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Signature bioethics events and lectures at the JCB

We currently a variety of lectures which take place yearly. The Alloway and Jus Lectures are our endowed lectures and we invite world-renowned scholars to speak on issues in bioethics. Our named lectures – the Sue MacRae Lecture on Ethics and Patient-Centred Care and the Ross Upshur Lecture on Public Health Ethics – were created to celebrate the outstanding contributions made to the development and leadership of the JCB by Sue MacRae and Ross Upshur. We also have a partnered lecture series on Ethics and Governance of AI for Health with the Women's College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV).

Alloway Lecture

The purpose of the Alloway Lecture Series, established by Maranatha Foundation in 1993, is to bring to the University each year one or more experts of international stature in the broad field of bioethics to deliver lectures on topics related to ethical aspects of organ transplantation, when possible, but the Lectures are not limited to this field of medical ethics.


  • the speaker has international stature
  • the speaker has made important contributions to the general field of bioethics and hopefully, but not necessarily, to the field of organ transplantation, including its ethical aspects
  • the speaker's work is relevant to the objectives of the JCB
  • the speaker's approach to bioethical issues is foundationally based on established Judeo-Christian principles
Jus Lecture

The Jus Lecture Series was created by Dr. Karolina Jus in 1994 in honour of her late husband, Dr. Andrzej Jus. Its mandate is to bring to the University of Toronto an internationally recognized major contributor to the advancement of genetics, neuroscience, psychiatry and its ethical implications.

Ethics and Governance of AI for Health Lecture Series

The Ethics & Governance of AI for Health lecture series is hosted by the Joint Centre for Bioethics and the Women's College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV). The series is focused on critically examining the ethical issues posed by AI as an emerging technology in health care and public health, as well as generating insights into governance strategies that can provide ethically sound oversight of health-related AI applications. The series involves public presentations from invited speakers who are leaders in the field and is explicitly interdisciplinary.

Sue MacRae Lecture on Ethics and Patient-Centred Care

The Sue MacRae Lecture on Ethics and Patient-Centred Care is a lecture to explore the “felt” ethical experience of those who are sick and facing life threatening illness in their relationship to themselves, family members, caregivers, and systems of care. This lecture seeks to understand patient-centred and relationship-centred theoretical frameworks and best practices that describe common ethical problems that are inclusive of patient and family perspectives.

Sue MacRae played an integral leadership role in all elements of the JCB mission from 2000-07, especially as Deputy Director from 2001-07. She was instrumental in forging its vision and ensuring its transformation into an internationally regarded centre. Sue has been an inspiration to the JCB community. She has been a champion of patient-centred ethics, an innovator in building ethics capacity through her work in developing the ‘hub & spoke’ strategy, establishing the Clinical Ethics Group and the Clinical Ethics Fellowship (precursor to the CORE Network and the Clinical and Organizational Ethics Fellowship), a leader in scholarship, in terms of her stewardship in the Project Examining Effectiveness in Clinical Ethics (PEECE) and in education by virtue of her contributions to the growth of the highly acclaimed professional Master of Health Sciences in Bioethics. Sue was the master builder of a real, enduring community at the JCB.

Ross Upshur Lecture on Public Health Ethics

The Ross Upshur Lecture on Public Health Ethics is a lecture which studies all aspects of public health ethics. Public health ethics affects everyone at local, national, and international levels. This lecture seeks to study the ethical problems which arise in public health and preventive medicine from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

Ross Upshur was Director of the JCB from 2006-2011 but was involved as a member for many years before that, and continues to contribute to our success. Ross prepared the original "Evaluation Framework" for the JCB in 1998 which created the format for our annual "Report Cards" for the next 11 years. During his term as Director, Ross increased the JCB public engagement impact with the World Health Organization (WHO). Under Ross' leadership, the JCB helped to form the WHO Collaborating Centres for Bioethics, hosted a WHO meeting on tuberculosis, and provided the WHO with extensive support during the SARS pandemic. Ross' research has covered many aspects of public health across the life course and his research has helped to shape the JCB in many ways.

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