Advancing ethics

The Department of Bioethics is an academic department at Dalhousie Medical School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our primary focus is on advancing ethics in and of health care practice.

Collaborating with practitioners, educators, learners, policy makers and health organizations, we develop ethics capacity in multiple spheres of health. Challenging questions and issues emerge in these contexts, and in our scholarship, we explore and enhance understanding of their ethical dimensions.


We are keenly interested in the translation and application of ethics concepts, theories, and knowledge to health care practice. The department provides leadership in integrating ethics into the undergraduate curriculum for medical students, such as with the Professional Competencies unit.

We are also engaged in postgraduate and continuing education in bioethics. We offer graduate courses in health care ethics, but do not currently have a graduate program. Find out more about how we are involved in education.

Please note: Dalhousie does not offer a formal degree in bioethics at this time.


Ethics collaborations

One of the unique features of our department is the long-standing ethics collaborations with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the IWK Health Centre. The department, on behalf of Dalhousie Medical School, is also a collaborating partner with the Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network. These collaborations help ensure a strong connection between our scholarship and education in ethics with the realities of practice in the healthcare system.


The department’s research and scholarly activities centre on key issues in health care, and we collaborate broadly on topics of common interest. We are committed to developing tools and frameworks that assist with the translation and application of ethics in health practice.

Information regarding Cross-Appointments and Visiting Scholars

The Department of Bioethics welcomes interest from scholars about the possibility of a cross-appointment. This includes community scholars who may have interest in an adjunct appointment. Please click here for a PDF copy of the Department’s policy regarding Cross and Adjunct appointments. To read the policy online, please click here. For more information or to discuss this further, please contact the current Department Head.

We also welcome interest from those who may be interested in being a Visiting Scholar with our Department. This includes national and international scholars. If you are interested in this possibility, please contact the current Department Head.

Research ethics approvals

Please note that this department does not conduct ethics reviews of research projects. Find out more about ethics approvals at Dalhousie Medical School