CMA's first Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics to be given to Dr. John Dossetor

    OTTAWA, Aug. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
announced today that Dr. John Dossetor from Ottawa, will be the first
recipient of its new Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics. It
recognizes a member who has demonstrated exemplary leadership, commitment and
dedication to the cause of advancing and promoting excellence in the field of
medical ethics in Canada.
    "It is fitting that the CMA's inaugural Dr. William Marsden Award in
Medical Ethics be presented to Dr. John Dossetor," said Dr. Colin McMillan,
President of the CMA. "He has played a pivotal leadership role in the
development and furthering of medical ethics in Canada. His pioneering work in
organ transplant is phenomenal."
    "I am a bit incredulous upon receiving this award," said Dr. Dossetor,
who will receive his award on Aug. 22 during the CMA's 140th annual meeting.
"The word ethics was never mentioned when I was a medical student. Now, there
is a growing awareness of the importance of medical ethics, and I'm glad that
I have been able to contribute to that awareness."
    A medical graduate of Oxford University who came to Canada in 1955, John
Dossetor was a pioneer in nephrology, dialysis, and transplantation who
coordinated the first kidney transplant in Canada at McGill University in
1958. He became a leading researcher in transplant medicine, and while at the
University of Alberta in the 1970s and 1980s his interest in medical dilemmas
and the ethics of transplantation was piqued. In 1985 he spent a sabbatical
year studying medical ethics, and the following year he was named director of
the new Joint Faculties Bioethics Project in Edmonton. He subsequently became
the first professor of bioethics at the University of Alberta.
    A founding member of the Canadian Society of Medical Bioethics, in 1988
he helped it merge into the Canadian Bioethics Society, of which he served as
president (1988-90). He also co-founded Alberta's Health Ethics Network.
    His broad expertise in medical ethics covers such issues as palliative
care, chronic illness, legal and research issues, medical decision-making,
health care resource allocation, and aging. He has provided his expertise in
bioethics to many professional organizations, and presented at conferences all
over the world.
    In 2001 he was appointed medical ethicist to the Canadian Council for
Donation and Transplantation. He has been the Ombudsman-Ethicist at CMAJ
(Canadian Medical Association Journal), and recently acted as vice-chair of
the CMAJ Governance Review Panel.
    Now emeritus professor at the University of Alberta, Dr. Dossetor is an
Officer in the Order of Canada.
    The award is named after the first Chair of the CMA's Committee on
Ethics, Dr. William Marsden, who later served as President of the Association
in 1873-74. It was under Dr. Marsden that the Committee drafted the first
version of today's CMA Code of Ethics which was approved in 1868.

    (Visit the CMA website at for full biographical notes on
    Dr. John Dossetor.)

For further information:

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Manager, Media Relations, (613)
731-8610 or 1-800-663-7336 ext. 1266, (613) 447-0866 (mobile)

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890