Articles By: Jonathan Breslin

Navigating confidentiality with suicidal youth
Navigating confidentiality with suicidal youth

Confidentiality has long been a cornerstone of professional ethics; in medicine it can be traced all the way back to the Hippocratic Oath. It stems from the recognition that patients (or clients) will reveal very personal and sensitive information to ...

Posted: October 11, 2014|Ethics|0 comments

Discharging patients with vaccine hesitant parents
Discharging patients with vaccine hesitant parents

Jonathan Breslin is Hospital News' Ethics Columnist. As an ethicist I try to always be as balanced as possible when I write columns like this one. This is not because I don’t have opinions or I’m afraid to express them. ...

Posted: March 7, 2014|Ethics|0 comments

A life or death decision
A life or death decision

Kay Carter, Gloria Taylor, Dr. Donald Low, and Hassan Rasouli – all names of Canadians who have made headlines recently for being at the forefront of high profile challenges to our current legal landscape regarding end-of-life issues. Kay Carter (through her ...

Posted: November 1, 2013|Ethics, Featured, Health Care Policy|1 comment

Should oral feeding be considered healthcare or a necessity of life?
Should oral feeding be considered healthcare or a
necessity of life?

Jonathan Breslin runs J. Breslin Consulting, specializing in providing ethics services to hospitals and long term care organizations across Ontario. HIs column appears every month in Hospital News. About a month ago the case of Margot Bentley hit the national ...

Posted: October 23, 2013|Ethics|0 comments

Don’t ignore those ethics red flags
Don’t ignore those ethics red flags

A couple of weeks ago I participated in two case reviews for a community care organization, one of which dealt with issues that were identified at the point of transfer from hospital to the community.  One of the cases unfortunately ...

Posted: July 4, 2013|Columns, Ethics|0 comments

Refusal of pain medication
Refusal of pain medication

Pain management is a vitally important part of good health care, and an especially important part of quality care for patients at the end of life.  Several studies have shown that pain and symptom management is one of the core ...

Posted: April 9, 2013|Columns, Ethics|0 comments

What does ethics have to do with recruitment and retention?
What does ethics have to do with recruitment
and retention?

Recruitment and retention of high quality health care staff is an ongoing challenge for hospitals in Canada, especially when it comes to nurses.  A 2008 study by the Canadian Nurses Association predicated that Canada would face a shortfall of 113,000 ...

Posted: January 2, 2013|Columns, Ethics|0 comments

Ask the Ethicist: Should health care organizations mandate influenza vaccinations for staff members as a condition of employment?
Ask the Ethicist: Should health care organizations
mandate influenza vaccinations for staff members as a
condition of employment?

It’s that time of year again: flu season. Every year at this time influenza vaccinations for health care workers becomes a hot topic of conversation, and this year is no exception. In fact the topic is even hotter this year ...


Ask the Ethicist: Withholding a cancer diagnosis from the patient?
Ask the Ethicist: Withholding a cancer diagnosis from
the patient?

One of the ethical issues I get consulted about most frequently is when family members of a patient request that certain information be withheld from the patient, and in my experience it most often centers around cancer diagnoses. A typical ...

Posted: September 7, 2012|Ethics|0 comments

Should health care providers report extremely obese children to child welfare agencies?
Should health care providers report extremely obese
children to child welfare agencies?

About a year ago there was a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association that sparked controversy by suggesting that in some cases, severe childhood obesity could justify state intervention on behalf of the child. The commentary received ...

Posted: July 5, 2012|Ethics|3 comments

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