What’s New in Stem Cell Research? From the Lab to the Clinic and Beyond

Monday, December 11, 2017
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Community Centre
2690 Larch St., Vancouver, BC, V6K 4K9

Come join us for a lively discussion with our experts about opportunities and challenges in stem cell research and treatment.

FREE ADMISSION – Everyone is welcome!
Light refreshments will be served.

RSVP now! https://goo.gl/7N9rqW


Harold Atkins, MD, FRCPC
Hematologist, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ottawa Hospital
Associate Professor of Clinical Hematology, University of Ottawa

Tania Bubela, JD, PhD
Professor and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Fabio Rossi, MD, PhD
Director, The Biomedical Research Centre
Professor, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia

Shelly Benjaminy, MSc
PhD Candidate, Experimental Medicine Program, University of British Columbia

Judy Illes, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS
Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics
Professor of Neurology, University of British Columbia

RSVP now! https://goo.gl/7N9rqW

GTG Community Conversations WHAT'S NEW IN STEM CELL RESEARCH Dec 11 2017

Medical Tourism: Controversies and Complexities

Representing the National Core for Neuroethics, I recently attended a conference hosted by Simon Fraser University (SFU) convened exclusively to discuss ethical issues related to medical tourism. Participants attended from Canada, the United States, India, Spain and China and represented a diversity of academic disciplines, including anthropology, health sciences, law, philosophy, public health and women’s studies, as well as medical tourism brokers/facilitators and health care providers.

The conference opened with two plenary presentations.  First, Dr. Leigh Turner, University of Minnesota, provided a “roadmap” of numerous ethical issues related to the practice of medical tourism.  Second, Dr. George Thomas, Editor of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, and speaking from the perspective of a “donor” country, outlined how medical care in India suffers from a potential imbalance between serving the needs of those who travel to India for medical treatment and delivering publicly funded care to the nation’s own citizens; an imbalance he described as “private profit, public pain.”  Panelists responding to the presentations focused on the economic and political conditions that underscore medical tourism and, in the process, reduce health equity. Heated comments from audience members illuminated the value tensions between those developing new economic opportunities in an increasingly technological and commercialized health care industry, and the ideological and ethical issues outlined by the panel. Continue reading

Day 3: Better belated than never.

Although the conference came to a close on Saturday afternoon, there were several sessions we didn’t report on, which included summaries of Joanne Reimer’s talk from Friday and the closing panel presentation on Saturday. Below you can find Joanne’s summary of both her presentation, and the final panel:

Spinal Cord Injury and the Clinical Translation of Stem Cells:  Stakeholder Perspectives – Joanne Reimer, National Core for Neuroethics, UBC

On Friday, June 11, I had the opportunity to present on our research study on stakeholder perspectives regarding the clincal translation of stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury.  The presentation enabled a discussion about how primary stakeholders – people living with spinal cord injury and various health care providers – balance risks and benefits of potential stem cell therapy and how their perspectives may not align with scientific targets for clinical trials. This prompted discussion about  how primary stakeholders can inform science as science progresses to clinical trials.

Panel Presentation – “Responding to Voices”

On Saturday, June 12, the conference concluded with a Panel Presentation – Responding to Voices.  The four panelists (who’s names unfortunately escape us at the moment, and the names were not included in the program), all work for Interior Health (the regional health authority), and included a family nurse practioner, an aboriginal outreach worker, Chief, a nursing professional practice leader, and a family physician working in emergency and long term care.  The panelists offered their personal perspectives on care situations they were involved in and the ethical struggles they encountered.   Collectively, the participants’ case examples illustrated the systemic culture of “not hearing” on a personal, professional, and organizational level and the consequences of that on patients, families, and themselves as health care providers.  Their stories resonated with the audience who commended the panelists for sharing their vulnerability, humility and compassion.