In Memory of Professor Joseph Michael Boyle
(July 30, 1942 - September 24, 2016)

Joseph Boyle

Contributed by: Eoin Connolly, Trillium Health Partners


On September 24th the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) lost an important member of our community. Professor Joe Boyle was diagnosed over the summer with an aggressive brain cancer and died peacefully surrounded by his family.


Joe completed his PhD in Philosophy at Georgetown University. He first focused on the work of Bernard Lonergan but quickly transitioned to the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Professor Boyle joined the University of Toronto community in 1986.


Over the years at U of T he was Principal of St. Michael's College, Chair of the Philosophy Department and a founding member of the JCB. In philosophical circles, Joe will be best known for his seminal work on free choice, just war theory as well the "new" natural law theory and basic human goods. In the field of bioethics his works on the doctrine of double effect, cooperation, and health care entitlements have proven decidedly influential. To his students (of whom I am one), Professor Boyle was a dedicated, loyal, supportive and inspirational teacher. He always made time to chat, discuss, and of course argue with students over an important point. His upright approach to academia and life generally was worthy of emulation. He will be greatly missed.