NSHEN has developed the Bioethics Book Club as a resource for ethics committees, organizations and health care teams looking for a fun, creative, interactive way to facilitate discussion about health ethics issues and engage in ethics education.

We will select a variety of books with health ethics themes – both fiction and non-fiction – and develop a handout for each that includes a summary, some of the ethics issues addressed in the book and discussion questions.

Your group will select the book that is most relevant or of interest to you, give your group members time to read the book, and then use the discussion questions as a guide to facilitate a group discussion around the health ethics issues within each book and how they relate to your practice.

Some of these books are available in the NSHEN Lending Library and most are available through Nova Scotia’s public libraries.

Continue to check back often! Also, if you know of a book not on our list that would be a good fit for Bioethics Book Club, please let us know!


New Book Summary with Discussion Questions

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova – Discussion Questions

From neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice comes a powerful exploration of regret, forgiveness, freedom, and what it means to be alive.An accomplished concert pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Every finger of his hands was a finely calibrated instrument, dancing across the keys and striking each note with exacting precision. That was eight months ago.

Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. His fingers are impotent, still, devoid of possibility. The loss of his hand feels like a death, a loss of true love, a divorce—his divorce.

He knows his left arm will go next.

Three years ago, Karina removed their framed wedding picture from the living room wall and hung a mirror there instead. But she still hasn’t moved on. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it.

When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard’s muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their past before it’s too late.

Poignant and powerful, Every Note Played is a masterful exploration of redemption and what it means to find peace inside of forgiveness.


Past Summaries


Coming Soon…

  • Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction is Changing Men, Women, and the World by Liza Mundy, Knopf, 2007
  • Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult, Atria Books, 2009
  • The Ethical Canary: Science, Society and the Human Spirit by Margaret Somerville, Viking, 2000
  • The Mystery of Breathing by Perri Klass, Houghton Mifflin, 2004
  • The Craftsman by Richard Sennett, Yale University Press, 2009
  • And The Birds Rained Down by Jocelyne Saucier, Coach House Books, 2012
  • The Secret Language of Doctors by Brian Goldman, HarperCollins, 2014