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Click to listen to this page using ReadPleaseTo provide a forum for:

  • the discussion of ethical issues related but not limited to policy/procedure development, education, and clinical ethical discussions. the formulation and communication of recommendations related to clinical ethics to appropriate members of the Health Sciences Centre community.



The Ethics Team will be co-chaired by a management and a physician leader and will have a Senior Management liaison. It may be necessary on occasion to invite other individuals in order to obtain input from all relevant groups and provide feedback. The Team will include multidisciplinary/multi-departmental members including:

  • Medical staff (4)
  • Clinical staff (4)
  • Management (5)
  • Support staff
  • Consumers
  • External Stakeholders (ie. representatives from Lakehead University Department of Philosophy, the Law Society and the Board of Governors)

ethics team
Ethics Team 2009

Front Row: Francesca Matiowsky, Dr. Jaro Kotalik (Co-Chair), Cathy Covino (Co-Chair), Dr. William Hettenhausen
Second Row: Dr. George Morrison, Paul Benvenuto, Allyson Shpirko, Nelson Lyons, Pauline Bodnar, Stella Rose Osawamick-Hogan, Wendy Lange, Jane MacFayden, Jennifer Bean

Missing: George Fieber, Dr. Jane Fogolin, Rev. Wendy Stone, Nick Pustina, Dr. Dolores Sicheri, Dr. Marcus Powlowski, Cindy Walker, Shelley Chisholm, Dr. Julija Kelecevic


Length of Appointment

Members appointed by virtue of their position will serve an indefinite term. Representative members will rotate service on a one-year term with an option for reappointment to serve a second term.


Reporting Structure

The Ethics Team reports to both the Senior Management Team (SMT) and Medical Advisory Committee (MAC).


Reporting Format

Issues requiring the attention of Senior Management Team and the Medical Advisory Committee will be highlighted in the minutes. The Co-Team Leaders are responsible for ensuring that items referred to Senior Management or the Medical Advisory Committee are identified and will ensure that a response is communicated back to the Team.



The Teamís authority is limited to its primary purpose. Decisions may be implemented provided they are:

  • within available resources
  • do not impact on another service/department
  • consistent with the Mission, Vision, Values and Strategic Plan of the Hospital
  • would positively impact on patient, family or provider satisfaction
  • would not constitute a reduction in service



Seven members constitute a quorum for a meeting.

Team Process

Decision-making will occur through discussion and consensus whenever possible and will be data-driven / evidence based. Time-limited sub-committees and task forces may be struck to deal with specific issues as required. These may include others who are not normally team members. The Team will normally meet monthly, with the exception of the summer, to discuss and solve specific issues. Agendas will be prepared at least one week in advance. Minutes will be distributed to all appropriate staff and physicians.



To set annual Team objectives based on feedback from internal and external stake-holders including but not limited to:

  • Reviewing and making recommendations regarding policies, procedures, protocols and guidelines having bio-ethical implications.
  • Making recommendations to enhance the process of care and the utilization of services within the defined area.
  • Participating in strategic planning for ethics.
  • Promote, coordinate and assist with continuing education programs related to ethical matters.
  • To evaluate education needs of hospital personnel related to ethical matters.


To ensure the quality of care by:

  • providing a mechanism for hospital staff, patients and families to identify and discuss ethical issues of importance to the institution.
  • being available in a consultative capacity on specific ethical cases, by invitation from hospital staff, patients, their families and other parties as the committee deems appropriate.
  • recommending changes that improve the quality of care and services delivered.
  • establishing indicators of quality.
  • monitoring quality indicators quarterly.


To provide input into the budgetary process for the area by identifying ethical concerns that may require budgetary considerations including the operation of an ethics program.


To consider and advise on issues referred by Senior Management or the Medical Advisory Committee.


To ensure compliance with the Canadian Council of Health Services Accreditation Standards.


To evaluate, at least annually, the overall strengths and weaknesses of the Team's functioning and develop strategies to deal with identified gaps.

Members Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Attend all meetings of the Ethics Team, prepare for the meeting and actively participate in facilitating the overall goal.
  • Declare conflict of interest when appropriate.
  • Resign when unable to continue



This is a listing of many bioethics/clinical ethics resources: www.nih.gov/sigs/bioethics/
A Canadian site with excellent clinical references: www.ethicscommittee.ca
A Canadian site with multiple links: www.ethicsweb.ca/resources/
This one is just interesting from a global perspective: www.ethics.org

To find out more about our Ethics Team, please contact our Team Leaders:

Dr. Jaro Kotalik
Center for Health Care Ethics
Lakehead University
Phone: (807) 343-8126
Email: jkotalik@tbaytel.net

Cathy Covino
Senior Director - Quality & Risk Management
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Phone: (807) 684-6012
Email: covinoc@tbh.net

Liane MacAskill
Coordinator of Medical Affairs
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Phone: (807) 684-6417
Email: macaskil@tbh.net


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