Barbara Secker

Barbara Secker, PhD
Associate Director, Education and Practice

Telephone: (416) 978-1909
Email: email link


Dr. Barbara Secker is Associate Director of Education and Practice at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) and Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. She is also Associate Member of the School of Graduate Studies through the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, The Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, the Institute of Medical Science, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.


Dr. Secker received her BA (Philosophy) from the University of Toronto, her MA (Philosophy) from Simon Fraser University and her PhD in Philosophy — with a specialization in bioethics through the Collaborative Program in Bioethics — from the University of Toronto. She directs the Master of Health Science (MHSc) in Bioethics Program and the graduate Collaborative Program in Bioethics at the University of Toronto. She also directs the JCB postgraduate Fellowship in Clinical and Organizational Bioethics. Dr. Secker enjoys teaching and supervising students and trainees in these programs as well as students in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program. Her areas of interest include disability ethics; social justice for vulnerable populations; autonomy, decision-making capacity and informed consent in healthcare and research contexts; bioethical theory; bioethics program development, service delivery and evaluation.


From 1998-2008, Dr. Secker was employed as Bioethicist (and later Lead, Ethics and Spiritual Care) by the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute where she developed, implemented and lead a comprehensive ethics program that included: research on ethical questions related to disability, rehab and community care; consulting on clinical, research, and organizational ethical issues; bioethics education; policy development/review; research ethics review; and leadership and program administration. She helped Toronto Rehab establish its first research ethics board (REB) and served as its Vice-Chair for 8 years. Dr. Secker is Board Member of the Canadian Bioethics Society, a Founding and Steering Group Member of Practicing Healthcare Professionals Exploring Professionalization (PHEEP), and a member of the Association of Bioethics Program Directors.


Curriculum Vitae pdf link

Teaching Dossier pdf link