Click on the photos below to read the full biographies.
Dr. Aaron McKim
Dr. McKim is a native Newfoundlander and has lived and worked across Canada. He trained as a physician at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He Specialized in family medicine at Dalhousie University and later certified through the College of Family Physicians of Canada in care of the elderly. Aaron has worked for the past 20 years in the front lines of community practice in both rural and urban Newfoundland. Experienced in emergency medicine, Palliative care, and complex geriatric care, he is currently division chief for level 3 Long Term Care in Eastern Newfoundland. Aaron is currently working at the Ross Family Medicine Center for Excellence in downtown St. John’s -a part of the Faculty of Medicine’s Family Medicine residency provincial training program.
Prior to completing medical school, Aaron was a professional juggler, unicyclist and street performer working across North America as “Dr Juggle” and has been the principal organizer of the Newfoundland Juggling Club for the past 35 years. Dr McKim Lives out of town on his family farm with his wife, 3 kids, 2 huskies and 17 chickens. He is currently involved in several elder care projects such as therapeutic clowning, chicken rounds, and wheelchair ballroom dancing.
Aaron also works as the regional Medical Director for MAiD at Eastern Health and is helping to train assessors, manage complex cases and help expand the regional MAiD programs into an integrated provincial community of practice. He also serves on the national practitioner’s advisory board for CAMAP and on the education committee for the national MAiD curriculum currently under development.
Ashley Miller is an academic general internist and the Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) for Nova Scotia Health and IWK Health. After graduating from medical school at University of Ottawa, Ashley completed her residency in Internal Medicine and General Internal Medicine at Memorial University in 2017. She also holds a Masters of Science in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She joined Dalhousie University in the Department of Medicine as Assistant Professor in 2017. Ashley enjoys a diverse clinical practice across care settings, including an interest in home-based end of life care. She has been a MAiD assessor and provider since 2019.
Dr Benjamin Schiff
Dr Benjamin Schiff is a Family Physician and assistant professor at McGill, who has been practising since 1988 in Montreal at St Mary’s Hospital, a McGill teaching centre.
Dr. Schiff currently splits his time between clinic and hospital wards.
He has a long-standing interest in medical ethics, and has served as Chair of both our clinical and research ethics committees.
Dr. Schiff has been a MAiD assessor and provider since 2016, participated in MAiD workshops at various conferences. He is also a member of the Canadian MAiD Curriculum Development Committee, and co-lead of Module 2 (Clinical Conversations). The director of the 3rd year Enhanced Skills Hospital Medicine Program and director of Program Accreditation at the McGill Department of Continuing Professional Development.
Dr. Schiff’s interests include travelling, running, good food with great wine, and spending time with his family. Both his wife and son are nurses, and his daughter a social worker.
Christy Simpson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. She is the Department’s Coordinator of the Ethics Collaborations Team which provides ethics support for Nova Scotia Health, IWK Health, and the Nova Scotia Health Ethics Network. Her primary responsibilities in this role include ethics education and capacity-building, policy development and review, and support for clinical and organizational ethics consultations.
Prof. Daphne Gilbert
Professor Daphne Gilbert specializes in teaching criminal and constitutional law, including courses in Criminal Law and Procedure, American Constitutional Law, and Advanced Sexual Assault law. Her research interests lie primarily in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with a particular emphasis on equality rights, reproductive rights, medical assistance in dying (MAiD), sexual violence, and safe sport/abuse in sport. She has recently written on the impact of conscience protections on access to contraception, abortion and MAiD in Canada. She joined the Faculty at University of Ottawa after obtaining an LLM from Yale University as a Fulbright and SSHRC scholar. She is President of the Board of “Women Help Women”, an international abortion service provider. She also sits on the Boards of Dying with Dignity Canada and Fòs Feminista.
Dr. Ellen Wiebe
Dr Ellen Wiebe is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia. After 30 years of full-service family practice, she now restricts her practice to women’s health and assisted death. She is the Medical Director of Willow Clinic in Vancouver and she is a board member and the research director of the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers (CAMAP).
Gord Gubitz is a Professor of Medicine (Neurology) at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was born in Calgary, Alberta (Gemini, Sagittarius rising; Fire Dragon; ENTJ), and obtained his MD at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He completed training in Adult Neurology at Dalhousie, followed by a Stroke Fellowship in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Dr. Gubitz works as an attending physician on the Acute Stroke Unit in Halifax, and is the Director of the Halifax Neurovascular Clinic. He is the Program Director for the Adult Neurology Residency Program at Dalhousie University, and co-Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Adult Neurology Examination Committee.
