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The challenge of ethical practice in the context of complex health systems, diverse and aging patient populations, rapidly evolving technology and treatments, and limited resources is significant. Questions about ethics arise in the work that each person involved in health care does each day. Ethics education aims both to foster an understanding and awareness of relevant issues and to develop the skills needed for addressing them. Accordingly, a variety of pedagogical techniques – from presentations to conceptual and case-based analysis to role modeling and mentoring to demonstrating practices of reflection – are employed by NSHEN to achieve these goals, build capacity and progressively develop knowledge and skills related to moral analysis and values clarification/evaluation.

Currently, NSHEN is focused on providing ethics committee members around the province with education that meets their needs – as they are the primary ethics resource in each of the health districts and Department of Health. This education includes, for example, developing an orientation manual for new ethics committee members. In addition, NSHEN is committed to bi-monthly education sessions that are telehealthed around the province and open to anyone. Topics for these sessions are chosen based on identified needs. NSHEN has held annual conferences since April 2008 and each year the audience base continues to grow which is very exciting as it identifies the need for ethics in the workplace.

Related Ethics Education Resources

Advance Directives

CMA Policy: Advance Directives for resuscitation and other life-saving or sustaining measures

Nova Scotia Personal Directives Act

Code of Ethics

Bioethics: Codes, Oaths, Guidelines & Position Statements (Contains links to historical and professional codes for both Canada and the U.S.)

Canadian Medical Association Code of Ethics (2004)

Canadian Traumatic Stress Network Ethical Principles

Ethics Codes and Practice Guidelines (Large collection of ethics codes and guidelines for American and Canadian associations)

Nursing Code of Ethics

Confidentiality / Privacy

Personal Health Information Act Legislation

Pan-Canadian Health Information privacy and confidentiality framework (Health Canada)

Health Policy / Public Health

Canada Health Act

The Health of Canadians: The Federal Role

Health Canada Legislation

Patient Rights

Patients are Powerful (This non-profit organization is committed to empower patients and to be a source of information to facilitate such empowerment)

Pandemic Planning

Canada Pandemic Influenza Plan

Health Emergencies (Health Canada)

Department of Health (UK)

Emergency Preparedness (Canada)

World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Preparedness Plan

Resource Allocation

Health Care Priority Setting (This paper presents a detailed step by step guide for carrying out a priority setting process)

Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation (Online journal devoted to the economic evaluation of health care and health policy issues related to resource allocation)