in the Faculty Lounge (room 312)
These seminars are free and everyone is welcome.


UNBROKEN GLASS – public screening followed by expert-led, panel discussion

NOVEL TECH ETHICS (Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University) is hosting a public screening of the documentary film UNBROKEN GLASS followed by an expert-led, panel discussion on dealing with the challenges of schizophrenia, early parental death, family resilience, and being a cultural minority in America. Free admission. All are welcome. Come early. Seating is limited. No reservations.

Date: Monday, March 27, 2017
: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Location: QEII Royal Bank Theatre, Halifax Infirmary, ground floor, 1796 Summer St. entrance.

Twenty years after the death of his parents, filmmaker Dinesh Sabu begins a journey to finally piece together their story. Uncovering a silenced family history of mental illness, Dinesh confronts the legacy of having a schizophrenic mother who died by suicide, the reality of growing up an orphaned immigrant, and the trauma of these events. Can he reconcile these truths all while living in the specter of mental illness?

MODERATOR: Tim Krahn (Research Associate, Novel Tech Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS).

• Sabina Abidi (Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist. Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University & IWK Youth Psychosis Team. Head, Division of Outpatient Services, IWK Mental Health & Addictions Program, Halifax NS).
• Karim Dharamsi (Philosopher. Associate Professor, Department of Humanities, Mount Royal College, Calgary AB).
• Carol Lamarche (Mental Health Knowledge Translation Specialist. Healing Tree Communications, Halifax NS).

• Schizophrenia
• Family resilience and coping
• Living as a cultural minority in America
• Early parental death
• Suicide

Web page: http://bit.ly/2mkUJUo
For more information contact Tim Krahn at tim.krahn@dal.ca or by telephone at 902-494-2990.



The 7th International Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

When: March 1-4, 2017
Where: The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC
Website: http://interprofessional.ubc.ca/FASD2017/default.asp
2017 Brochure: https://interprofessional.ubc.ca/FASD2017/FASD2017_brochure.pdf
Registration: https://ubc.eventsair.com/ifasd2017/full/Site/Register

This advanced-level conference continues to bring together experts from multiple disciplines to share international research. From the pure science, to prevention, diagnosis and intervention across the lifespan, the conference will address the implications of this research and promote scientific/community collaboration.

Please email: marketing.ipce@ubc.ca for more information and to be put on the enquiry list.

The 5th Health and Wellbeing in Children, Youth, and Adults with Developmental Disabilities Conference

Date: November 16-18, 2016
Location: The Coast Plaza Hotel and Suites, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Hosting Organization: UBC Interprofessional Continuing Education
Event Series: Health & Wellbeing conference in 2016.  

Moving from Diagnosis to Practical Strategies

The term Developmental Disabilities (DD) refers to individuals with Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum and related genetic syndromes such as Down and Fragile X Syndrome. Children, youth and adults with DD are vulnerable to high rates of general health and mental health concerns. This interactive 2016 conference will focus on practical strategies to optimize their potential. Our goal is to help clinicians and caregivers learn effective ways to work with individuals with DD, and their families, to improve their quality of life experience.

Children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities are vulnerable to high rates of general health and mental health concerns. This interactive 2016 conference will focus on practical strategies to optimize their potential. Our goal is to help clinicians and caregivers learn effective ways to work with individuals with DD, their families, and to improve their quality of life experience.

The conference will also provide educational and informative updates on psychiatric, behavioural, mental health, and complex physical health specific to individuals with DD, and showcase best practices in the field. The format will include plenaries, breakout sessions and poster sessions.

Visit the conference website for more information, and the registration page to register.

Along with the main conference, we are also offering a Free Public Evening Session on Wednesday, November 16.

Email marketing.ipce@ubc.ca to get on an enquiry list for updates.



Public Lectures - Paul Hutchinson

Paul Hutchinson is a mediator, film-maker, and former director of the Corrymeela Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Northern Ireland. He was here at Dalhousie University in 2014, and he will be back to present a series of public lectures in mid-October.

Dates: October 18-20, 2016
Location: Schulich School of Law (Dalhousie) and Kings University

For more information, please click here. (The link goes to a PDF document which will open in a separate window.)




Research on Adolescents and Adults: If Not Now, When?

