Palliative Care and Nursing Ethics

The Palliative Care and Nursing Ethics hub is led by Dr. David Wright, Associate Professor at University of Ottawa School of Nursing.

This hub aims to provide leadership, mentorship, and support for researchers, trainees, and clinicians pursuing research in palliative care and/or nursing ethics. Together, hub members form a community of practice, whose scholarly activities are organized around three specific themes:

  1. Palliative approaches in diverse contexts
  2. Nursing ethics
  3. Qualitative health research

Palliative approaches in diverse contexts

Hub members understand that palliative care is not a place, but a philosophy. We further understand the relevance and importance of this philosophy wherever people are living and dying, usually outside of designated palliative care settings. Therefore, while some of our projects study issues within these designated settings, much of our work takes place outside of them. Current and past projects include studies of nurses’ palliative and end-of-life care practices in intensive care, in the operating room, in acute medicine, in forensic psychiatry, in neurology, and in prison.

Nursing ethics

Hub members are interested in the ethical issues inherent in situations of serious and chronic illness, social vulnerability, aging, frailty, as well as in death, dying and bereavement. By investigating how everyday relationships between patients, families, nurses, and the wider healthcare system influence peoples’ moral experiences of health and care, we aspire to advance theoretical, conceptual, and empirical knowledge in nursing ethics. Hub members study a variety of frameworks and approaches to support this work, such as relational ethics, narrative ethics, and feminist ethics.

Qualitative health research

Hub members believe in the epistemological value of narrative data as a crucial source of knowledge for nursing practice. Research studies within the Palliative Care and Nursing Ethics hub therefore reflect a variety of qualitative methodological designs, including diverse forms of ethnography, grounded theory, and interpretive description. The hub is therefore also a place for advanced study of qualitative approaches in nursing research.

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