Bioethics

Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) has always supported ethical practice in the provision of healthcare. We aim to live out the hospital's mission, vision and values in our everyday work.

As care possibilities become more complex, the decisions that must be made also become more complex. Bioethics is about helping patients, families and healthcare professionals facing tough moral or value-based healthcare choices to decide the best course of action. 

The bioethicist’s role

Michael Garron Hospital's bioethicist has advanced training in ethics. They can help clarify ethical issues, offer other perspectives, review options and assist with decision-making. A bioethics consultation can be requested by anyone involved in the patient's care, including the patient, family members of the patient, or members of the health care team.

The bioethicist’s role involves:

  • Confidential consultations, ensuring all relevant facts, values and options are explored
  • Ensuring that patients are at the centre of their care
  • Helping people understand and explore treatment options and their likely outcomes
  • Identifying and providing information that helps people make decisions about ethical issues
  • Participating in the hospital’s Research Ethics Board to address ethical issues in research
  • Researching ethical issues in patient care
  • Educating patients, families and professionals about ethical issues in patient care

Example situations in which a bioethics consultation May be helpful

  • Disagreement between members of the patient's family about the appropriate care or discharge plan
  • Disagreement between the patient or members of the patient's family and the care team about the appropriate care or discharge plan
  • When difficult life and death decisions have to be made (e.g., inserting feeding tubes in patients with advanced dementia or withdrawing life support in the ICU)
  • Questions about medical assistance in dying
  • Questions or concerns about the consent process

Requesting a BioEthics Consultation

A bioethics consultation can be requested through any of the following methods:

  • Ask a member of the health care team to contact the bioethicist
  • Contact the bioethicist, Lorrie Hamilton, directly at 416-469-6580 ext. 3364 or at @email 

Learn more about bioethics

For information on bioethics, bioethics research, education and clinical activities, please see these websites:

University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB)
A partnership between the University of Toronto and affiliated hospitals, the JCB studies ethical, health-related topics through research and clinical activities.

Canadian Bioethics Society
Information on the history of bioethics in Canada.

Canada Health Act
A government of Canada site that outlines the criteria of the health act.

Health Care Consent Act (1996)
This Ontario law has to do with the capacity to consent to treatment.

Consent & Capacity Board
The Consent and Capacity Board is an independent body created by the Ontario government.

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Contact
Name
Lorrie Hamilton, clinical bioethicist
Email
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