Dr. Gubitz became involved with Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) shortly after federal legislation was passed that legalized the process in Canada in 2016. He is the Clinical Lead for the MAiD Access and Resource Team in Nova Scotia, does MAiD assessments, and provides MAiD to eligible Nova Scotians.
He is involved in MAiD-related research, and provides MAiD education to medical learners, including medical students, resident doctors, other health care providers, and the general public. He Chairs the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers (CAMAP) MAiD Curriculum Development Committee, which is in the process of developing an evidence-informed approach to MAiD education for Canadian medical doctors and nurse practitioners.
When not at work, Dr. Gubitz enjoys eating Italian food, baking, perfect Manhattans, and Broadway musicals. He is a big fan of the Oxford comma and is in complete denial about his job-related stress. He is not very fond of cats.
The Honourable James S Cowan CM,KC
Senator Cowan is a graduate in Arts and Law from Dalhousie University and holds a Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics.
For more than 50 years he practiced law in Halifax with Stewart McKelvey, the largest law firm in Atlantic Canada.
In addition to his law practice he was actively involved in a wide variety of community organizations and activities. He served on the Board of Governors of Dalhousie University for almost 4 decades including 8 years as Chair of the Board. In 2009 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws ( Honoris Causa) by Dalhousie.
In 2005 he was appointed to the Senate. He became Opposition Whip in 2007 and Leader of the Opposition in 2008- a position he held until the election of 2015. He remained Leader of the Senate Liberal caucus until June of 2016 and retired from the Senate in January of 2017.
In addition to his leadership responsibilities Senator Cowan introduced a bill to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination which was passed unanimously by the Senate and by a large majority in the House of Commons. The bill received Royal Assent in May of 2017 and had its constitutionality upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in July of 2020. For his leadership on this issue he was awarded the 2016 Advocacy Award by the American Society of Human Genetics
He also proposed legislation to address the criminal justice system’s approach to persons suffering from mental illness.
Senator Cowan served as a member of the Joint Senate-House Committee on Physician Assisted Dying. He was actively involved in the Senate debates on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).
Open his retirement from the Senate he joined the Board of Dying With Dignity Canada and served as Chair of the Board of that organization from 2018 to 2021.
Senator Cowan was appointed to be a Member of the Order of Canada in 2019 “ for his civic engagement as a parliamentarian and for championing human rights related to medically assisted dying , genetic discrimination and mental health”.
Dr. Jessica Shaw, PhD, RSW
Dr. Jessica Shaw, PhD, RSW is an associate professor with the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. She is one of the first and most prevalent published researchers on medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in Canada, and is particularly invested in understanding how people with limited medicosocial supports think about and access MAiD. She has done MAiD research with people living in poverty, with people who have experienced homelessness, with illicit drug users, and with elderly and infirmed prisoners who were dying while serving their sentences. In 2021, she was commissioned by the Government of Canada to write a report on MAiD in Canadian prisons, and in 2022 she was an invited witness at the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons on MAiD. For her work on marginalized experiences of moralized healthcare, Dr. Shaw was honoured with the Ron Ghitter Award in Human Rights and was named "Top 40 Under 40" by Avenue Magazine.
Jocelyn Downie, CM, FRSC, FCAHS, SJD
Jocelyn Downie, CM, FRSC, FCAHS, SJD is a Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Dalhousie University. Her work on end-of-life law and policy includes: Special Advisor to the Canadian Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide; author of Dying Justice: A Case for the Decriminalizing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada (winner of the Abbyann Day Lynch Medal in Bioethics from the Royal Society of Canada); and member of the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision-Making, the plaintiffs’ legal team in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying, the Canadian Council of Academies Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying, and the MAiD Practice Standards Task Group. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She was named a member of the Order of Canada in part in recognition of her work advocating for high-quality, end-of-life care.
Jonathan Reggler is a family physician in Courtenay, BC, on Vancouver Island. He qualified in medicine at Cambridge University and completed his general practice (family medicine) training in 1990. He immigrated to Canada in 2003. With Dr Tanja Daws he set up a MAiD programme for the mid-Island that was ready to accept its first patient in June 2016 and which did so. He and Tanja represented 25% of all BC’s MAiD Providers at that time. Jonathan has served on the boards of directors of CAMAP and Dying With Dignity Canada and he is co-Chair of DWDC’s Clinicians Advisory Council.
