IMPORTANT: Following the directives announced by both the head office of the IRCM and the government of Quebec concerning the current proliferation of the Coronavirus, we are unfortunately unable to continue the Montreal Health Ethics Seminar Speaker Series as planned for this spring. We hope to reschedule these activities for this upcoming fall; please stay tuned as there is more to come on this matter.

How do mental health Researchers understand ‘vulnerability’ in research?

Despite scholarly debates, the descriptive and normative meanings ascribed to the concept of vulnerability in research have remained disengaged from the perspective of users of the concept and those concerned by its use. In this study, we report a survey- and interview-based investigation of mental health researcher perspectives on vulnerability.


The False Dichotomy Between Empirical and Normative Bioethics

Debate runs deep on the appropriate relationship between “empirical” and “normative” bioethics. We argue that the normative–empirical divide is premised on a fundamental, problematically unrealistic, dichotomized understanding of the relationships between moral experience in the past and present and the kind of theory that guides futureoriented ethical thinking.


The concept of vulnerability in mental health research: A mixed methods study on researcher perspectives

In this study, we report a survey- and interview-based investigation of mental health researcher perspectives on the concept of vulnerability. We found that autonomy-based understandings of vulnerability were predominant but that other understandings coexisted, reflecting considerable pluralism.


CALL FOR PROPOSALS. Brainstorm Magazine (bilingual). Issue 2. The place of dialogue in health

We invite you to explore themes of dialogue and collective deliberation in healthcare communities in Canada and abroad, and to share your views on these ethical issues by addressing them from the angles of decision-making processes, the relationship between healthcare professionals and patients, and healthcare for marginalized populations, etc.

Pragmatism strives to develop practical approaches that promote human values and human flourishing using state-of-the-art methods from different disciplines.

Click “Learn more” to read about our history, theoretical and methodological foundations, and achievements.


Research undertaken at the Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit addresses a range of challenges in health care, research, and health policy. It relies on the use of interdisciplinary approaches that are grounded in facts, open to deliberative processes, and focused on producing practical changes that promote respect of persons and human flourishing in all its diversity.

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