The deVeber Institute recently hosted our summer symposium entitled "Medical Ethics in an Age of Reproductive Decisions and Medical Aid in Dying". The event was a great success and over 115 people attended. The day was filled with thoughtful discussion and thorough presentations of new emerging research.
We had a total of four guest speakers as well as five student presentations from our summer interns.
Our first presenter was Dr. Kathy Pfaff. Her presentation was entitled Medical Aid in Dying: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. She spoke about the fundamental definition of dignity and compassion, the clinical improvements experienced from palliative care and medical ethics in light of Bill C-14.
Our second presenter was Jean Echlin, who is a palliative care nurse and expert. She's had a successful career as a Nurse Consultant in Palliative Care and Gerontology. Jean presented an inspiring presentation as she examined the flaws in Bill C-14, the need for a better palliative care regime and the health complications following an abortion. With personal stories and case studies, she moved the crowd with her sincere and witty presentation.
Our third speaker was Professor Ian Gentles, Director of Research at the deVeber Institute. His speech was entitled The Future of Bio-ethical Research After the Legalization of Medically-Assisted Dying. He spoke about the development of Bill C-14, the flaws that exist in the current law, and what is still left to be done for healthcare professionals. Professor Gentles put forth a thoughtful and engaging presentation that added a fresh perspective to the discussion.
Following Professor Ian Gentles, our summer interns presented the research they have been working on this summer. Julia Giancola presented on the developments of Bill C-14 starting from the Supreme Court Decision until it was passed as law in June 2016. Katie Pfaff presented new research on pre-maturity and preterm birth risks following an abortion. Christina Holmquist presented research on psychological outcomes and intimate partner violence in relation to abortion. Kvitka Tsap presented research on maternal and infant mortality in relation to abortion. Tiffany Tran presented new research on the abortion and breast cancer link.
All the interns put forth a thorough and engaging presentation that resonated with the audience.The new research will be implemented to update our books Complications and It's Not That Simple: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Today.
Our final speaker was Dr. Shawn Whatley who spoke about conscientious objection for healthcare professionals, medical ethics and medical aid in dying. He provided a very knowledgeable and thought provoking presentation that sparked much discussion and interest among the audience.
In addition, we had a special guest appearance from the MP Mr. Harold Albrecht, who spoke briefly about the need to protect vulnerable Canadians and healthcare professionals in Canada. We are so grateful for his support and contributions to our symposium.
Overall, the symposium was a great success and we are looking forward to our events in the coming months!
If you attended our symposium, please take a minute to fill out the Comment Card which is attached below or complete this short 3-4 minute survey.
Stay tuned for videos from the event and more information on our Annual Public Lecture on October 27th 2016!
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