Jocelyn Downie

James S. Palmer Chair in Public Policy and Law; Professor of Law; Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow; University Research Professor, Faculties of Law and Medicine; Adjunct Professor, Australian Centre for Health Law Research - QUT, Dalhousie University

Public policy and law, Health law, Health care ethics, Health policy, Legal ethics, End-of-life law, Women's health


Jocelyn Downie of Dalhousie University discusses euthanasia around world

CCTV America interviewed Jocelyn Downie, an advocate for assisted death and a professor of law at Dalhousie University about the global trends in assisted death.

Medical Assistance in Dying | Jocelyn Downie

Applied Scholarship with Professor Jocelyn Downie: "Medical Assistance in Dying"

Professor Downie is a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellow at the Schulich School of Law and a University Research Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Dalhousie University. Her work focuses on health care ethics, law, and policy, with particular interest in end-of-life law and women's health.

Medical assistance in dying bill an important step forward for Canadians with dementia

Policy OptionsOnline

An indefensible amendement to medical assistance in dying lesgislation

New online app to help Nova Scotians write living wills amid COVID-19 concerns


Jocelyn Downie SJD, FRSC, FCAHS is a University Research Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Dalhousie University. She is also a member of the Dalhousie Health Law Institute. She received an honours BA and MA in Philosophy from Queen’s University, an MLitt in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, an LLB from the University of Toronto, and an LLM and doctorate in law from the University of Michigan. After graduation from law school, she clerked for Chief Justice Lamer at the Supreme Court of Canada. Downie has published numerous books and articles including Dying Justice, winner of the 2005 Abbyann Lynch Medal in Bioethics from the Royal Society of Canada. She has spoken at conferences on a variety of health law and policy topics across Canada and around the world. Her most recent writing projects include papers on end of life law and policy in Canada, barriers to access to abortion in Canada, various aspects of the law as it relates to organ and tissue donation and transplantation as well as Health Law at the Supreme Court of Canada and Canadian Health Law and Policy.

Downie has been the principal investigator on numerous research projects including a $1.8 million training program in health law and policy funded by CIHR and a $1.5 million CIHR grant in neuroethics. She teaches Health Care Ethics and the Law as well as Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility in the Faculty of Law and supervising a wonderfully talented group of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on various aspects of health law and policy. She has served on many committees and boards. She was a member of the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying, the National Blood Safety Council, the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Advisory Committee on Population Health, and the Experts Committee for Human Research Participant Protection in Canada. Through all of her work she tries to contribute to the academic literature and promote progressive change in health law, policy, and practice.


  • Medical assistance in Dying (MAiD)
  • Public policy and law
  • Health law
  • Health care ethics
  • Health policy
  • Legal ethics
  • End of life law
  • Women's health