What is

Café Bioethics?

Café Bioethics started as an intellectually accessible forum where individuals, who do not necessarily have a background in bioethics, medicine, or law, can participate in laid-back philosophical discussion. Everyone has a stake in what we talk about, so why not engage with everyone?

We're excited for you to join us as we explore the wondrous tangents that can result from philosophical discussion. Whether it's a Black Mirror episode or a sci-fi film from the 90s, grab a cup of coffee and join us!

Meet The Team

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Nipa Chauhan

Founder & Host

As a graduate of University of Toronto's MHSc in Bioethics, Nipa continues her role in the bioethics community by working within the Bioethics Department at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto as well as on the PoET Project at William Osler Health System. She also has completed an Honours Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Toronto, double-majoring in Bioethics and Human Biology: Health and Disease. 

Nipa is deeply passionate about women's health and the welfare of older adults, and conducts research in relation to both demographics. In addition, Nipa is enthusiastic about teaching and knowledge translation, as she assists in teaching undergraduate and graduate bioethics courses at University of Toronto. Known for her approachability, Nipa hosts intellectually stimulating live Café Bioethics sessions and interviews interesting people in bioethics, offering a platform for everyone to feel welcome and invited to join in the discussion. 

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Clara MacKinnon-Cabral

Producer & Editor

Clara has recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology and Art History. She is currently working and living in downtown Toronto while she volunteers in Dr. Moscovitch’s Cognitive Sciences Lab as a research assistant. Clara is an active traveller and engages in her community through participation in protests and public debates. She assists the climate change organization, Shake Up The Establishment in creating visually appealling graphic designs on the most popular social media platforms. As both a feminist and environmentalist, Clara’s future endeavours include clinical bioethics, policy-making and legal consulting.

Roma Dhamanaskar

Editor & Researcher

Roma is a recent graduate of the Master of Bioethics program at the University of Pennsylvania and continues to do work in research ethics & health policy. She also has a Honours Bachelor of Science from McMaster University.

 

Roma has recently published and has in-press works on waivers of informed consent. She is actively involved in projects investigating 1) the impact of housing cost burden on the health of older adults in the U.S., and 2) public and physician perspectives on Medicaid’s work requirements policy.

 

Roma was recently elected Director of Research at missINFORMED, a new women's health education platform in Canada. Roma's extensive background in research and science communication is bolstered by a longstanding passion for health reform and justice.

 

In her free time, Roma volunteers at a local hospice as a resident caretaker. Roma looks forward to making health advocacy through education and policy part of her career.

Samuel Dale

Producer & Editor

As an undergraduate at University of Toronto, Sam majored in Bioethics and Human Biology and minored in Philosophy, finding a passion for leadership as the Vice President of the University of Toronto Undergraduate Bioethics Society and President of the U of T Gospel Choir. He also served as U of T’s Undergrad Representative to the Canadian Bioethics Society and as the Bioethics Liaison to the Philosophy Course Union.

 

Aside from his academic interests, Sam is an experienced canoeist and enjoys spending time in nature and admires the paintings of the Group of Seven. He is currently assisting Dr. Kerry Bowman with a requested publication on the vital importance of Indigenous sovereignty to the sustained existence of the Amazon.

Kayla Wiebe

Editor

Kayla is a PhD candidate in the philosophy department at the University of Toronto, and is also completing a collaborative specialization in bioethics through the Joint Centre for Bioethics. Her dissertation focuses on respect for persons in medical settings, and in highlighting the gap between principle of respect for autonomy and the principle of beneficence in clinical settings for persons whose decisional competency is compromised. 

 

Notable distractions from writing her dissertation involve teaching undergraduate courses in bioethics at the University of Toronto and working as a Clinical Research Project Coordinator studying ethics framework development and resource allocation at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. She is currently working on several projects for quality improvements in health care delivery to work through pandemic-induced waitlists, and ethical resource allocation and prioritization. The question that is currently top of mind and guiding her research is what a commitment to operationalizing and achieving equity in health care settings entails. 

Kayla is passionate about teaching, knowledge translation between the academic world of theory and the ethics of the every-day, and can be found at all (pre-pandemic) times taking no less than 10 minutes before roping her friends into a conversation about all things bioethical over coffee and cake. 

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Rachel Cooper

Editor

Rachel Cooper was introduced to bioethics when she took an elective in philosophy during her undergrad studies at the University of Waterloo.

 

Now a Master of Bioethics candidate at Harvard Medical School, Rachel’s reading, writing and thinking is inspired by her own experiences of receiving mental health care, her experiences as a caregiver to critically ill family members at the beginning and end of life, and by her work as an educator in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

 

Rachel believes that stories and narrative are crucial to bioethics, and her work as a qualitative researcher strengthens her resolve to weave first person experiences into her bioethics research and practice. 

 

Rachel takes great joy in mentoring and helping others refine their ideas and arguments, and she’s thrilled to bring this passion to Café Bioethics. Rachel spends most of her spare time hanging out with her infant and toddler nephews, who inspire her to be silly and creative in exploring the world and learning new things.