SPEAKERS

PLENARY SPEAKERS

Senior partner Joseph Arvay, Q.C. has a very busy litigation practice with an emphasis on public law and in particular constitutional, Aboriginal and administrative law matters.  He has been counsel on a number of landmark cases in the Supreme Court of Canada including Carter v. Canada, the physician assisted dying case.  From 2010 to 2014, Joseph was named by Canadian Lawyer magazine as one of the top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has received many award and honours the most recent being  an honourary doctorate of law from York University, Osgoode Law School, in June 2016.

Kenneth Chambaere is senior researcher and Assistant Professor at the End-of-Life Care Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University in Belgium, and Adjunct Professor at the Australian Centre for Health Law Research (QUT, Brisbane Australia). From 2010 to 2016 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). Kenneth is involved in various research projects, including a study aimed at integrating palliative home care in patients with severe COPD, a study of volunteer involvement and roles in palliative patient care, a study to improve physician-patient communication in advanced cancer, and research into medical end-of-life practices such as euthanasia and palliative sedation. A substantial part of his postdoctoral research has focused on empirically testing slippery slope phenomena after euthanasia regulation in Belgium.

Christine Chambers is the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Children’s Pain and Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology & Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Dr. Chambers’ research lab is based in the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research at the IWK Health Centre. She has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers on the role of developmental, psychological, and social influences on children’s pain, with a current research focus on the role of families in pediatric pain and social media for health knowledge mobilization.  Her work spans knowledge generation (e.g., original studies), knowledge synthesis (e.g., systematic review, guidelines), and knowledge translation (e.g., policy, public outreach). Dr. Chambers is the Principal Investigator of the “It Doesn’t Have to Hurt” social media initiative, in partnership with Erica Ehm’s  YummyMummyClub.ca, and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), as well as the “Making Cancer Less Painful for Kids” (#KidsCancerPain) campaign in partnership with the Cancer Knowledge Network, and funded by the Canadian Cancer Society.

Jennifer A Chandler is Professor of Law and holder of the Bertram Loeb Research Chair at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. She teaches mental health law and torts and runs an interdisciplinary discussion group entitled “Mind Brain Law.” Her ethico-legal and qualitative empirical research addresses ethical and legal issues at the cutting edge of advances in biomedical science and technology, with a focus on the brain and mind, and on organ donation and regenerative medicine. She has published widely in legal, bioethical and health sciences journals and is the co-editor of the recent book Law and Mind: Mental Health Law and Policy in Canada (2016). She sits on the Board of Directors of the International Neuroethics Society and the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, as well as multiple advisory and editorial boards for journals and book series in the area of the ethical, legal and social implications of the brain sciences.

A native and resident of Halifax, Senator James Cowan studied at Dalhousie University where he obtained his Arts and Law degrees. He then attended the London School of Economics, receiving a Master of Laws degree. In 2009, Dalhousie University awarded him the degree Doctor of Laws (honoris causa).

Senator Cowan has practiced law in Halifax since 1967 and is a partner at Stewart McKelvey, the largest law firm in Atlantic Canada. In 1983, he was appointed as Queen’s Counsel.

For many years Senator Cowan was actively engaged in the life of Dalhousie University, serving as a member of the University’s Board of Governors and chairing a wide array of committees. From 2000 to 2008, he served as Chair of the University’s Board of Governors.

Senator Cowan is Secretary and a former Director of the Halifax International Airport Authority, the former Vice-Chair and Chair of the Planning Committee of the Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd., a former Director of the Federal Business Development Bank, and a former Director and trustee of the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Senator Cowan was Director, Chair and Vice-President of both Camp Hill and Abbie J. Lane Hospitals, and Vice-Chair of the Metropolitan Mental Health Planning Board. He was also Director of the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society and a founding Director of Landmark East School, a school for children with learning disabilities in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

Senator Cowan was appointed to the Senate on the recommendation of Prime Minister Paul Martin on March 24, 2005, and sits in the Senate as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He was named Opposition Whip in the Senate on January 18, 2007 and was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the Senate on November 3, 2008. In June, 2014, the Senate Liberal Caucus reaffirmed Senator Cowan’s leadership through internal elections, a position he held until stepping down on June 22, 2016.

