The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research conducts and disseminates research on topics connected to human life in its biological, social and ethical dimensions. These topics are selected for study depending on emerging medical, technological and social developments. In undertaking this work the Institute believes that a sense of the inherent value and dignity of human life and of the human person as an end and not a means is a foundational perspective to bring to bear on its work.

The Institute's research may be original or may consist of reviews of existing literature. In each case the Institute's work is to be of the highest academic quality, though accessible to the general public.

From the Director's Desk

Caring for the Disabled at the Time of Death

Joys, Challenges, Sorrows at End of Life

Three speakers emphasized to a full house both the joys and sorrows that accompany the caregiver as they journey with the dying. The event was “Compassionate End-of-Life Care for Adults with Developmental Disabilities”, an evening co-sponsored by the deVeber Institute and L'Arche Toronto, and held at the L'Arche Gathering Place in Toronto on January 29. 

Susan Morgan, a chaplain, spoke about her personal experiences in ministering to the dying, and expressed her concern about when people “retreat” from those who are dying. She insisted on the importance of “presence”, reminding her listeners that their role is not only to be doing when attending to a dying person, but also just to be with them, sometimes even in silence.

Compassionate End-of-Life Care for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

The deVeber Institute and L'Arche Toronto invite you to an evening of talks and discussion about palliative care and ethical concerns at end-of-life.
Thursday, January 29, 2009.
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Gathering Place, L'Arche Toronto, 186 Floyd Ave, Toronto.
Registration:  $5

Helping family, friends and support workers caring for an adult with a developmental disability who is nearing death:

  • To feel confident about making the right decisions
  • To reduce anxiety
  • To affirm their essential role in the life of the terminally ill person


  • Susan Morgan, MDiv, Community Chaplain with St. Elizabeth Health Care, York Region.
  • Dr. Paul Zeni, MD, family physician and Palliative Care Consultant for North Halton.
  • Jane Powell, L'Arche Assistant, graduate of a Certificate Program in Grief and Bereavement and co-facilitator of a grief group for members of L'Arche Toronto with developmental disabilities
    Light refreshments will be provided.

Now on YouTube: "Women's Health at Risk" trailer

Women's Health at Risk; Abortion and Informed Consent is now on YouTube!

The full video of Dr. Deborah Zeni's captivating lecture can be purchased by emailing or calling 416-256-0555.

Profile: Dr. L.L. Barrie deVeber

“I want to live!”

Mary was 12 years old when she presented at my office in 1971 with a Wilm’s tumour of her kidney, which had spread to her liver and lungs. She had only a 10% chance of a long-term remission with chemotherapy and surgery. Understandably, her parents were upset, and given the serious side effects that I described, they questioned the reason for treatment with such a poor prognosis. However, they finally agreed to her treatment.

Does Abortion Affect Women’s Mental Health?

Researchers at the deVeber Institute have consistently found a link between mental health and abortion[1]. Women who have had an induced abortion are at a greater risk for suicide, major depression, anxiety disorder, suicidal ideation, alcohol dependence, illicit drug dependence, and mean number of mental health problems[2].

A study by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario revealed that women who had abortions had a 5 times increase in hospitalizations for psychiatric problems than a control population[3].

We have found that induced abortion does affect women’s mental health.