Julie Campbell is a nurse practitioner and MAID Assessor and Provider. Julie holds undergraduate degrees in Health Sciences, Business and Nursing and Master Degrees in Business and Nursing. Prior to her work with MAID she worked as a nurse practitioner in primary care, addictions and mental health and has also held leadership roles in cooperative and non-profit housing management. Julie is an avid community volunteer and has given her time to numerous health and service organizations both locally and nationally.
Dr. Konia Trouton
Dr. Trouton is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC, and is cross appointed at University of Victoria and University of Calgary. She completed medical training at the Queen’s University in 1990, residency in Calgary and holds a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University.
She worked in both epidemiology and various family planning clinics across Canada, primarily in Victoria (2002-2022) where she co-founded CAMAP in 2016 and started her practice in MAiD the same year. She re-located to Ontario in late 2022. She has been involved in the development and leadership of regional and national initiatives in MAiD research and training. She is the co-lead of 2 modules in the upcoming Canadian MAiD Curriculum, and is the current Vice President of CAMAP.
Mona Gupta has an active practice in consultation-liaison psychiatry with a particular interest in the interface of psychiatry and endocrinology. Her academic focus is in ethics and philosophy of psychiatry. She has been actively involved in the debate about MAID for persons with mental disorders. In 2022 she chaired the federal government's Expert Panel on MAID and mental illness.
Dr. Tanja Daws
Dr. Tanja Daws was born and raised in South Africa. She is a full time family physician and MAiD provider in the Comox Valley, BC. She is a founding member of CAMAP and member of the Canadian MAID Curriculum Development Committee and working group lead for Providing MAiD. She is a member of the Dying with Dignity Physician Advisory Council, clinical instructor at UBC and consultant for the RACE line.
Dr. Tiffany O’Donnell, MD, CCFP, c.ISAM
Dr. Tiffany O’Donnell, MD, CCFP, c.ISAM, is a family physician in Halifax/Kjipuktuk, Nova Scotia. She currently practices out of the Wije’winen Health Centre and Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH) in Halifax. She is certified in Addiction Medicine through the International Society of Addiction Medicine and is a consultant in Addiction Medicine for Nova Scotia Health. An assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Dalhousie University, Tiffany focuses her clinical teaching around cultural humility, trauma informed care, advocacy, and harm reduction.
Tim Holland graduated from Dalhousie Medical School in 2011 and completed his family medicine residency in Halifax in 2013. In 2014, he co-founded the Newcomer Health Clinic where he is the current Medical Lead. He co-founded the Canadian Refugee Health Network and currently sits on the organization’s Steering Committee. He shares a family practice at the Sipekne’katik Health Centre. He has been a medical assistance in dying (MAiD) provider since 2016 when MAiD first became legal in Canada. He sits on the Nova Scotia Health MAiD Steering Committee and the Steering Committee for the Canadian MAiD Curriculum Development Project.
He was elected as Chair of the Ethics Committee for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) in 2016. As Chair, he has oversaw many important CMA bioethics initiatives including the Guidelines for Physician Interactions with Industry, Medical Assistance in Dying and, most notably, the 2018 major revision of the Code of Ethics and Professionalism. He was President for Doctors Nova Scotia from 2018 to 2019. He co-founded Doctors for Decriminalization in 2019 and is currently a Co-Chair for the organization.
In September 2022, Dr. Holland took over as Head of the Bioethics Department at Dalhousie University. He has recently completed a Master’s Degree in Philosophy with a thesis on Advance Requests for MAiD in the setting of advanced dementia. Most importantly, he is married to an amazing partner, has three incredible young children, and two energetic puppies.
Jacquie Lemaire, B.Sc.H., M.H.A.
Jacquie Lemaire is a Senior Policy Advisor in the End-of-Life Care Unit, within the Strategic Policy Branch of Health Canada. The Unit is leading federal health policy development related to end-of life care issues, including medical assistance in dying (MAID) and palliative care. The Unit is responsible for supporting legislative changes and implementing federal commitments related to medical assistance in dying legislation, including policy development, MAID monitoring and reporting, research, and working with the provinces and territories.
Over the 20 years spent at Health Canada, Jacquie has been involved with several programs and/or policy files including primary health care, continuing care, nursing policy and the Primary Health Care and Health Transition Funds. Prior to joining Health Canada, Jacquie was employed by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care working on integrated health systems.
Dr. Keith Baglole
Dr. Keith Baglole is a family physician based in Prince Edward Island, and has been providing full service inpatient and outpatient family medicine since 2015. He has been involved in MAID assessments and provisions since 2016, and is a member of CAMAP’s PTAC committee. He is also Department Head of Family Medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and is involved in resident training and the Dalhousie Residency Selection Committee.
May 4, 2023
May 5-6, 2023
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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