The 7th National Biennial Conference on Adolescents and Adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
Dates: April 6-9, 2016
Location: The Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, BC, Canada

As adolescents and adults with FASD continue to age, the “need to know” across a broad spectrum of areas is becoming critically important for identifying clinically relevant research questions and directions. This interactive 2016 conference will provide an opportunity to be at the forefront of addressing these issues. We will welcome a diverse group of professionals, researchers, students, families and individuals with FASD.

Contribute your knowledge and research! The Call for Abstracts is open until September 11, 2015.  

For more information, please visit the website or email marketing.ipce@ubc.ca.



Bioethics WIPS - June 20, 2016

We’re very happy to welcome Dr. Quinn Grundy, of the Charles Perkins Centre, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Australia to speak at this month’s Bioethics Works in Progress Session.

Dr. Grundy’s website is www.quinngrundy.com  

Now on to the logistics…

June’s WIPS will be held on June 20th at noon, in G-36. Please be aware that it’s possible we may need to change the room, as there is construction on-going in the Tupper complex.

Title: “Fostering moral perception: Nurses’ strategies for managing industry interactions in clinical practice.”

Abstract: Efforts to bring transparency to conflicts of interest in healthcare are focused on physicians’ financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry. Despite being the largest proportion of health professionals, nurses’ interactions with industry are frequently omitted from industry relations and disclosure policies. I conducted an ethnographic study at 4 hospitals in the western United States to explore the everyday interactions between registered nurses and medically-related industry in clinical practice. Although all of the nurses in the study encountered sales representatives in their practice, few had discussed or reflected on these interactions and none had received any formal preparation related to industry interactions. Most experienced these day-to-day situations as ethically neutral and institutionally legitimate and these interactions were largely invisible at the policy level. Others however, experienced moral triggers that prompted the development of ad-hoc, personalized “rules of engagement” for managing these interactions and the perceived risks to patients and the institution. Drawing from Vetlesen’s theory of the role of emotions in moral perception, I discuss these moral triggers arising not from ethical principles, but from everyday practice, and how a “moral space” within healthcare might be fostered around interactions with industry.

Bio: Dr. Quinn Grundy is a registered nurse and postdoctoral research fellow with the Bias and Research Integrity group at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney. Her research explores industry partnerships in health and healthcare and the implications for health information, healthcare delivery and scientific evidence. Her dissertation work, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US), was the first in-depth study of registered nurses’ interactions with medically-related industry in clinical practice. Her current research focuses on exploring academic-industry partnerships in digital health and the implications for consumer health information.


Racism: White, Black, Indigenous, and Immigrant Perspectives

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs and The ENRICH Project are pleased to present a four-part series on Racism: White, Black, Indigenous, and Immigrant Perspectives.

The first one is "White Perspectives." How and why do the impacts of history persist? How is racism directly or indirectly manifested in our society? What are our obligations to address racism? How do we reconcile divisions created by racism? How do we directly or indirectly reinforce racism? How is racism holding Nova Scotia back?

Dr. Frances Henry
Professor Emerita, York University

Dr. Darryl Leroux – Respondent
Sociology Professor, Saint Mary’s University

Dr. Elizabeth Church – Moderator
Vice-President Academic, Mount Saint Vincent University

Date: January 13, 2016
Time: 7pm
Location: Scotiabank Theatre, Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary's University
Admission is free. Reception to follow.
Watch it live at www.ccepa.ca

Save these upcoming dates:

Black Perspectives
February 24, 2016 at 7pm
Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library

Indigenous Perspectives
March 23, 2016 at 7pm
Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library

Immigrant Perspectives
April 20, 2016 at 7pm
Paul O’Regan Hall, Halifax Central Library

This series is also supported by the Dalhousie University President’s Office and the Dalhousie University Faculty of Health Professions.


2016 NSHEN Workshops --  Living at Risk: Whose Choice is it Anyway?

The registration is now open for the 2016 Workshops Living at Risk: Whose Choice Is It Anyway? We will be doing these in Yarmouth on February 10 and in Sydney on March 10.

Please find attached the information brochure. All registrations must be completed online.

