Success Story: Clinical Ethics Lunch and Learns…Mark your calendar!

Physicians are often challenged by ethical issues while providing care for patients. Should a patient’s care plan be respected over and above the wishes of their family members? Should a patient’s actions be interpreted as a more accurate reflection of their wishes regarding care than their words?

Internist Dr. Jeff Kerrie and Nurse Karen Burton are the Clinical Ethics Team with Island Health and are tasked with providing guidance on these topics in real time to physicians and staff at Island Health. Wanting to provide a space for others to bring active ethical issues for discussion and reflection, they applied to the South Island Medical Staff Association for a grant to support monthly Lunch and Learn events.

The first event, held on December 10 2019, involved physicians from Royal Jubilee, Victoria General, Campbell River, and Nanaimo hospitals connected through web conferencing. Dr. Kerrie facilitated the discussion, which was based on a hospitalist’s case of a frail elderly woman with dementia who insisted, along with her husband, on medical intervention that the physicians deemed potentially ‘medically inappropriate’. Touching on issues of consent and agency, and involving practical tips shared from the attendees about how to initiate conversations sensitively with patients about their wishes regarding resuscitation, the discussion was lively, engaged, and – from comments made after the conclusion of the meeting – extremely informative for people’s practices.

The next Lunch and Learn will be on Tuesday January 7 2020 from 12-1pm. A light lunch will be provided for those attending in person at VGH and RJH.

Locations are as follows:








If calling in, please dial: 250-519-7700 EXT 26802

Please contact Karen Burton ( if you would like to have your site added.

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