Christy Simpson and Fiona McDonald Launch New Book Challenging the Urban-Centric Understanding of Health Ethics

HALIFAX, NS, Canada, March 16, 2018 (for immediate release) -- Christy Simpson and Fiona McDonald will be launching their book “Rethinking Rural Health Ethics” at 6pm on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. It will be held in room C105 of the Collaborative Health Education Building (“CHEB”) on the corner of Summer Street and University Avenue in Halifax.

Hosted by Dalhousie University’s Department of Bioethics, this event is free of charge and open to the public. It will include readings, discussion, and a book-signing. Light refreshments will be served.

This book challenges readers to rethink rural health ethics. “Rethinking Rural Health Ethics” reframes current understanding of how ethics operates in a rural health context. The authors recognize and build upon the strengths inherent in rural contexts, and create a positive approach to rural health ethics. Part of Springer’s International Library of Ethics, Law, and New Medicine, this is the first book to critique the existing urban-centric understanding of health ethics.

Christy Simpson is Head and an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University, Canada. She is the coordinator for the Ethics Collaborations with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the IWK Health Centre, and the Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology. Her primary responsibilities include ethics education and capacity-building, policy development and review, and support for clinical and organisational ethics consultations.

Fiona McDonald is a Senior Lecturer in the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology, Australia and is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University, Canada. She teaches health law, health ethics and health management at the under-graduate and graduate levels. Her research interests are focused on the governance of health systems.

A poster (PDF) is available here, and also as a JPG.

Department of Bioethics Hosts Public Launch of Dr. Sharon Batt’s New Book about Big Pharma and the Breast Cancer Movement

HALIFAX, NS, January 18, 2018 (for immediate release) – Dalhousie University’s Department of Bioethics invites the public to a book launch for Dr. Sharon Batt’s new book, Health Advocacy Inc.: How Pharmaceutical Funding Changed the Breast Cancer Movement at six o’clock on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. The launch, in room 301 of the Halifax Public Library, will include a reading, discussion, book signing, and light refreshments. It is open to the public and free of charge.

As a breast cancer patient and activist, Batt had a front-row seat on the growing practice of pharmaceutical companies to fund, and sometimes influence, the patient advocacy message. Her extensive academic research addresses the important questions of health care policy that this raises. How did patient groups struggle with the ethical questions raised by funding opportunities? What are the implications for health policy? What concerns does this funding raise for the public? What options do – or should -- patient groups have?

Reviewers have praised the book, calling it “exhaustively researched, formidably detailed, analytically nuanced, [and] riveting” (Indian Journal of Medical Ethics), with “revelations about the relationship between patient advocacy groups and the pharmaceutical industry [that] are vital and disturbing” (Maisonneuve). The Lancet Oncology adds, "(I)n the current climate of polarised discourse, [Batt's] ability to document a debate on such an emotive subject with sensitivity, civility, and the absence of rhetoric and vitriol is refreshing.”

Dr. Batt’s work integrates scholarly research, public education, and social change activism. “The close relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and patient groups advocating to access new drugs has huge policy implications that haven't been addressed," says Batt. Health Advocacy Inc. moves these issues out of the shadows, into public discussion.