May 24th - 26th, 2017 | Hyatt Regency Montreal | Montreal, QC

Plenary Speakers

Opening Night Keynote Speaker and Reception: What is vulnerability?

Prof. Samia Hurst | Director, Institute for Ethics, History, and the Humanities, Geneva University (Medical School)

Samia Hurst is a physician bioethicist, ethics consultant for the Clinical Ethics Council at the Geneva University Hospitals and director of the Clinical Ethics Unit of the Lausanne University Hospitals, and chair of the Institute for Ethics, History, and the Humanities at Geneva University’s medical school in Switzerland. She is a member of the Senate at the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, of the Ethical Legal Social Issues advisory group du Swiss Personalised Health Network, and of the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics. Her research focuses on fairness in clinical practice and the protection of vulnerable persons.


Plenary Mental Health Panel: "Bridging the gaps: ethics challenges and solutions for working with vulnerable populations"

Vania Jimenez | Founder, La Maison Bleue

Dr. Vania Jimenez is a physician and director of the Family Medicine Unit of the Family Medicine Group du Village de Sante. She has practiced medicine for over 30 years with a multicultural population. As a researcher and a clinician, the influence of culture on illness is a source of fascination for her and constitutes one of the key themes in the numerous projects she participates in. Dr. Jimenez also explores other topics such as the psychology of pregnancy and the relationships between parents and children, an interest which is demonstrated in her constant commitment to obstetrics and the family. In 2007, she founded “La Maison Bleue” a social perinatal center that provides care during pregnancy and the toddler years for families facing difficulties. She is also the author of three novels: Le Seigneur de l’oreille, Le silence de Mozart, et Je suis une pierre brûlante. In 2004, the Association of French-Speaking Physicians of Canada honored her by awarding her the prestigious Merit Medal.

Jenny Jeanes | Detention and Twinning Program Coordinator, Action Réfugiés Montréal

Jenny Jeanes is Action Réfugiés Montréal's Detention and Twinning Program Coordinator.  She obtained a BSW and MSW from McGill University, during which she completed internships with refugee claimants at Montreal City Mission and the Committee to Aid Refugees.  She joined Action Réfugiés Montréal in 2005 and ever since has been visiting people detained for immigration reasons in the Laval Immigration Holding Centre on a weekly base.  Along with law, social work and criminology interns, Jenny provides legal and social support to people in detention, with a priority for refugee claimants and vulnerable people.  For many years, Jenny has been actively involved with the Canadian Council for Refugees, of which Action Réfugiés Montréal is a member.  For over two years she has been Co-Chair of the CCR's Inland Protection Working Group.

Nicolas Bergeron | President, Médecins du Monde Canada, Psychiatrist & Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice, University of Montreal Health Centre

Dr. Nicolas Bergeron has been President of Médecins du Monde Canada since 2006. He is a psychiatrist and assistant professor of clinical practice at the University of Montreal Health Centre. He has specialty training in psychiatry and expertise in post-traumatic stress disorder. His research focuses on delirium during serious illness. Since his appointment to Médecins du Monde, Dr. Bergeron has carried out several missions in Haiti, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Since 2015, he has been actively involved in the development of new projects that address the mental health of people who are homeless or precariously housed. For Dr. Bergeron, Médecins du Monde is a resistance to the disengagement of nation states to take care of the health of the people within their territories, a faith in the creative autonomy of communities and a deeply held commitment to a political medicine in the service of humanity.

Moderated by : Matthew Hunt | Director of Research & Associate Professor, McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Matthew Hunt is the Director of Research and an Associate Professor of McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy. He is also an Associate Member of McGill’s Biomedical Ethics Unit and Institute for Health and Social Policy.  Previously, he has worked as a physiotherapist in Montreal, North Africa and the Balkans, and as an ethics consultant at four hospitals in Montreal.

Matthew’s research interests are at the intersections of ethics, global health and rehabilitation. He currently leads research projects related to the provision of palliative care in humanitarian emergencies, equity and access to rehabilitation services, and oversight of research in situations of disaster.  Matthew also heads a capacity building project for rehabilitation providers in Haiti and co-leads the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group (

Pediatric Keynote: If not now, when? Seeking health and justice for Inuit children and youth

Michelle Mullen | Associate Professor of Paediatrics, University of Ottawa, Consultant Bioethicist, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

Michelle Mullen is an associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Ottawa, consultant bioethicist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and ethicist for the Faculty of Medicine. She is a former Associate Director of Women’s Studies and Director of the Collaborative Master’s Programme in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa. She received her Ph.D from the Joint Centre for Bioethics and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Toronto. She holds a Master's in Health Policy from the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia.

Michelle has published over a wide range of bioethics, health and policy issues. She is currently a team member in the provision of health services to the children and youth of Nunavut through CHEO and has a particular passion about the complex issues of children in medical foster care.

Plenary #4: Official Opposition critic on End-of-life care

Hon. Véronique Hivon
Member of the Quebec National Assembly for Joliette,
Official Opposition critic on End-of-life care