The links to the registration pages are here:

Yarmouth location: https://www.regonline.ca/Yarmouth2016livingatrisk

Sydney location: https://www.regonline.ca/Sydney2016livingatrisk



Welcome New Faculty Member: Benjamin J. Capps, PhD


We are delighted to welcome our newest faculty member to the Department of Bioethics.

Dr. Benjamin J. Capps comes to us from the UK, where he received his PhD in Medicine (Bioethics) from the University of Bristol. More recently, he was an Assistant Professor from 2008 until the summer of 2014 in the Centre for Biomedical Ethics in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

Professor Capps’ research interests include One Health, stem cell science and ethics, and neuroethics. His work investigates issues relating to the nexus between applied ethics, normative theory and legal doctrine. He is a member of the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) Committee on Ethics, Law and Society; and advises the NGO think-tank Belris: Bioethics and Legal Research in Singapore. Previously he sat on the Neuroethics Working Group of the Bioethics Advisory Committee of Singapore, and the Pro-Tem National Oversight Committee for Human-Animal Combinations in Stem Cell Research (Singapore Ministry of Health).

He’s jumping right in as the Foundations Component Head, and tutor for MED I students, in Professional Competencies. Also, he will be presenting a Bioethics Works in Progress Session on November 17, 2014 where he will discuss a recent grant awarded to his team by the Singapore Ministry of Health looking at ‘One Health, Zoonotic Diseases and Pandemic Planning: Creating a Bioethics Framework in Singapore’.

We’re also very happy to welcome his partner, Ms. Lisbeth Nielsen. She’s a doctoral student in Bioethics, with Aarhus University in Denmark. Med I students will know her as one of this year’s ProComp tutors, too.

Please join the Schulich School of Law and CBC Radio's IDEAS as we present the inaugural

Sir Graham Day Lecture in Ethics, Morality, and the Law

Assisted Dying
with Professor Peter Singer, A.C.
Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics
Princeton University

Is it ethical?  Should it be legal?  With legislation in front of Parliament, a permissive regime being implemented in Quebec, and the Supreme Court of Canada poised to rule in Carter v. Canada, we must confront these questions.

Join us for an evening with Peter Singer – one of the most influential moral philosophers of our time.  Through such books as Animal Liberation, Rethinking Life and Death, and The Life You Can Save, Singer has challenged us to think deeply about issues ranging from animal rights, abortion, assisted dying, and the moral obligation to act to end extreme poverty.

Date: Friday, November 14, 2014
Time: 7:00PM
Location: Room 105, Weldon Law Building, 6061 University Ave., Halifax
Take a look at the poster here [PDF - .98KB].

C2C (Coast to Coast) Seminar October 28, 2014

Live from Los Alamos, NM

Coast to Coast Seminar Fall 2014 Theme: Deep Sequencing Antibody and T-cell Receptor Repertoires for the Study of Infectious and Autoimmune Disease, and Development of Vaccines and Therapeutics
Coordinator: Dr. Felix Breden, Simon Fraser University

Topic: Recombinant Renewable Polyclonal Antibodies
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Bradbury, Group Leader, Advanced Measurement Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Date: October 28, 2014
Time: 3:30pm ADT
Location: Halifax Tupper Link room G-36 and Saint John DMNB room 218

About the Speaker:
Dr. Andrew Bradbury was trained in medicine at the universities of Oxford and London, and subsequently practiced medicine for five years in the UK. He received his Ph.D. (Cambridge University) in the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology under the guidance of Dr. Cesar Milstein. After his Ph.D. he spent ten years in Italy: three years as a post doc in the CNR Institute of neurobiology, Rome, Italy; and seven years in Trieste, where he was first visiting professor, and subsequently tenured as assistant professor at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA, Trieste, Italy). He has been a staff member at Los Alamos National Lab since July 1999.

He has worked in the field of phage display and antibody engineering for fifteen years, and has helped organize over thirty international congresses and practical courses in this field, both in Europe and the US. He has published over eighty peer reviewed articles, including a number of reviews and commentaries on phage display and antibody engineering, and has 12 filed patents/invention disclosures. He is one of the founder members of “The Antibody Society”, and is on the editorial board of three journals.

Dr. Bradbury's research interests include the application of phage antibody display methods to the study and treatment of human disease and the development of affinity reagents based on fluorescent proteins which he believes will become the affinity reagents of choice for high throughput biology.

