OTTAWA, Aug. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) announced today that Dr. Vincent Sweeney will receive the 2012 Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics. This award recognizes a CMA 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 with great humility that I accept the Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics bestowed on me by the Canadian Medical Association. I especially appreciate the recognition of the efforts directed to the interdisciplinary programs. To be recognized by the Canadian Medical Association for my involvement in this process is truly an honour. I have many to share this award with and I truly thank them," said Dr. Sweeney. "Throughout my career, I have always derived much joy and satisfaction from teaching students and residents as they navigate through their medical education. When I became involved in teaching medical ethics, I thought that applying a multidisciplinary approach would not only enrich the students learning, but ultimately lead to enhanced patient care. Engaging all members of the health care team in ethical decision-making was a natural extension of the changes that were occurring in the clinical setting."
Vincent Sweeney is an acclaimed innovator in biomedical ethics training. In 1988 the neuroscientist developed an interdisciplinary approach to teaching ethics to medical undergraduates at the University of British Columbia. He introduced the model of training faculty from disciplines such as medicine, nursing, social work, pastoral care, law and philosophy to become seminar leaders in medical ethics courses, and over the years effected the training of more than 100 leaders.
"Dr. Sweeney's passion has clearly ignited a movement to keep bioethics at the forefront in Canadian medical policy and practice," said Dr. John Haggie, president of the CMA. "Through his leadership, expertise and exceptional work in teaching others about medical ethics, Dr. Sweeney has made a unique and remarkable contribution to the growing awareness of this important medical field."
As a consultant neurologist at Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre (1968-1995), Dr. Sweeney served on the hospital ethics committee for many years. In addition, he was director of undergraduate teaching in neurosciences at the University of British Columbia (1973-1995). At UBC he chaired the faculty committee on biomedical ethics and was director of the division of biomedical ethics, as well as the undergraduate and postgraduate medical ethics programs.
In 1991, Dr. Sweeney developed postgraduate programs in medical ethics for residency programs, and the following year began integrating nursing students into the medical school ethics course. One of his innovations was the production of a student text in ethics, together with ethics case material, for small-group discussions. In 1993 he developed an inter-faculty, interdisciplinary course in health care ethics - the first inter-faculty course in health sciences at UBC - and began his work on a prototype program in medical ethics for other Canadian medical schools. He was awarded UBC's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1993 for his work with students, and was later appointed Professor Emeritus.
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 1873-1874. It was under Dr. Marsden that the committee drafted the first version of today's CMA Code of Ethics, which was approved in 1868.
Dr. Sweeney will receive his award on Aug. 15 at a ceremony held at the Shorty Brown Arena, during the CMA's 145th annual meeting in Yellowknife.
SOURCE: CANADIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
For further information:
Dominique Jolicoeur, Communications Officer
Tel : 613-731-8610 or 800-663-7336 ext. 2038
Cell : 613-809-5669