Wendy Austin, University of Alberta

John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre Nursing Professor Emeritus Edmonton, Alberta wendy.austin@ualberta.ca

Bio/Research

Dr. Austin's research program explores the core elements of relational ethics and their application in healthcare environments. Its aims include identifying and exploring relational ethics issues in mental health care; developing a relational ethics perspective on research ethics; exploring ways ...

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Bio/Research

Dr. Austin's research program explores the core elements of relational ethics and their application in healthcare environments. Its aims include identifying and exploring relational ethics issues in mental health care; developing a relational ethics perspective on research ethics; exploring ways to better prepare healthcare practitioners and researchers for ethical practice; and advancing the theoretical basis of relational ethics.

Dr. Austin's early research focused on the promotion of competent, ethical care of patients who are vulnerable due to profound health issues (e.g., terminal illness or HIV/AIDS, a history of sexual abuse) or development issues (e.g., adolescent love). An assumption underlying this research was that healthcare professionals must be sensitive to the situation of such patients and to their own attitudes and beliefs if they are to provide optimal care and comfort. This work led to her involvement in relational ethics research situated at the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, her interest in global health ethics, and the development of her Canada Research Chair program with the Faculty of Nursing. Dr. Austin was a founding co-director of the Faculty's World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Mental Health, with which she continues to be engaged.


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