Senator Cowan’s Bill S-201 to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination, including by employers and insurers, passed the Senate unanimously in April 2016. It is now before the House of Commons. In the previous Parliament, he also proposed legislation to address the criminal justice system’s approach to persons suffering from mental illness. Senator Cowan was a member of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying.

Senator Cowan is the recipient of the 2016 Advocacy Award by the American Society of Human Genetics for his work leading efforts to prevent genetic discrimination in Canada. He shares this award with the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness.

Luc Deliens, PhD, is Full Professor of Palliative Care Research at Ghent University (UG) & Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), and Founding Director of the End-of-Life Care Research Group of VUB & Ghent University in Belgium. Since 2000 in Brussels, he has gradually developed this unique multidisciplinary research team of more than 40 researchers with a clinical (oncologists, geriatricians, general practitioners, nurses, clinical psychologists), as well as a social sciences (sociological, psychological, health sciences and ethics) background (www.endoflifecare.be). Between 2005 and 2014 he was Professor of Public Health and Palliative Care at the EMGO+ Institute, VU University Medical Centre, and Founding Chair of the Centre of Excellence in Palliative Care in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

He successfully supervised over 35 PhDs, and is actually supervising about 20 PhD students. He published over 350 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, incl. in NEJM, Lancet, JAMA, JCO, BMJ, JAMDA, JAGS and authored, co-authored or edited more than 15 books, and over 50 book chapters. He is member of the Advisory Editorial Board of Palliative Medicine (Europe) and the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (US). In 2009, he was appointed to be a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, the first to represent palliative and end-of-life care, and one of the very few non-clinicians. In 2011, he was appointed Co-Chair of the European Association for Palliative Care – Research Network. He has received several scientific awards for his research, e.g. the three-yearly Prize De Beys, one of the most prestigious scientific awards in medical research in Belgium.

Justine Dembo, MD, FRCPC is a Canadian psychiatrist currently working in Los Angeles as the Medical Director for Reconnect Integrative Trauma Center, a partial hospitalization program for trauma, and in private practice, where she specializes in OCD and anxiety disorders. She received her MD and completed residency at the University of Toronto. Her research interests and publications are in the area of medical aid in dying (MAID), and she is a member of the Joint Centre for Bioethics MAID task-force, the Ontario Shores MAID working group, and the Physician Advisory Council at Dying With Dignity Canada. In California, she is a member of the Medical Advocates’ group for Compassion & Choices. She has conducted capacity assessments in Canada for patients requesting MAID, and is the consultant for capacity assessments at a hospice in San Diego.

James Downar is a Critical Care and Palliative Care Physician at the University Health Network and Sinai Health System in Toronto, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He has a Master’s degree in Bioethics from the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. He is the Program Director for the Subspecialty Residency Program in Palliative Care at the University of Toronto, the chair of the Postgraduate Education Committee of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, and the chair of the Ethical Affairs committee of the Canadian Critical Care Society. He has authored more than 45 peer-reviewed publications, and is an Associated Medical Services Phoenix Fellow for 2016-7. His research interests include communication and decision-making for seriously ill patients and their families; Palliative Care for the Critically Ill; and Palliative Care for Noncancer Illnesses.

Jocelyn Downie is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She is also a Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and was recently awarded the CIHR Barer-Flood Prize for Health Services and Policy Research.  She began her academic career in Philosophy (BA and MA at Queen’s University and an MLitt at the University of Cambridge) and then switched to Law (LLB at the University of Toronto and an LLM and SJD at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor). After law school, she clerked for Chief Justice Lamer at the Supreme Court of Canada. After graduate school, she was the Director of the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie for ten years. She is now a University Research Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Dalhousie University and a Faculty Associate of the Dalhousie Health Law Institute. Her work on end-of-life law and policy goes back many years and includes: Special Advisor to the Canadian Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide; author of Dying Justice: A Case for the Decriminalizing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada (winner of the AbbyAnn D. Lynch Medal in Bioethics from the Royal Society of Canada); member of the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision-Making; member of the pro bono legal team in the case of Carter v. Canada (Attorney General); and, most recently, member of the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying.  She has also written extensively on non-medical assistance in dying end of life issues including unilateral withholding and withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatment and palliative sedation.