Dr. Bradbury's research is funded in part by the New Mexico Spatiotemporal Modeling Center, one of the NIGMS-funded National Centers for Systems Biology.

Upcoming presentation in the series:
November 25: Dr. Lindsay Cowell, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Science, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas

Coast to Coast Seminar Fall 2014

Theme: Deep Sequencing Antibody and T-cell Receptor Repertoires for the Study of Infectious and Autoimmune Disease, and Development of Vaccines and Therapeutics
Coordinator: Dr. Felix Breden, Simon Fraser University

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Time: 3:30-4:30pm
Room: Halifax Tupper Theatre A / SJ room 266
Speaker: Jacob Glanville, Chief Science Officer, Distributed Bio, Seattle, WA
Title: The Potential for NGS Databases of Antibody Repertoires for the Pharmaceutical Industry

Abstract: In the past five years, high throughput immune repertoire sequencing has gone from a novel technique to a ubiquitous assay in immunology, bioengineering and diagnostics discovery. Although the method has given rise to numerous companies and has become increasingly commoditized, its users continue to grapple with the challenge of identifying best applications, best analytical practices, and creating models that fruitfully capture the fundamental diversity structure of the data under investigation. In this seminar I'll introduce our mission of commoditizing routine interpretation of complex repertoire datasets, and review some of what we consider to be the most and least productive uses of repertoire sequencing that have emerged.

About the Speaker: Jacob Glanville did his undergraduate studies in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, with an emphasis in Genetics, Genomics and Development. He performed research in two academic laboratories that specialized in quantitative biology. In Dr. Glenys Thomson's HLA Population Genetics laboratory, Jacob designed HLA allele drift simulators, and developed equivalency metrics across HLA typing protocols of various resolutions. In Dr. Sjolander's Berkeley Phylogenomics Group, Jacob published an automated webserver pipeline for phylogenomic functional analysis of proteins. In March 2008, Jacob was recruited to become Principal Scientist at Pfizer's Rinat research facility, where he developed novel computational immunology methods for characterizing and optimizing functions of the adaptive immune system. His published research emphasizes the sequence, structure and functional analysis of antibody repertoires for characterizing genetic variation in patient populations, optimizing phage display libraries based on profiles of natural selection, and engineering monoclonal antibody biologic medicines. Jacob joined as the Scientific Director of Distributed Bio in April 2012.

Upcoming presentations in the series are:
October 28: Dr Andrew Bradbury, Group Leader, Advanced Measurement Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory
November 25: Dr Jamie Scott, Professor and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Molecular Immunity, Simon Fraser University

"Who Cares? Cultivating Compassion for Social Progress"

...is a week-long series of events brought to you by Dalhousie University's Segelberg Dialogues in Faith and Public Policy, L'Arche, the Dalhousie Multifaith Centre, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, and the Waves of Compassion Association.

Public Lecture: Conflict and the Compassionate City: The Creation of Restorative Spaces
Speaker: Paul Hutchinson, Mediator, Northern Ireland
Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Time: 7pm
Location: Scotiabank Theatre, Saint Mary's University
Admission is free, with reception to follow
Watch it live at www.ccepa.ca

Everyday Ethics Panel Discussion: Who Cares? Cultivating Compassion for Social Progress
Panel: Danny Graham, Paul Hutchinson, Sarah MacLaren
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time: noon - 1:30pm
Location: CCEPA Boardroom, Atlantic School of Theology, 630 Franklyn Street
To register, contact admin@ccepa.ca

Public Lecture: The Strong and the Fragile: The Unexpected Gift of Vulnerability
Speaker: Ian Brown, The Globe and Mail
Date: Friday, October 17, 2014
Time: 7pm
Location: Spatz Theatre, Citadel High School
Free admission - donations appreciated - reception to follow
Watch it live at www.ccepa.ca

In Whose Backyard?

On Tuesday, October 7th at 5:30 PM, the Environmental Noxiousness, Racial Inequities and Community Health Project (ENRICH) and the Nova Scotia Public Interest Group (NSPIRG) are hosting an evening to discuss environmental racism in Nova Scotia. Environmental racism is the disproportionate location of toxic industries and other environmental hazards close to racially marginalized communities compared to other communities. This is a systemic form of oppression and discrimination happening in our own backyard.The event will bring together community leaders, community-based agencies, students, policymakers, academics and media to discuss and strategize against environmental racism in Nova Scotia.  

