Centre for Clinical Ethics



A Joint Venture of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital

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. This is done through education, case consultations, policy development, and research. As a faith-based centre, our commitment is 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ethics Grand Rounds at Providence

Every month (except over the summer), Ethics Grand Rounds are held over the lunch hour, exploring a different ethical topic. The Rounds are open to everyone (Providence staff, volunteers, patients, residents and clients). Here are some of the topics discussed:


  • Ethical Issues in Geriatric Care: Can Family Members Help as Medical Interpreters?
  • Public Participation in Priority Setting: An Ethical Perspective
  • Artifical Nutrition and Hydration at the End of Life
  • Restraints: ‘Let Me Be Free’
  • What does “best interests” really mean?
  • June 2008: When to (and Why) Call the OPGT for Treatment Decisions
  • This Won’t Hurt a Bit: The Ethics of Promising Pain Relief
  • Recurrent Ethical Issues in Caring for Persons with Dementia and their Families
  • Duty to Disclose and the Patient’s Right to Confidentiality
  • Consent, Empowerment and Patient-Centred Care
  • Integrity and Moral Distress: Health Care Professionals as Part of a Moral Community
    An Ethical Approach to Breaking Bad News
  • Integrating Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Conventional Medicine: Ethical Challenges in Practice
  • The Intersection Between Public Health Ethics and Clinical EthicsCommunication of Adverse Events: What YOU Need to Know
  • Demystifying the Consent and Capacity Boards
  • The “Disagreeable” Substitute Decision-maker: What should healthcare providers do if they disagree with a SDM’s treatment decision?
  • An Interdisciplinary Framework for Ethical Decision-Making
  • The Spectrum of Beneficence
  • Advance Care Planning: Help or Hindrance?
  • The Ethics of Managing (Reasonable) Expectations
  • Existential Suffering and Sedation: An Ethical Challenge in the Care of the Dying
  • “Get Me Outa Here” – Ethical Perspective on the Difficult Provider-Patient Relationship
  • CPR or No CPR? That is the question.
  • Mistakes Happen…What should you do?
  • Who cares for the caregiver?
  • Cultural Conflict: When Two Worlds Collide at the Bedside
  • Elder Abuse: What is it and what can I do?
  • Evalution of Capacity
  • Anatomy of a Consult
  • Please Don’t Tell My Husband He has Cancer: Ethical Issues Around Truth-telling
  • Is it ethical to allow an individual to make a ‘bad’ choice?
  • How do we know when enough is enough? Ethical Issues at the End of Life
  • Less Acute, Just as Critical: Defining Ethical Issues in Rehabilitation and Complex Continuing Care
    Privacy and Disclosure
  • Why do I feel so bad? The Role of Defriefing in Managing Moral Distress
  • Should Grandma Decide? Ethical Issues related to Consent and Capacity
  • Life After SARS: Some Ethical Reflections

To find out more about Providence’s Ethics Grand Rounds, contact the Centre at 416-285-3666 x4061.