JCB Partners: The Hospital for Sick Children, Bioethics Department

People and Roles:

Bioethicists: Randi Zlotnik Shaul, PhD (Bioethicist)


Areas of Specialty:

Randi Zlotnik Shaul: Children and youth, research ethics, innovation, accountability, interface between law and ethics.


Program Description:

The Bioethics Department at the Hospital for Sick Children is committed to working with our colleagues in other departments to provide excellence in the compassionate care of children and their families. As a hospital based centre of national and international excellence we seek to:

  • provide the highest possible quality service to children and their families through the activities of ethics consultation, education, policy analysis and research
  • aid colleagues in their resolution of ethical dilemmas that occur in the course of professional practice, through the processes of values clarification and ethical analysis
  • inform colleagues of developments in the fields of bioethics and related law
  • assist health care professionals in their integration of ethics into their teaching practice
  • excel in ethics and legal research through collaboration with appropriate academic institutions
  • provide leadership in the fields of paediatric ethics and relevant legislation on a national and international basis through publication, conference participation and collaborative initiatives



The role of the Bioethics Department is to be an initiator, facilitator and catalyst for values clarification and moral analysis in support of high quality care for children and their families.



The department will:

  • carry out its mission acknowledging that the main purpose is to enable children, families and colleagues to come to resolution of ethical dilemmas inherent in the process of health care
  • foster activities which contribute to and develop ethics research and education integral to professional practice in health care
  • act as a model in developing collaborative initiatives in the fields of paediatric ethics and related law, to enhance the service for children and families and to support professional colleagues



  1. To contribute to quality care for children and their families through the development of the consultation process in relevant situations.
  2. To increase the scope and quality of education and research programmes for health professionals in bioethics and related law and to develop internships for students.
  3. To develop comprehensive programs to support the work of ethics committees.
  4. To expand research initiatives including the development of fellowships.
  5. To initiate a review of policies which entail ethical issues and to assist in the development of relevant policies.
  6. To generate and develop collaborative relationships with academic institutions for the expansion and enhancement of programmes and publication in the fields of ethics and law.

To provide an effective service, the department must be:

  • hospital-based first in partnership with appropriate academic institutions second
  • service oriented with a strong academic foundation
  • multidisciplinary at a level representative of the professions
  • proactive as well as reactive
  • capable of multicultural and multinational activity
  • engaged collegially in intellectually challenging work

The department’s service elements include:

  • consultation
  • education
  • policy analysis and formulation
  • research which is both responsive and exemplary


Sick Kids Library:

Room 10202A Black Wing


The general purpose is to collect material in the subject of paediatric ethics to support:

  • the teaching and research needs of the department
  • the teaching and research needs of the hospital
  • the research needs of others working in bioethics

Hospital staff, as well as members and graduate students of the Joint Centre for Bioethics may use the library. Call (416) 813-5000 to arrange access.



The Hospital for Sick Children