The event will begin with a traditional opening to honour the unceeded Mi’kmaw territory the event will be hosted on.

After a film screening of the documentary film "In Whose Backyard?" keynote speakers Suzanne Patles (Elsipogtog) and James Desmond (Lincolnville) will give an overview of their experiences organizing against environmental racism in the Province.

Breakout groups hosted by local experts in law, policy, health, education, media and community organizing will discuss next steps and strategies for supporting community members in their efforts to have toxic industries and other environmental hazards in racially marginalized communities removed, cleaned up or re-located.

The event will also include performances by spoken word artist and Halifax Poet Laureate El Jones and the Ujoma Cultural Diversity Drummers (lead by Dr. Henry Bishop).

The event is based on a project that is being conducted through the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University and has already opened up a dialogue on environmental racism among academic researchers, community-based agencies, government, students and affected communities. This study is not intended to remain within the academic realm. On October 7th, the School of Nursing, ENRICH and NSPIRG invite students and community members from around the Province to hear the stories and help shape the dialogue of environmental racism.

Our hope is that the event sparks organizing and mobilizing efforts in Nova Scotia against environmental racism.

ENRICH is a collaborative community-based project investigating the health effects of toxic industries near to Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities. This study is ongoing but plans to move beyond the academic realm in order to put findings into action. We hope that you can contribute to a strategy that enables this to happen.

NSPIRG is an organization dedicated to developing and supporting campaigns and actions that address social or environmental inequalities, promote critical awareness, and foster social change.

Date: Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: McInnes Rm, 2nd floor, Dalhousie Student Union Building, 6136 University Avenue
Cost: Free!
Food: Free food provided by the Loaded Ladle
Event Facebook Page
ENRICH Project Website
NSPIRG Website

Film Screening & Discussion

Strategies of Hope

A collaborative documentary by the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre's Acquired Brain Injury Program and Ariella Pahlke

Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Time: 6:30pm
Location: Bethune Ballroom, Bethune Building, VG Hospital
              (1276 South Park Street, Halifax)

This is a free event. Refreshments will be served.

Strategies of Hope is a 25-minute documentary, featuring patients, staff, and family at the NS Rehab Centre's Acquired Brain Injury Program. Participants collaborated with a filmmaker and worked with a variety of art forms to explore the impact of a stroke or brain injury and to share strategies for recovery.

Presented by our friends at:
* Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University
* Humanities-HEALS Program
* Capital Health
* QRII Health Sciences Centre Foundation
* Robert Pope Foundation
* Centre for Art Tapes
* Novel Tech Ethics
* The Royal Society of Canada

Stories of Peace and Reconciliation

Paul Hutchinson is the former Centre Director of Corrymeela (August 2009 - December 2013), a Peace and Reconciliation Centre in BAllycastle, Northern Ireland. He was in Halifax, and speaking at a number of events on campus, at the end of January. Please see our Peace and Reconciliation page for more information.

Job Talks and Simulated Teaching Sessions

We are pleased to welcome four scholars who presented their "job talks" and "simulated teaching sessions" as part of the interview process during the month of January. For more information, see the schedule page.

Global Health Journal Club

The Department of Bioethics is pleased to take part in the Global Health Office’s Global Health Journal Club. Dr. Lynette Reid will be the facilitator for the meeting on Thursday, November 14, 2013. The topic is “Cuts to refugee health care: bridging professional ethics and policy choices.” For more information, see the Global Health Events page (page will open in a new window) or our Journal Club page.

Events with Visiting Scholars  

The Department of Bioethics is pleased to welcome Dr. Angus Dawson to Halifax. He is meeting with medical students for lunch and a talk on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, in classroom 3H1 of the Tupper building. He will also be meeting with faculty, with the Novel Tech Ethics group, and with the Centre of Vaccinology.

Along with the IWK's Pediatric Palliative Care Service, the Department of Bioethics is pleased to co-host Drs. Mary Ellen Macdonald and Franco Carnevale as visiting scholars on October 10 and 11, 2013. See more information about the events at the IWK [PDF - 177 KB] and here at Dalhousie [PDF - 173 KB].