Elizabeth Peter RN, PhD, FAAN


My research focuses on examining the political dimensions of nurses’ ethical concerns and understandings.

Dr. Elizabeth Peter’s scholarship reflects her interdisciplinary background in nursing, philosophy, and bioethics. Theoretically, she locates her work in feminist health care ethics which aligns her scholarly pursuits both substantively and methodologically. She has pursued interrelated areas of scholarship, including those focusing on innovations in theory and methodology, virtual care, and research ethics. Her theoretical work is advancing the concepts of moral identity, moral agency, moral competency, and moral distress.

She is currently the Principal Investigator of a study, funded by the University of Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative, that is exploring nurses’ moral concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She serves as an associate editor for Nursing Ethics and the vice chair of the Bioethics Expert Panel of the American Academy of Nursing.
Dr. Peter is the Chair of the Ethics Review Board at Public Health Ontario and a member of the Joint Centre for Bioethics at U of T.

  • 1998 – PhD, University of Toronto

  • 1992 – BA, York University, Toronto

  • 1991 – MScN, University of Toronto

  • 1986 – BScN, University of Windsor, Ontario

Dr. Peter’s PubMed link is available here.

Dr. Peter’s Google Scholar link is available here.

Irene Boldt

The Well-Being of Community-Residing NCRMD Patients: Recognizing Ethical Dimensions.

Relevant scholarly literature suggests that individuals who have been found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder (NCRMD) and are living in the community in Ontario are socially disadvantaged in a variety of ways. However, the well-being experiences of these individuals and the pertinent ethical dimensions thereof have not yet been investigated. Using Powers and Faden’s (2006/2019) social and structural justice framework and a critical ethnographic approach, Irene is conducting a study to explore the ethical dimensions of the well-being of community-residing NCRMD patients. The results of this research will reveal the entrenched social and structural justice issues pertaining to these individuals’ well-being.

Somayeh Faghanipour

Self-care in an Unequal World: Implications for Identity 

Somayeh’s research is focusing on identity narratives of individuals with chronic illness. More specifically, she explores marginalized patients’ embodied experience of chronic illness and self-care outside the dominant biomedical voices. By conducting a qualitative critical narrative study, she examines how the identities of senior Iranian immigrants with diabetes are understood and negotiated using a critical feminist framework to highlight the sociopolitical mechanisms that impact minority patients’ perception of self in the context of diabetic self-care.

By bringing intersectional and interdisciplinary perspectives to the fields of nursing and bioethics, Somayeh is contributing to the practical and theoretical knowledge in providing effective and inclusive care for diverse communities.

Caroline Variath

The Experiences of Healthcare Providers with Eligible Patients’ Loss of Decision-making Capacity while Awaiting Medical Assistance in Dying and Their Perspectives on Using Advance Consent.

While many have accessed Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in Canada since its legalization in 2016, those with a loss of decision-making capacity remain ineligible for MAiD. Globally, there are gaps in the literature on the experiences of those who are unable to make decisions with MAiD. Caroline will use a critical feminist approach to explore health care providers’ experiences with their patients’ loss of decision-making capacity while awaiting MAiD, as well as their perspectives on advance consent to access MAiD. A feminist ethics lens with a focus on power, relationality, and morality will be used to capture contexts that influence these experiences. The findings from her study will inform guidelines and policies concerning advance consent for MAiD in Canada and globally.