FHS Health Ethics Club tackles life and death matters in modern health policies

February 10, 2012

In 2011, FHS Lecturer Dr. Andrea Nicki prompted a group of highly motivated students to establish a student health ethics club to create a venue for discussing course readings.   And so began the FHS Health Ethics Club.

The Club was officially formed in August of 2011 and has about 40 members.  The club has been a source of intellectual inspiration for students.  According to Club president, Emily Rousseau, “The club provides a great opportunity to combine my science background with my interest in ethics.  Since many of our laws are guided by ethical principles, I believe that a better understanding of health policies and practices from an ethical standpoint allows for a more critical analysis of public health legislation. “

Club members aim to encourage students to think critically about the benefits and harm of certain public health initiatives, health policies, and medical practices. Additionally, the club aims to bring together members of the the SFU student body in a welcoming atmosphere free of judgement, where all ideas, personal stories, and opinions are valued.

On Friday, July 27, 2012 guest speaker Michael Vonn, policy director of the BC Civil Liberties Association (2:30 pm at BLU 9011) to discuss assisted suicide in conjunction with the recent ruling of the B.C. Supreme Court that Canada's law banning doctor-assisted suicide is unconstitutional.  Everyone is welcome!

Facts about the FHS Ethics Club:

  • Rousseau, and Club secretary, Aydn Bekirov, were inspired by a talk given by Eddy Elmer, a SFU Master's student in gerontology, on health care and LGBT elders and wrote a paper called “Issues Surrounding Elderly LGBT Communities in American Literature Review on Healthy Aging.”  This paper was accepted for the Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE’s) 2012 Midyear Scientific Conference, Tuning Up Health Promotion: New Lyrics across the Lifespan, April 11-14, 2012, in Nashville, TN.
  • See the Club’s Blog:  http://sfuhealthethics.wordpress.com.  
  • Regular bi-weekly meetings are open to all members of the SFU community and are held in Blusson Hall.  The meeting format is short documentary and/or guest speaker and discussion.  The club meets year round,  including over the summer.  
  • Student positions include president, secretary/treasurer, and event poster designer.  The club was successful in obtaining a grant of $200 from the SFU Student Union Society for the spring term of 2012.
  •  The topics chosen for club meetings are based on suggestions provided by club members and from input from Dr. Nicki, the club’s mentor.  Sometimes, media attention will spark interest in a particular topic. Regardless how the topic is chosen, the issues discussed are always relevant to contemporary society and have important implications in health welfare.

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