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CAMH Ethics Service

The Ethics Service is here to support good practice and decision making around the ethical dimensions of the care or service you receive as part of the work we do at CAMH. 

Ethics support is available to everyone who works for, receives services from or interacts with CAMH.

Please note: Click here for the Research EthicsBoard at CAMH

If Patient Relations is what you think you might need, you will find their contact details here.


The CAMH ethics framework – the “e-GPS” [ethical Guideposts for Principled Solutions]


e-GPS logo 
‘a4r’ adapted from Daniels, N. & Sabin, J. (2002). Setting Limits Fairly: Can We Learn to Share Medical Resources? New York: Oxford University Press.
‘CLEOS’ adopted from Russell, B. (2008). An integrative and practical approach to ethics in everyday health care. Risk Management in Canadian Health Care, 10(2), 9–13.


CAMH uses the idea of the “e-GPS” as a single concept for all the resources and tools to help with ethical decision making. Like finding your way around the city, you often use your own ‘internal GPS’. But when a complex route lies ahead (unfamiliar places, a traffic jam or construction work), you might rely on your GPS device. With ethical decisions, we make many using our own internal guideposts – but sometimes we need the help of some tools. These ethical include our CAMH values (respect, courage and excellence), our Bill of Client Rights, our Code of  Research Integrity and other resources. Along with all the guideposts, we have two ethical decision-making tools:

The tools and guide refer to other resources mentioned above, as well as the CLEOS dimensions, practice standards, the law and other important guideposts.  For more information you can look at this PowerPoint Slideshow outline.

When needed, the Ethicist provides specialized help with clinical and organizational ethics questions and concerns –thinking through what to do, why it should be done and how to do it. 

This can include help with:

  • care decisions and planning (especially making decisions for others - 'substitute decision making')
  • policy and procedure development and review and explanation
  • resource allocation
  • understanding the 'moral distress' that can arise for everyone involved in this area of healthcare


What Does Ethics Support Look Like?

Support can take the form of:

  • one or many 'consultations' or support sessions
  • ethics education and learning sessions
  • reviewing of the ethical aspects of quality improvement,  innovation and evaluation in our work
  • offering help with making communication happen
  • working like a mediator if needed to help with everyone understanding each other.

The Ethics Service will discuss with you how to go about supporting your situation.  This may involve anything from a simple conversation or joining a care planning meeting to joining a working group or convening a strategy group to help think through the decision or issue at hand. 

Always feel free to call and ask about what support is available.  No referral is needed.

CAMH is a partner of University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics and active within the broader healthcare ethics community.

Contact: CAMH Ethicist (416) 535-8501, ext. 33415
Location: based at Queen Street site, serving all CAMH sites


CAMH Switchboard 416-535-8501
CAMH General Information Toronto: 416-595-6111 Toll Free: 1-800-463-6273
Connex Ontario Help Lines
Queen St.
1001 Queen St. W
Toronto, ON
M6J 1H4
Russell St.
33 Russell St.
Toronto, ON
M5S 2S1
College St.
250 College St.
Toronto, ON
M5T 1R8
Ten offices across Ontario