Ellen Wiebe

Clinical Professor

Dr. Ellen Wiebe is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia.

After 30 years of full-service family practice, she now restricts her practice to women’s health and assisted death. She is the Medical Director of Willow Women’s Clinic in Vancouver and provides medical and surgical abortions and contraception. She developed Hemlock Aid to provide consultations for doctors and patients about aid in dying and provides assisted death.

Primary Recipient Awards

International Research Roundtables, Ellen Wiebe, 2019

Ellen Wiebe
At the Edge of Assisted Dying


In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision that, for the first time, gave Canadians the legal right to access Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in certain circumstances. In 2016, the Canadian government passed Bill C-14 and created new legal eligibility criteria for MAiD.   However, the ambiguous nature of the current MAiD eligibility criteria has resulted in some clinicians refusing patient requests for MAiD when other clinicians will choose to provide. Under threat of disciplinary and/or criminal sanction, some clinicians are careful to avoid any risk of investigation, while others find themselves working “at the edge” of the law in order to honor their patient’s wishes and rights. Jurisdictions outside of Canada that have legalized medically assisted dying face similar interpretive problems, with MAiD assessors and providers finding themselves working “at the edge”.  The Roundtable will include clinicians who assess for and/or provide MAiD, lawyers, activists, patients or family members, and researchers from medicine, nursing, law, ethics, social work and anthropology.  Canadian and international expertise would enable inter-jurisdictional comparisons, and invitees would be representative of a wide range of gender, age, and culture. The information we obtain will allow us to plan new research programs to answer these essential questions about MAiD “at the edge”.