Speaker Series

  • Conference by Unity Health’s Centre for Clinical Ethics – 2021 – explores caring for Canada’s seniors


  • Conference

    David Lepofsky Story2022 – CCE Annual Online Ethics Conference Program

    24th Annual Ethics Conference – Human Rights and Healthcare

    This year our focus is on Human Rights and Healthcare.  This expansive topic has been brought to the fore by the pandemic’s exacerbation of issues of racism, colonialization, and structural inequities within healthcare.  We will hear from leading speakers on topics such as what is a ‘right’, how to balance competing interests of individuals within the healthcare system, the concept of accommodation, why cultural safety is essential in healthcare, and the impact of being uninsured in Ontario.  See Program for Advance Registration information.

    Week 1 – Wednesday, November 2nd – Dr. Hazel Markwell Honourary Lecture in Bioethics
    – Tearing Down the Many Disability Barriers in Ontario’s Health Care System

    Speaker – David Lepofsky CM, O. Ont, LLB, LL. M, LL.D. (Hon), visiting professor of Disability Rights and Legal Education, Osgoode Hall Law School, Chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance.

    Ontario’s health care system has far too many disability barriers that impede patients with disabilities from fully using and benefiting from health care services to which they are entitled.  The Ontario Government has pledged to enact a Health Care Accessibility Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act to remove these barriers.  In this presentation, I will review these health care disability barriers and talk about what needs to be done to fix this situation.

    David Lepofsky Story

    Week 2 – Wednesday, November 9th – What are rights, anyway?  An ethical and legal perspective on rights in healthcare

    Speaker – Xavier Symons, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University

    Speaker – Melanie de Wit, JD, MPH, Chief Legal Officer, Unity Health Toronto, Adjunct Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

    The language of rights is often used by people who are advocating for themselves.  Patients and their Families frequently assert their “right” to particular treatment, accommodation, visitation, and information.  Sometimes fulfilling these expectations detracts from what may be considered the rights of others, namely healthcare workers or other patients.  How can we best navigate conflicting expectations regarding entitlements?  We will explore how legal and moral concepts of rights can help us to balance competing interests within healthcare, while acknowledging the limitations of each.

    Week 3 – Wednesday, November 23rd – Beyond apologies and land acknowledgements:  How persist colonial ideas, policies, and systems are actively perpetuating Indigenous health inequities and what you can do about this

    Speaker – Janet Smylie, MD, FCFP, MPH, FCAHS Director of the Well Living House and Strategic Advisor Indigenous Wellbeing, Reconciliation, and Partnerships at Unity Health Toronto; Professor, University of Toronto

    The majority of healthcare professionals are highly motivated to advance Indigenous reconciliation.  Despite these good intentions, Indigenous/non-Indigenous health inequities persist.  Using specific case examples, including the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 responses, I will describe how outdated colonial ideas, policies, and systems are actively perpetuating these inequities.  I will then present evidence-based and Indigenous community derived recommendations for action.

    Week 4 – Wednesday, November 30th – Immigration Status and Health – the Impact of being Uninsured in Ontario?

    Speaker – Michaela Beder, MD, FRCPC, Psychiatrist, St. Michael’s Hospital, Director of Mental Health and Substance Use Care, Inner City Health Associates; Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

    Speaker – Graham Hudson, JD, LLM, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean, Lincoln Alexander School of Law, Toronto Metropolitan University

    This talk will explore the concept of the right to health for persons who are uninsured.  In particular, the clinical and legal dimensions of access to healthcare for persons lacking immigration status such as undocumented migrants will be discussed.

    Speaker Biographies

    David Lepofsky

    Dr. Xavier Symons

    Melanie De Wit

    Janet Smylie

    Dr. Michaela Beder

    Dr. Graham Hudson

  • Past Conferences

    Fall Conference 2021

    Fall Conference 2020

    Fall Conference 2019

    Fall Conference 2018

    Fall Conference 2017

    Fall Conference 2016

    Fall Conference 2015

    Fall Conference 2014

    Fall Conference 2013

    Fall Conference 2012

    Fall Conference 2011