Linda Ganzini MD, MPH is Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, where she is also Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Training Program and Senior Scholar at the Center on Ethics in Health Care.  She is Associate Director of the Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation at the VA Portland Health Care System.  Since 1994 she has pursued research to further understanding of the views and experiences of health care professionals, families, and patients on Oregon’ Death with Dignity Act.  She testified in Carter v. Canada about her research findings. 

Jennifer Gibson is Sun Life Financial Chair in Bioethics and Director of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB), Associate Professor of Health Policy and Clinical Public Health in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. Jennifer has a PhD in Philosophy. Her academic work focuses on ethical issues in organizational and health system decision-making. Jennifer has advised government on diverse policy issues, including public health emergencies, critical care triage, and drug funding. In 2015-16, Jennifer co-chaired the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying and was an expert witness to Parliamentary deliberations on Bill C-14. At the University of Toronto, Jennifer serves on the Executive Committee of the Global Institute for Psychosocial, Palliative, and End of Life Care, teaches ethics of death and dying in the Department of Philosophy, and is co-leading translational research on a ‘good’ death with colleagues at the Institute for Global Health Equity and Innovation. At the JCB, she commissioned the JCB Task Force on Medical Assistance in Dying, which is collaborating with provincial stakeholders on the implementation and evaluation of MAID in Ontario.

Joan M. Gilmour, B.A., LL.B. (Toronto), J.S.M., J.S.D. (Stanford), is a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, and a member of the Bar of Ontario.  She teaches in the areas of health law, disability and the law and torts, and is Director of the law school’s Master’s Program specializing in Health Law.   She has served as Acting and Associate Director of the York University Centre for Health Studies (now the York Institute for Health Research), and Director of Osgoode’s Institute for Feminist Legal Studies.  Her research spans a wide range of issues, including medical assistance in dying,  treating children, professional regulation, patient safety, and the interrelation of disability, gender, inequality and law.  Her publications include “Death, Dying and Decision-Making About End of Life Care, in Canadian Health Law and Policy (4th ed), and “Study Paper on Assisted Suicide, Euthanasia and Foregoing Treatment”, prepared for the Ontario Law Reform Commission.

Mona Gupta MD CM, FRCPC, PhD is a psychiatrist and researcher at the Centre l’Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. She is also Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montréal. She received her medical degree from McGill University and completed her residency and fellowship training in psychiatry at the University of Toronto where she also did her PhD in bioethics. Her broad area of academic interest is the intersection of ethics and epistemology in psychiatry. Her research monograph on ethics and evidence-based psychiatry was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. Dr Gupta is actively engaged in the bioethics community as a member of the editorial committees of Bioéthique Online and the Journal of Ethics and Mental Health, Senior Editor of the journal Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, and as Chair of the RCPSC Bioethics Committee. Dr Gupta and her research group have been collaborating with the Collège des Médecins du Québec to better understand the meaning of ‘psychological suffering’ as an eligibility criterion for medical aid in dying as it appears in Québec’s Act respecting end-of-life care.

Emily Jackson is a Professor of Law and Vice-Chair of the Academic Board at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is the author of Medical Law (4th edition, OUP 2016). Emily is a Judicial Appointments Commissioner and a member of the British Medical Association Medical Ethics Committee. Previously she was a member and then Deputy Chair of the HFEA (2003-2012).

Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen is professor of end-of-life research at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She leads the research line ‘public health at the end of life’ at the department of public and occupational health. Main themes of this research line are palliative care, advance care planning, and end-of-life decision-making. Furthermore, she is the chair of the VUmc Expertise Center for Palliative Care in which all care, educational and research activities in the field of palliative care come together. She has ample experience in leading and participating in national and international research. She has been involved in the Dutch nationwide monitoring of euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions and euthanasia regulation that takes place every 5 years since 1995, and has published in renounced international journals on this and other end-of-life related topics.

