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About Us

The puzzle pieces represent the Manitoba health regions coming together to address the complexities of ethics. The puzzle is unfinished, to symbolize shared activity, work in progress and dynamic action.


Created in 2009 through a collaboration of Manitoba Regional Health Authorities, the goal of the Manitoba Provincial Health Ethics Network (MB-PHEN) is to advance ethics in health care in Manitoba. To this end, MB-PHEN has developed a provincial health ethics strategy, which incorporates the unique contexts in which health services are provided, balanced with a single, uniting strategic ethics framework.

This strategic framework has three parts: a strategy for applied ethics, one for research ethics, and one for ethics capacity building.

  1. Applied Ethics
    Ethical theories can provide some guidance in ethical decision-making. The intersection of theory and the challenging, real-life applications of ethical theories occur in real time and have highly emotional, often life-and-death implications for the people involved (staff, administrators and patients/families). Ethical organizations integrate organizational and clinical ethics theory in decision-making via intersectoral collaboration and sharing, in order to ensure all aspects of organizational functioning are grounded in ethical principles.

  2. Research Ethics
    Considering the long history of unethical and ethically questionable methods for research and developing new health care knowledge, it is now expected that organizations/RHAs remain compliant with the Tri-Council Policy Statement on Research Involving Human Subjects (TCPS). Health care providers and organizations are in a position of considerable trust, and must be held to high standards in order to ensure people are treated fairly and not exposed to unnecessary risk.

  3. Ethics Capacity
    Decisions with ethical implications are made at all levels of health care organizations all the time. It could be argued that nearly every decision made in health care involves some ethical element. Decisions must be made and carried out by individuals and small groups, and can have significant impacts on patients, families, staff, the organization, and public trust. In some areas of the province, staff has access to clinical ethics consultants who can mediate or facilitate solutions to difficult situations. Especially where consultation services are not available, every staff member who is or could be involved in ethical decisions must have skills and resources to make ethically sound choices, to learn from the opportunities that present in the course of their work, and to manage any moral distress that accompanies ethical situations.

    Provincial Ethics Strategy