Jennifer A.H. Bell, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor

Position: Bioethicist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network
Research Scientist, Department of Supportive Care, Research Division, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network

Education Investigator 2, The Institute for Education Research (TIER), University Health Network

Research Director, JustCan Ethics Lab
SGS Status: Associate Member
Primary Graduate Appointment: Consultation-Liaison Division, Department of Psychiatry
Graduate Appointment(s): Clinical Public Health Division, Dalla Lana School of Population Health
Program: Master of Health Science in Bioethics / CSB
Primary Teaching Responsibilities: PHL2146Y – Topics in Bioethics

Research Interests

My research interests include:

  1. Ethics and supportive decision making in health care, primarily regarding patient decision-making about clinical trial participation and medical assistance in dying
  2. Ethics of novel therapeutics
  3. Justice and equity in health care
  4. Ethical priority-setting and deliberative democratic engagement
  5. Normative and empirical bioethics research, including mixed methods, qualitative methodologies, and feminist bioethics
  6. Practicing health care ethicist consultation research design and professionalization
Current Research Projects
  • Nissim, R. (Co-PA); Hales, S. (Co-PA), Bean, S.; Bell, J.; Hannon, B.; Isenberg-Grzeda, E.; Li, M.; Rodin, G.; Rydall, A.; Selby, D.; Zimmermann, C. Quality of Death in Hospital and Bereavement Outcomes in the COVID-19 Era. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Funded: 2021-2023).
  • Bell, J. (Co-PI), Climans, S. (Co-PI), Edelstein, K., Mason, W. Neuro-oncology clinicians’ attitudes and perspectives on medical assistance in dying. Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and the Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC) (Funded: 2020-2022).
  • Bell, J. (NPA), Degendorfer, P.; Balneaves, LG.; Gibson, J.; Nissim, R.; Oza, A.; Rodin, G.; Siu, L. Cancer patient autonomy and decision-making in early-phase trial recruitment. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Funded: 2017-2019).
Previous Research Projects
  • Gupta, A., Lewin, J., Bell, J., Mitchell, L., Evaluation of attitudes and perceptions of adolescent and young adult’s willingness to participate in cancer clinical trials. Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Funded: 2017-2018).
  • Sheehan, K. (PI), Mulsant, B.; Delaney, R.; Sockalingam, S.; Downar, J.; Bell, J. Doctors, death and dying: A qualitative exploration of medical assistance in dying to guide continuing professional development. University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine Education Development Fund, matched by the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry (Funded: 2016-2018).
  • Balneaves, L.B. (PI); Bell, J.; Ho, A.; Chi, K. Improving patient autonomy in cancer clinical trials (IMPACCT). Operating Grant: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Funded: 2011-2013).
Representative Publications
  • Bell JAH. “Relational autonomy as a theoretical lens for qualitative health research” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, 2020, 13:2.
  • Bell JAH, Kelly MT, Gelmon K, Chi K, Ho A, Rodney P, Balneaves LG. “Gatekeeping in cancer clinical trials in Canada: The ethics of recruiting the ‘ideal’ patient” Cancer Medicine 2020; 00: 1-7.
  • Bell JAH, Schmilovich Z, Buchman DZ, Escaf M, Costello J, Messner HA. “First ready, first to go: Ethical priority-setting of allogeneic stem cell transplant at a major cancer centre” Healthcare Policy 2020, 15:3; 102-115.
  • Bell JAH, Balneaves LG, Kelly MT, Richardson H, “Report on a Delphi process and workshop to improve accrual to cancer clinical trials” Current Oncology 2016, 23:2; 125-130.
Education & Training History


  • PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies (Bioethics), University of British Columbia, 2014
  • MA, Philosophy (specialization in Bioethics), McGill University, 2007
  • BA (First Class Honours), Philosophy (specialization in Bioethics), University of Toronto, 2004


  • Strategic Training Fellow, Psychosocial Oncology Research Training Program (PORT): Canadian Institutes of Health Research and National Cancer Institute of Canada (2008-2011)
  • Doctoral Fellow, Ethics of Health Research and Policy Training Program: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2008-2009)
  • Ethics Fellow, Providence Health Care (Vancouver, BC) (2009-2010)
  • Fellow in Clinical and Organizational Ethics, University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics (2007-2008)
Honours & Awards
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Cancer Research – New Investigator Award in Psychosocial Oncology, Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (2020)
  • Junior Investigator Grant Panel Travel Award, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (2016)
  • Supportive Care Travel Grant, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (2016, 2014)
  • Joint Centre for Bioethics Open Competition in the Poster Innovation Showcase (2014)
  • Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2009-2011)
Other Affiliations:
  • Bioethicist Member, pCODR Expert Review Committee, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) (2020-present)
  • Bioethicist Member, Health Economics Advisory Committee, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) (2018-present)