Kenneth Rockwood is a professor of medicine (geriatric medicine and neurology) at Dalhousie, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research investigator and an active staff physician. He is also the Kathryn Allen Weldon Professor of Alzheimer Research at Dalhousie University. A native of Newfoundland, he received his MD from Memorial University, and completed internal medicine training at the University of Alberta and geriatric medicine at Dalhousie University.

Agnes van der Heide, MD, PhD, is a researcher at the department of Public Health of Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She has performed studies on epidemiological, clinical, ethical and public health aspects of end-of-life care and decision making, at a local, regional, national and an international scale. She has published in renounced international medical journals about the frequency, characteristics and developments  in the practice of euthanasia, assistance in suicide, palliative sedation and other end-of-life decisions, and many other topics.  Currently, she is involved in studies on new developments in end-of-life decision making, advance care planning and integrated palliative care.

Joshua Wales, MD, CCFP (PC) is a palliative care physician at the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care of the Sinai Health System in Toronto. He is a lecturer at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, where he completed a fellowship in Palliative Medicine.  He is also an associate physician at Casey House, a specialty HIV/AIDS Hospital, and is certified through the American Academy of HIV Medicine.  Clinical and research interests include medical assistance in dying, HIV palliative care, and social determinants of home death.

Eric Wasylenko is a palliative care physician and Masters prepared clinical ethicist from Alberta. He has been recognized with several awards for his work, nationally and provincially.  Over the past three years he has spoken widely on ethics and practical issues surrounding medical assistance in dying.  Eric was Secretariat Chair and Medical Advisor for Alberta’s preparedness response arising from the Court decisions and Federal legislation for medical assistance in dying.  In his other current roles he consults primarily to the Health Quality Council of Alberta in health system ethics and policy, sits on the Canadian Medical Association’s Committee on Ethics and Chairs the Ethics Consultative Group for the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Eric is Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, and Clinical Lecturer at the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, University of Alberta.

Ben White is a Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research in the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Ben graduated with first class Honours and a University Medal in Law from QUT and then completed a DPhil at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. Before joining the Law Faculty, he worked as an associate at the Supreme Court and at Legal Aid Queensland. Between 2005 and 2007, Ben was appointed as the full-time Commissioner of the Queensland Law Reform Commission where he had carriage of the Guardianship Review on behalf of the Commission. He also served as a part-time Commissioner between 2007 and 2010. Ben’s area of research focus is end of life decision-making and he is undertaking a number of Australian Research Council funded studies examining law at the end of life. He is currently a committee member of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law and an editor of ‘Health Law in Australia’ (2nd ed, 2014, Thomson).

Lindy Willmott is a Professor with the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and a Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at QUT in Queensland, Australia. She researches in the area of health law, particularly end-of-life issues and is currently undertaking a number of empirical research projects funded by the Australian Research Council. She is also a Chief Investigator in a National Health and Medical Research Council funded Centre of Research Excellence on End of Life. Her empirical research focuses on end-of-life decision-making and the impact of law in the clinical encounter. Lindy is also the author of many text books and is one of the editors of the text ‘Health Law in Australia’. She is formerly a member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

Hilary Young is an Associate Professor in the Law Faculty at the University of New Brunswick. Before entering academia, she spent a lot of time in school (M.A. & Ph.D from Rice; LL.B. from Ottawa; LL.M. from Harvard). She practiced law at Cox & Palmer in Halifax and is a member of the Nova Scotia bar. She clerked with Justice Louis LeBel of the Supreme Court of Canada. She teaches Torts, Advanced Torts, Health Law and a seminar on defamation and privacy law.

Her areas of research interest include defamation law, tort law and health law (especially the law of informed consent). She is currently working on a SSHRC-funded project on publication in defamation, and has recently written about physicians’ freedom of conscience to practice according to what they perceive to be good medicine. One of Professor Young’s articles about consent to withdraw life-sustaining treatment was cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in Cuthbertson v Rasouli.