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Isabelle Chouinard

  • Scholar 2009
  • Alumni
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Ph.D. Applied Social Sciences
University of Montreal

    Isabelle has pursued studies in Anthropology, Aboriginal and Rural Social Work, as well as Health Research. Her Master’s thesis on informed consent for videoconsultations in Canada generated national recommendations for use by privacy commissioners and telehealth networks. Believing that learning occurs beyond the walls of academic institutions, Isabelle’s research has been heavily influenced by her active community involvement. Studies in bioethics were accompanied by participation in Research Ethics Boards, hospital ethics committees, and clinical ethics services.

    In 2010, Isabelle joined the Neuroethics research unit at L’Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal. In 2011, Isabelle completed a specialization certificate in pediatric bioethics and became an observing student-member of a pediatric palliative care team, joining a dedicated community of international researchers engaged in exploring bioethics issues specific to pediatric patients. She has become particularly interested in the many factors that influence end-of-life care for pediatric patients.  Her PhD dissertation explores the relationship between neurological prognosis of pediatric intensive care patients and subsequent decisions to pursue or discontinue aggressive medical treatment.

    Driven by a long-time interest in medicine, as well as the desire to “experience ethics” in addition to “thinking about ethics”, Isabelle has recently started medical school at the University of Calgary (class of 2016). She plans to pursue a clinician-academic career, informing her research through her clinical work, and informing her clinical work through her academic findings.

    Experience as a Trudeau Scholar

    Several aspects of being a Trudeau Scholar stand out as exceptional for me. My first experience with the Trudeau community occurred on the day of my interview, where I was instantly struck by the strength of the community and found myself hoping to be so lucky to become a part of it. Trudeau events have provided countless opportunities to connect with a variety of thinkers and social actors. With each event taking place at various locations across Canada, I have been given the opportunity to get to know my country in ways that enriched my research and my understanding of the varied realities of fellow Canadians.  Overall, my PhD experience has been enhanced by my relationships within the Trudeau community, but being a Trudeau Scholar has also provided numerous opportunities to expand my network through attendance and participation in international scientific conferences. Through my increased conference participation, I have developed international research networks and have been involved in a greater number of research projects that I otherwise would have. Each of these opportunities has directly contributed to strengthening my PhD research. Finally, my relationship with my Trudeau Mentor has provided a pivotal experience both for my research and my career direction through direct clinical exposure to pediatric palliative care and through participation in an international conference exploring issues surrounding end-of-life.