The Evolution of the Rights Culture. Should we have the right to die?

Featured Speakers' Bios

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care, Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and Director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, CancerCare Manitoba.

His seminal publications addressing psychosocial dimensions of palliation have helped define core-competencies and standards of end-of-life care. He holds the only Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care. His research has covered diverse issues pertaining to palliative care and dignity at the end of life.

Dr. Chochinov is also the Co-founder and Chair for the Canadian Virtual Hospice, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Dr. Mary Shariff, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law

Mary J. Shariff PhD is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba. She currently teaches Bioethics and Law and Contract Law in the J.D. program and Legal Research and Theory in the LLM program. She is a Research Affiliate of the Centre on Aging and the Desautels Centre for Private Enterprise and the Law, both at the University of Manitoba.

Her principal area of research is bioethics and law, and includes research related to death, aging, palliative care, global bioethics, the environment and animals.

Currently Professor Shariff is examining end of life and assisted death in a variety of legal contexts including: comparative law, distinctions between dignity and autonomy; the “slippery slope”; access to palliative care; international human rights obligations; and mediation. Her works on assisted death have been published in the McGill Journal of Law and Health, Health Law in Canada and the CMAJ. She is co-author of the 4th edition of  Canadian Medical Law: An Introduction for Physicians, Nurses and other Health Care Professionals (Carswell) published late 2013.

Professor Arthur Schafer, Department of Philosophy

Professor Schafer is Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, at the University of Manitoba.  He is also a Full Professor in the Department of Philosophy and an Ethics Consultant for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Department of Child Health.  For ten years he was Head of the Section of Bio-Medical Ethics in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Manitoba.  He has also served as Visiting Scholar Green College, Oxford.

Professor Schafer has received a number of awards and honours.  He is a Canadian Commonwealth Scholar, Honorary Woodrow Wilson Scholar, a Canada Council Fellow.  At the University of Manitoba he has received the Stanton Teaching Excellence Award, the Campbell Award for University Outreach, and the University Teaching Service Award for Teaching Excellence.

Arthur Schafer has published widely in the fields of moral, social, and political philosophy.  He is author of The Buck Stops Here: Reflections on moral responsibility, democratic accountability and military values, and co-editor of Ethics and Animal Experimentation.  His curriculum vitae lists more than 90 scholarly articles and book chapters, covering a wide range of topics, with a special focus on issues in professional and bio-medical ethics, business and environmental ethics.  Professor Schafer is National Research Associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which has published two of his Reports. He has made several hundred conference presentations in Canada and abroad, and has written dozens of newspaper articles for The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Winnipeg Free Press, The Medical Post, and The Sunday Times (London).

Arthur Schafer has been a frequent guest on CBC radio and television, including many appearances on CBC radio’s Morningside, This Morning and The Current, As It Happens, Sunday Morning, and Cross Country Check Up; and CBC television’s The National, The Journal, The National Magazine, and Newsworld.  He has also appeared frequently on The Discovery Network’s “”, discussing ethical and value aspects of medicine, science and technology; and on the CTV, WTN, Global and Baton television networks.