Available to watch online December 2020


Ethics in the Time of COVID-19: Navigating Uncharted Waters 

This year, NSHEN’s annual online conference considers some of the
substantive and procedural ethical questions related to the first wave of
response to COVID-19. It also starts a conversation about moral distress
and lessons learned by those working in the health care system.

We will be exploring a range of ethical concerns related to COVID-19 through lecture-style presentations, simulated healthcare interactions, and
recorded panel discussions. Each session will be posted online for
asynchronous viewing and supplemented by additional resources linked to
the topic.


Objectives:  Participants will be able to 

  • Discuss and analyze ethical issues that arose during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nova Scotia 
  • Identify barriers and facilitators to addressing ethical issues as they arose during the initial efforts to respond to COVID-19 in Nova Scotia 
  • Identify common sources of moral distress related to the COVID-19 pandemic and response in Nova Scotia

Conference Presenters

Duncan Steele

Duncan heads Alberta Health Services’ Organizational Ethics office. He mainly supports and leads work covering two areas: value-laden policy contexts (e.g. pandemic planning and response), and resource allocation and priority setting (decision frameworks, assessing initiatives and health technologies to fund). He is the Ethics Member for BC’s Health Technology Assessment Committee. Duncan received his MA in Applied Ethics from Utrecht University with a focus on Public Health Ethics and his Master of Health Administration from the University of British Columbia with a capstone on physician governance structures and decision sciences.

Chris Kaposy

Chris Kaposy is a health care ethicist who works with the Provincial Health Ethics Network of Newfoundland and Labrador, and an Associate Professor of Bioethics in the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University. He is program director of the Master of Health Ethics degree program, and editor of the Canadian bioethics blog Impact Ethics (www.impactethics.ca).

Fiona McDonald

Associate Professor Fiona McDonald is Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University, and Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Her research interests are at the nexus of law and bioethics and focus on the governance of health systems, the health workforce, and innovative health technologies.

Amanda Porter

Amanda Porter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University and member of the Ethics Collaborations Team which participates in ethics-based collaborations between the Department, Nova Scotia Health, the IWK Health Centre and the Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network (NSHEN). Amanda completed her doctorate in philosophy at Western University, and a fellowship in Clinical Ethics at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London. Prior to joining the Bioethics Department, she worked as a Clinical Ethicist for Alberta Health Services and then as a Policy Analyst for the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists. Amanda’s work focuses on clinical and organizational ethics issues that arise in health care. Her collaborative work is intended to build capacity and opportunity for thoughtful handling of ethically challenging situations that arise in everyday practice.

Diane Godkin

Dianne Godkin is Senior Ethicist at Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga, Ontario. After completing a PhD in Nursing at the University of Alberta, she completed a clinical ethics post-graduate fellowship at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include the use of qualitative methods to explore end-of-life decision-making and advance care planning. She is an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto and Past President of the Canadian Bioethics Society.

Jennifer Gibson

Professor Gibson is the Director of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB), and the Sun Life Financial Chair in Bioethics. She is also Associate Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation. She holds a PhD in philosophy, with a specialization in Bioethics, from the University of Toronto. Her current funded research focuses on ethics and health system integration, organizational ethics, and resource allocation ethics. Professor Gibson leads the WHO Collaborating Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto, is a program team leader at the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control (a partnership of the Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Care Ontario, BC Cancer Agency, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Toronto), and has served as an expert member on government advisory committees on policy issues related to critical care triage, drug funding and supply, organ transplantation, pandemic planning, citizen engagement, and health system integration.

Dr. OmiSoore Dryden

Dr. Dryden is the James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies in the Faculty of Medicine and an associate professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. Dryden is an interdisciplinary scholar whose scholarship and research is situated in Black Canadian Thought, specifically Black queer diasporic analytics. She is a Researcher-In-Residence and a member of the African, Caribbean, and Black Program Science Scholars Lab, at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network. Dryden is also a member of the Black Feminist Health Science Studies International Research Group. Dr. Dryden is the co-editor of Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging (UBC Press) and has published a number of peer-reviewed papers.

Athanasius Sylliboy ‘Tanas’

Athanasius Sylliboy ‘Tanas’ is a Mi’kmaq Family Nurse Practitioner at Eskasoni Health Centre. Tanas received his nursing education at Cape Breton University becoming one of the first two Mi’kmaq male graduates to complete their program. Tanas’ primary nursing background is both adult and pediatric emergency / critical care in various departments across Nova Scotia. His area of interest includes bridging gaps in healthcare for marginalized populations through health advocacy and collaboration. He provides the team with knowledge of working with pediatric patients and First Nation populations in both acute care and primary care settings.

Gerry Post

Gerry Post is the Accessibility Directorate at the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. Gerry is an urban planner who has worked and lived around the globe for the past 40 years. He’s been honoured with various awards, including the World Leadership Award in Town Planning and Urban Governance for his work in the Middle East and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award for his accessibility advocacy. In retirement his advocacy helped the Province of Nova Scotia to adopt an Accessibility Act. He was subsequently appointed the first Executive Director for Accessibility in Nova Scotia and is now in charge of implementing the Act.

Alyson Lamb

Alyson Lamb is a Health Services Manager with Nova Scotia Health. Her previous research focused on advanced practice nursing leadership. Alyson’s current focus is on building leadership capacity in front line nurse.

Lisa Snodgrass

Director, Clinical Services, Shannex

Liam Mulroy

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Liam Mulroy is a Radiation Oncologist at the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. He graduated from Western University in 1986 and completed a Residency in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University in 1988. After holding a variety of locum tenens positions in Nova Scotia, PEI, and Ontario, he entered Radiation Oncology Residency at the University of Toronto in 1992 and completed specialty training in 1995. Clinical activities include patient care and participation in clinical trials for patients with lung, CNS and hematologic malignancies.

Lynn Boudreau

Professional Practice Leader, Physiotherapy, Nova Scotia Health