The Senate of Lakehead University approved the creation of the Centre for Health Care Ethics (CHCE) in October of 1998. The centre evolved out of the volunteer organization known as Thunder Bay Bioethics Interest Group (TB-BIG) that had been initiated in March 1996 by Dr. J. Kotalik. A membership drive was initiated in March 1999.

Since 1996, CHCE has hosted over 180 evening panel presentations, lectures and debates for its members and the general public. Forums for local, regional and international speakers have featured participants such as Abbyann Lynch, Peter Singer, Margaret Somerville and Cynda Rushton. We have held several 2-day workshops on clinical ethics and ethics of research with human subjects. CHCE also conducted a survey of educational needs in ethics among the hospital staff in the region.

CHCE continues to expand its educational component to meet the needs of four major groups: post-secondary students and academic staff; regional health care institutions and professionals; community health organizations and the citizens of Northwestern Ontario. CHCE is exploring several opportunities for research in ethics.