Ethics Education

Education Events, Fall 2019:

November 7: Moral Distress, Health Ethics Week session at Dartmouth General Hospital

View event details here

December 6: Screening of NSHEN's video conference 'Understanding and Responding to Moral Distress', Royal Bank Theatre, HI

View event details here


Ethics NSHA provides innovative ethics education for health care providers which is designed to improve their understanding of the ethics dimensions of complex health care circumstances and to enhance their capacity to support the ethics-informed decision making of patients and their substitute decision makers. Depending on zonal resources, a member of the Zone Ethics Committee or relevant Local Ethics Team may be able to participate in regular hospital site rounds, educational sessions and team meetings where the focus is on taking advantage of natural, health care ‘learning moments’ to improve ethics-related knowledge and skills.

The following are examples of important ethics topics and subject areas for which an educational modules has been developed:

Informed Choice and Decisional Capacity

  • End-of-Life Decision Making
  • Truth-Telling and Confidentiality
  • Health Resources Allocation
  • Hope in Health Care
  • Organizational Ethics
  • Health Care Sustainability
  • Moral Distress and Moral Residue
  • Professional Boundaries

Helpful resources: 

The following are examples of questions that arise in the delivery of health care where ethics education support could be requested from Ethics NSHA:

Q: Do you need to make tough decisions about how to best use limited health care resources? 

A: Ethics NSHA can help you learn more about fair health resources allocation and health care sustainability.

Q: Do you find yourself challenged by clinical scenarios involving end-of-life decision making? 

A: Ethics NSHA can enhance your knowledge about end-of-life decision making and provide patients, family members and health care team members with helpful skills for managing these difficult circumstances.

Q: Do you wish to support your patients and their family members in making informed choices about their health care and treatment? 

A: Ethics NSHA has dynamic tools and education resources to help you with this.

Q: When your patient is not able to make health care choices on her/his own, do you know the legal hierarchy of substitute decision makers in Nova Scotia? 

A: Ethics NSHA can provide a helpful ‘bedside’ decision maker’s tool that contains this information.

Q: How do you maintain hope when delivering ‘bad news’ and support patients with poor prognoses? 

A: Ethics NSHA can improve your knowledge and skills in maintaining hope in challenging health care circumstances.

Q: Do you sometimes feel your personal and/or professional values are compromised? 

A: Ethics NSHA offers ethics education sessions on how to deal with moral distress and moral residue.

Q: Do you or members of your health care team struggle with issues related to truth-telling and confidentiality? 

A: Ethics NSHA provides user-friendly skills development to enhance your knowledge and capacity in this regard.