Consultations on Physician-Assisted Dying - Summary of Results and Key Findings

Panel Member Biographies

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov

Photo of Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov

Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and Director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, CancerCare Manitoba. He holds the only Canada Research Chair in Palliative Care. His publications addressing psychosocial dimensions of palliative care have helped define core-competencies and standards of end-of-life care. He did his undergraduate medical training and Psychiatric Residency at the University of Manitoba and completed a Fellowship in Psychiatric Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York. In 1998, he completed a PhD in the Faculty of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. Dr. Chochinov is the Chair of the Canadian Virtual Hospice.

Dr. Chochinov's research has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute and the National Institute of Health. His work has explored various psychiatric dimensions of palliative medicine, such as depression, desire for death, will to live and dignity at the end of life. He has been a guest lecturer in most major academic institutions around the world. He is the only psychiatrist in Canada to be designated as a Soros Faculty Scholar, Project on Death in America. He is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Order of Manitoba, and in 2014, was appointed an Officer in the Order of Canada. He is the Chair for the Canadian Virtual Hospice, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Besides many other national honors, in 2012 the Canadian Medical Association bestowed its highest recognition, the FNG Starr Award.

Dr. Chochinov has served on many prestigious boards, nationally and internationally. He was a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for seven years, during which time he also chaired the CIHR Standing Committee on Ethics. He is the only Canadian to serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Palliative Care Research Center (NYC, USA); and the only Canadian to serve on the prestigious international scientific expert panel of the Cicely Saunders Foundation (London, UK). In addition to over 200 publications, he is the Co- Editor of the Handbook of Psychiatry in Palliative Medicine, published by Oxford University Press, and the Journal Palliative and Support Care, published by Cambridge University Press. He is a member of editorial boards for most major journals of palliative care. His most recent book, Dignity Therapy: Final Words for Final Days, published by Oxford University Press, was the 2012 winner of the Association of American Publishers' Prose Award for Clinical Medicine.

Professor Catherine Frazee
O.C., D.Litt., LL.D.
Panel Member

Photo of Professor Catherine Frazee

Catherine Frazee is a Professor Emerita at Ryerson University where, prior to her retirement in 2010, she served as Professor of Distinction and Co-Director of the RBC Ryerson Institute for Disability Studies Research & Education. Through her scholarship, teaching, art and public service, she has challenged barriers to the full social inclusion of people with disabilities and contributed to reforms in areas ranging from artistic opportunity to legislation.

As the Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission from 1989 to 1992, Dr. Frazee has worked for decades to advocate for human rights through her involvement with numerous organizations including the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund, the Canadian Association for Community Living, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and the Abilities Arts Festival (now Tangled Art + Disability).

She has provided expert testimony before Federal and Provincial Courts and Tribunals on human rights and disability disadvantage and contributed actively in Supreme Court of Canada interventions of strategic concern to disabled Canadians. She has authored a wide array of academic and literary texts and journals and published numerous opinion pieces in Canadian media on human rights, precarious citizenship, and the activist resistance of disabled people.

Dr. Frazee has also been particularly active in the exploration of cultural interpretations of the disability experience. Most notably, she was co-curator of the award-winning exhibition Out From Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember and a collaborator in the 2006 National Film Board film Shameless: The ART of Disability. She has received a number of awards including honorary degrees from Dalhousie University, the University of New Brunswick and McMaster University.

Dr. Frazee was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2014 for "her advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities, and as an advocate for social justice".

Professor Benoît Pelletier
O.Q., Ad. E., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D., LL.D., FRSC, LL.D. (Hon.)
Panel Member

Photo of Professor Benoît Pelletier

Admitted to the Barreau du Québec in 1982, Benoît Pelletier first practiced law in civil litigation and real estate law with the Department of Justice Canada (1983 to 1989) and with Legal Services of Correctional Service Canada (in 1989 and 1990) in Ottawa. In 1990, he joined the faculty at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law, which he still belongs to and where he currently holds the position of full professor. Benoît Pelletier also held the position of assistant dean of that faculty of law from 1996 to 1998.

For 10 years, Benoît Pelletier represented the Chapleau riding in the National Assembly of Québec. He was a minister with the Government of Québec for nearly six years. In that role, he was responsible for such things as Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Canadian Francophonie, Aboriginal Affairs and Reform of Democratic Institutions. With a Bachelor of Law from Université Laval, Benoît Pelletier also holds a Master of Law from the University of Ottawa and two Doctors of Law, one from the Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne) and the other from theUniversité Aix Marseille III.

In 1989, Benoît Pelletier received the Medal of the Barreau de Paris, as best student in the graduate studies law programs of the University of Ottawa. In 1998, he was issued the Award of Excellence in Teaching from the University of Ottawa.

Benoît Pelletier is the author of numerous scientific publications, including a major treaty on constitutional amendment in Canada (published in 1996). He has also given numerous speeches in Canada and abroad. He was received as a guest professor by the universities of Nantes, Corse, Paris II, Paris V and Lyon III. He was also received twice, in 2007 and 2009, as Public Policy Scholar by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

Benoît Pelletier is also the author of a political essay, published in 2010 by the Université Laval presses, entitled Une certaine idée du Québec. Parcours d'un fédéraliste. De la réflexion à l'action.

Since 2006, Mr. Pelletier has received numerous awards and distinctions for his contributions to the promotion and development of the French language and to strengthening and enriching relations between Francophones and Francophiles both in Canada and internationally. In 2010, he was appointed a Commander of the Ordre de la Pléiade, to underscore his outstanding contribution to international francophonie. In 2011, he was made a Commander of the Royal Order of the Crown of Belgium. In 2012, he was made a Knight in the Ordre national du mérite de France. In 2013, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, Benoît Pelletier was made an Officer in the Ordre national du Québec. In 2015, he received the gold medal of the Ordre du mérite de la Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec, for his outstanding contribution to public education.

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