JCB Partners: Centre for Clinical Ethics

People and Roles:

Director: Hazel Markwell, PhD, DTh
Clinical Ethicists: Steve Abdool, RN, PhD(C); Rebecca Bruni, RN, PhD; Joseph Chandrakanthan, PhD, DTh; Eoin Connolly, MA; Coriline Hall, MDiv, ThM(c); Giles Scofield, JD, MA
Administrative Assistant: Lynda Sullivan


Program Description:

In 1982 the Sisters of St. Joseph established a Clinical Ethics Service which is jointly sponsored by Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital, three Catholic institutions which serve the Toronto area. The first ethics service of its kind in Canada, this service has grown over the years, providing services to more than 10 organizations and today is known as the Centre for Clinical Ethics. We are affiliated with the University of Toronto through the Joint Centre for Bioethics and St. Michael’s College.

The mission of the Centre for Clinical Ethics is to enable members of the health care community to identify and resolve ethical issues which arise in the clinical setting. We do this through education, case consultations, policy development, and research. As a faith based Centre we are committed to the core values of our three supporting institutions and to broadening the understanding of the role that faith plays in the questions which confront people in their search for healing.



The Centre for Clinical Ethics provides consultative services to patients, families, non-medical and medical staff, volunteers and students on a wide variety of issues related to conflicts in values. Such issues include treatment decisions such as withholding or withdrawing treatment, consent and capacity, allocation of resources, hospital restructuring and institutional ethics.



The Centre for Clinical Ethics offers ethics education sessions for medical and non-medical hospital staff, students, volunteers and the larger community. These sessions are designed to meet the needs of the participants and include:

  • participation and presentations at multi-disciplinary rounds
  • monthly ethics lectures focusing on current ethical issues
  • Ethics Grand Rounds for the hospital community
  • presentations at national and international conferences
  • lectures and leadership to a variety of community groups
  • facilitation of workshops
  • an annual ethics conference (please note: legal size paper needed if printing brochure)
  • practica for program credit offered to graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Toronto
  • teaching of medical students, interns and residents in the Medical Faculty of the University of Toronto


Policy Development:

The Centre for Clinical Ethics is a valuable resource for policy development, implementation, evaluation and review both with the supporting institutions and the wider community. We collaborate with a variety of organizations including the Catholic Health Association of Canada, the Catholic Health Association of Ontario and the Anglican Church of Canada.



We are committed to collaborative research in the area of health care ethics and theology and to developing further relationships to foster this. Our research group consists of physicians and researchers from a variety of specialties, who together engage in scholarly research focused on an ethics of care.



The Centre for Clinical Ethics