The task of the research axis on Ethics and health is to study the socio-ethical and political implications of the policies and practices of public health services and healthcare systems. More specifically, this involves examining questions related to the healthcare systems of Quebec and Canada, such as the allocation of resources, social justice, or the ethical evaluation of new healthcare technologies. The members of this research axis pursue questions related to the following points:
- Reform of the healthcare systems of Quebec and Canada
- Resource allocation and social justice
- Ethical evaluation of healthcare technologies (e.g., genetics/genomics)
- Ethical issues surrounding medically assisted reproduction
- Regulation of pharmaceutical products and diagnostics
- Research ethics and research integrity
- Clinical ethics
The research fields within this axis mainly fall into four categories:
- The first field concerns the ethical and social issues raised by reproduction in its various aspects. This research explores, among other things, prenatal genetic screening and medically assisted reproduction, along with the latter’s public funding and accompanying new technologies, such as the donation of gametes or prenatal testing. This research aims to identify issues that are specifically relevant to the Canadian context in order to promote appropriate policies in this area.
- The second field pertains to conflicts of interest (http://conflict-of-interest.net), with a focus on the ethical and political issues related to the identification and management of conflicts of interest within the particular context of academic research. These studies pursue two main objectives: 1) to contribute to the development of policies pertaining to academic integrity and research ethics, and 2) to develop practical tools for enabling the academic community and healthcare professionals to better identify and manage conflicts of interest related to research.
- The third field within this axis bears on military medicine (http://www.emmrg.ca), examining the dilemmas and ethical conflicts faced by healthcare professionals – whether they be military personnel, civilians or humanitarian workers – during military or humanitarian operations. More precisely, the goal of this research is to better understand the ethical issues in order to develop practical tools for increasing the awareness and support of healthcare professionals involved in international missions.
The fourth field within this axis concerns the ethics of the “omic” sciences (http://www.omics-ethics.org), with a focus on the social and ethical issues raised by genomics research and its applications. Also investigated are emerging fields such as human enhancement technologies and nanotechnology. This research aims to conduct empirical studies based on evidence and to facilitate the transmission of knowledge in these fields at the international level.