Right to Life, Liberty and Security of the Person: Dying with Dignity

On March 21st 2016, the Research Chair in Legal Pluralism and Comparative Law welcomed three distinguished speakers in the context of a discussion on the right to die with dignity. This session touched on the ethical implications of State intervention in physical persons’ lives. Each guest – an expert in bioethics, a nephrologist and a catholic priest – was invited to share his or her answers to questions posited by the Select Committee on Dying with Dignity in its report entitled “Dying with Dignity” (2012): “How should our society respond to suffering expressed by certain individuals at the end of their lives? How should we react to requests for assistance in dying? How should we ensure everyone’s right to die with dignity?”

Dr. Vardit Ravitsky

Dr. Vardit Ravitsky is Associate Professor in the Bioethics Programs at the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine of the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal (ÉSPUM). She is also a member of the University of Montreal’s Public Health Research Institute (IRSPUM). She has studied in France, in the United States and in Israel. Following post-doctoral work at the NIH, Dr. Ravitsky was faculty at the University of Pennsylvania (US), a consultant to Genome Canada, and a Senior Policy Advisor at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Her research interests include reproductive ethics and the ethics of genetic and genomics research. She is particularly interested in the various ways in which cultural frameworks shape public debate and public policy in the area of bioethics.

Dr. Paul Ayoub

Dr. Paul Ayoub is currently a nephrologist at the Verdun hospital. He holds a doctorate in medicine from Laval University and a specialist diploma in internal medicine and nephrology from the University of Montreal. His main areas of expertise include renal therapy in intensive care, electrolyte disorders, toxicology, hypertension and kidney transplants. Dr. Ayoub is a clinical lecturer at the University of Montreal and has published multiple publications in clinical journals.

Father Lepage

Rémi Lepage, catholic priest, is a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a religious congregation which founded the University of Ottawa. He is the priest of the on-campus Sacré-Coeur parish at the University of Ottawa and professor at the Faculty of Theology at Saint-Paul University, where he is currently completing a doctorate in theology. In the context of his theological research, Father Lepage is particularly interested in the renewal of Christian rites in relation with spirituality. As a pastoral mentor, he has accompanied youth groups on international awareness projects in Latin America and has guided parish communities throughout their pastoral renewals.