With a strong appreciation of the complex and urgent ethical challenges that COVID-19 is raising for clinical ethicists working in the Quebec healthcare system, Vardit Ravitsky initiated the creation of a collaborative partnership between academic bioethicists and those working ‘on the ground’. The objective of this new network is to provide support and a safe space for reflection and expression for ethicists who are currently on the front lines. This network will also be used to launch a research project to collect data on the impact of COVID-19 on clinical ethics. Professor Ravitsky is also co-leader of a research project funded by the FRQ exploring the experiences of women who are pregnant and giving birth during the pandemic in the context of physical distancing practices. She has given numerous interviews in the media on the socio-ethical aspects of COVID-19 and is active on social media to promote nuanced debates on the ethical challenges associated with the pandemic. Vardit Ravitsky is chair of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation’s COVID-19 Impact Committee.
Vardit Ravitsky is Professor at the Bioethics Program, School of Public Health, University of Montreal. She is President of the International Association of Bioethics and Director of Ethics and Health at the Center for Research on Ethics. She is member of the Standing Committee on Ethics of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and of the National Human Genome Research Institute’s (NHGRI) Genomics & Society Working Group. Her research focuses on the ethics of genomics and reproduction and is funded by Canada’s leading funding agencies. She published over 160 articles and commentaries on bioethical issues. Vardit Ravitsky holds a BA from the Sorbonne University in Paris, an MA from the University of New Mexico in the US, and a PhD from Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Previously, she was faculty at the Department of Medical Ethics, School of Medicine, at the University of Pennsylvania. She was also a Senior Policy Advisor at CIHR's Ethics Office and a GE3LS consultant to Genome Canada (GE3LS = genomics and its ethical, economic, environmental, legal and social implications).