The human being at the heart of care

In 5 seconds

Plans for a first-ever “living ethics” laboratory get off the ground at UdeM and the IRCM.

Patients – and issues of ethics – may well be at the heart of healthcare, but with the system so challenging these days they often get overlooked and lost in the shuffle of daily operations.

To address the problem, Université de Montréal and affiliated Montreal Clinical Research Institute (IRCM) are creating a new entity called a “living ethics” laboratory, dedicated to studying and mobilizing resources around ethics in healthcare.

At the centre of this innovative, interdisciplinary and intersectoral initiative are the  stakeholders themselves: patients, clinicians, clinical ethicists and researchers. Breaking down boundaries between research and health institutions, the lab aims to develop a new model of participatory ethics: “living ethics.”

The approach brings greater involvement of community members through dialogue, co-learning and experimentation in the field, in order to better harness ethics’ contributions to human development.

“This one-of-a-kind project will generate many collaboration opportunities in a niche of scientific expertise and innovation, with the well-being of individuals who are at the heart of the system as a permanent backdrop,” explains UdeM medical professor Éric Racine, director of IRCM’s pragmatic health ethics research unit.

Specifically, the project will be deployed on two fronts: first, with the creation and the development of one of the first living lab-type ethics laboratories; and secondly, with the launching of a series of socially oriented pilot projects involving patients and health professionals.

More details on the project are provided on the laboratory's web page. As it is a community-based project, anyone interested in this initiative is welcome to write directly to Dr. Racine’s research team at

About the IRCM

Founded in 1967, the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) / Montreal Clinical Research Institute is a non-profit organization that conducts fundamental and clinical biomedical research in addition to training high-level young scientists. With its cutting-edge technology facilities, the Institute brings together 33 research teams working in cancer, immunology, neuroscience, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, systems biology and medicinal chemistry. The IRCM also operates a research clinic specialized in hypertension, cholesterol, diabetes and cystic fibrosis, as well as a research centre on rare and genetic diseases in adults. The IRCM is affiliated with Université de Montréal and associated with McGill University. Its clinic is affiliated with the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). The IRCM is supported by the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation (Quebec Department of Economy, Science and Innovation).

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