Innovation in medicine offers tremendous hope. But it requires similar innovation in governance—in law, policy, and ethics—for society to fully realize the fruits and avoid the pitfalls. For example, how can we incorporate tomorrow's AI technology into healthcare while avoiding inadvertent bias and discrimination? How can we apply insights from neuroscience to improve our criminal justice system for cases where mental illness is a factor? And as numerous as tomorrow's challenges are, there are as many gaps and shortfalls in what we already have: Many Canadians die waiting for organ transplants each year, yet most people are not registered donors. Pathogens will inevitably adapt to our current antibiotics and we aren't developing new ones fast enough. The list is long and ever evolving...
Complex challenges like these have in common that they can't be solved by physicians, scientists, engineers, or policy makers alone. In response, the University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics (CHLPE) aims to bridge gaps, fostering the collaboration of different kinds of researchers and practitioners. We also facilitate interdisciplinary training. And we move new ideas and evidence from research into the hands of policy makers, practitioners, and the public—through our events, blogs, sessions with government, and testimony in Parliament and the Senate. With 30 core faculty drawn from a dozen disciplines, we are the largest centre of our kind in Canada and one of the largest in the world.
Colleen Flood is a Professor and University Research Chair in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, and inaugural Director of CHLPE. She has served as Interim Vice President Research for the University of Ottawa. From 2000–2015 she was a Professor of Law at the University of Toronto and Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health. Colleen’s research focuses on comparative healthcare policy, public/private funding of healthcare systems, constitutional rights to healthcare, accountability and governance issues, and the impact and regulation of AI and other technologies in healthcare. In 2020–21 Colleen will be on sabbatical and Jennifer Chandler will be standing in as Director of CHLPE.
Sophie Nunnelley researches and writes on issues of health and disability law, legal capacity and decision-making, human rights law, and legal theory. She previously served as a Fulbright Scholar, Vanier Canada Scholar, CIHR Fellow in Health Law, Ethics and Policy, and Lupina Fellow in Comparative Health & Society. She also practiced law for roughly a decade, most recently as a constitutional and human rights lawyer with the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario. Sophie holds degrees in Law from Yale University and the University of Toronto, and has served as clerk to the Hon. Mr. Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Giles Holland is responsible for operations at CHLPE, including web development, graphic design, communications, finance, events, videography, reporting, and more. Giles also contributes to grant writing and funding development. Giles has a background in physical sciences and neuroscience and in addition to his work at CHLPE he is the developer of PsychBench vision science experiment software. Many winters ago, Giles was a highschool science teacher.