Expert panel discusses physician assisted death

Publish date: Thursday, April 21, 2016

MNU's Education Day kicked off with a panel discussion on a timely and somewhat controversial issue affecting nurses - physician assisted death.

The panel is comprised of:

Dr. Marie Edwards
Associate Professor, University of Manitoba, College of Nursing

Marie Edwards is an associate professor with the College of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Manitoba. 

She graduated from the University of Toronto with a PhD in Nursing and Bioethics. She currently teaches and conducts research in the area of ethics, including studies on moral distress, ethical practice in palliative home care, and conflict in relation to treatment decisions in the ICU. 

Marie served on the board of the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses and serves on the editorial review board for the Canadian Journal of Critical Care Nursing.  She is currently president-elect and on the board of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba.

Dr. Cornelius Woelk,
Palliative Care and General Physician

Dr. Woelk has been involved in the provision of cancer care since 1988, and became an active member of the Bethel Hospital Palliative Care Advisory Committee in 1990.  In 1998, he completed a Palliative Care Fellowship in London, Ontario, and then returned to assume the position of regional medical director of palliative care. 

He is a member of the “Ask a Professional” team of the Canadian Virtual Hospice, a Pallium educator, and a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Palliative Care Competence Project. 

He has won a number of awards, including the Manitoba College of Family Physicians’ Award of Excellence (2009), the Doctors Manitoba Physician of the Year Award (2010), and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). In 2016, he received a Certificate of Added Competence in Palliative Care from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Dr. Woelk divides his work time between Palliative Care, oncology care through the Boundary Trails Regional Cancer Program, and Family Medicine.

Chantal Léonard
CEO, The Canadian Nurses Protective Society

Chantal Léonard is a highly respected lawyer with a wealth of knowledge and experience through many years of advising clients on health law and all aspects of professional liability, and through liaising with government, professional associations and regulatory bodies on health-related issues.

She has lectured at many professional conferences and at the University of Ottawa at the Faculty of Law and in the Masters in Health Administration program. She holds a Bachelor in Social Sciences with a major in sociology, a Bachelor of Sciences with a major in biochemistry and an L.L.B. from the University of Ottawa.

Cheri Frazer
Co-founder of Dying with Dignity, Winnipeg Chapter

An advocate for patient rights, Cheri Frazer is the founding member of the Winnipeg Chapter for Dying with Dignity.

Dying with Dignity is a national organization that advocates for strong patient rights legislation and compassionate end-of-life care choices.

Cheri’s personal experience combined with her extensive involvement examining the impacts of accessible assisted death around the world, has led Cheri to be a strong voice in ensuring physician assisted death is an accessible option on the continuum of patient care.

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