RSC Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision Making


Among the many public-service roles of national academies around the world, one of themost important is the preparation of expert assessments on critical issues of publicpolicy. The national academies in the United States are the most active in this regard,but the senior academies in other nations, notably in England, France, and otherEuropean countries, have been very active on this front for many years. Such reportsare designed to be balanced, thorough, independent, free from conflict of interest, andbased on a deep knowledge of all of the published research that is pertinent to thequestions that have been posed.The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) also has a long record of issuing definitive reports of this kind, either on its own initiative, or in response to specific requests from governments or other parties. The project being announced today, “End-of-Life Decision Making,” is one of a new series that the Society has commissioned, at its own initiative, on issues of significant public interest and importance at the present time.Announcements on the other projects will follow over the course of the coming months.The Society relies on the advice of one of its senior committees, The Committee onExpert Panels (CEP), in formulating new projects of its own and in responding to requests for panel projects from external parties. In addition, the members of the Society’s CEP are responsible for selecting the membership of panels, including the chair; overseeing the conduct of panel activities; managing the peer review of the draft final report; and assisting the panel members with any difficulties that arise during the conduct of their work. Over the course of the past year, the CEP has brought forward suggestions on a new series of expert panel reports for consideration by the Society’s governing board. The board has approved a number of these suggestions, including the project on “End-of-Life Decision Making.” The additional information, below, identifies the members of the panel who have agreed to write this report as well as the preliminary terms of reference for this project.

Questions about this project may be directed to:

Professor Udo Schuklenk (panel chair), Queen’s University:
Telephone: Office +44 7957250649

Professor Daniel Weinstock, Université de Montréal:
Telephone: Office 514-343-7345


Members of the RSC/SRC Expert Panel


Udo Schuklenk, PhD:

• Professor of Philosophy and Ontario Research Chair in Bioethics, Queen’s University


Before coming to Canada he worked at Australian, British, German, and South African universities, including Monash University’s Centre for Human Bioethics and at the University of Central Lancashire’s Centre for Professional Ethics. He is currently Joint Editor in Chief of Bioethics and founding editor of Developing World Bioethics. Both journals are listed in major indices including MedLine



1. Johannes J. M. van Delden, MD, PhD: Julius Center for Health Sciences, University Medical Center, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Chair, Ethical Commission of the Medical Council of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

2. Jocelyn Downie, S.J.D.: Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy Professor, Faculties of Law and Medicine, Dalhousie University

3. Sheila McLean, PhD, LLD, LLD, FRSE, FRCGP, FRSA: First holder of the International Bar Association Chair of Law and Ethics in Medicine at Glasgow University and Director of the Institute of Law and Ethics in Medicine at Glasgow University.

4. Ross Upshur, MD, MSC: Canada Research Chair in Primary Care Research and Professor, Departments of Family and Community Medicine and Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto; Director, University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. Member of the College of Family Physicians (CCFP) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCPC).

5. Daniel Weinstock, PhD: Canada Research Chair in Ethics and Philosophy, University of Montreal Professeur titulaire, Département de Philosophie, and Directeur du Centre de recherche en éthique de l'Université de Montréal (CREUM)