Ethics and Law SIG
The Ethics and Law SIG is an interprofessional and interdisciplinary group made up of ethicists, lawyers, academics, clinicians, and other professionals who are committed to the ethical and legal provision of assisted reproduction in Canada. This SIG encourages inquiry and discussion of the ethical issues surrounding human reproduction and fertility services, as well as the legal issues surrounding assisted reproductive procedures and techniques, and in particular third party reproduction. It is also committed to promoting awareness and understanding of the relevant laws and policies, and providing learning opportunities for its members.
How to Join
The Ethics and Law SIG welcomes members from across a wide range of disciplines who have an interest in the ethical and/or legal implications of ART services. All members must be a member of the CFAS in good standing.
Shirley Levitan - Co-Chair
Shirley has been practicing law in Toronto since 1988, with an emphasis on family law since 1992, incorporating fertility law since 1996. She is a member of the Bars of Ontario (1988) and New York State (1991). Shirley received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto in 1981, and her law degree from the University of Ottawa in 1987. Shirley was a panel member for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer in Ontario for 6 years, and an Ontario licensee for private adoption. She is a former Chair of Collaborative Divorce Toronto, and currently sits on its Board.
In the context of fertility law, Shirley has worked with intended parents, egg/sperm/embryo donors, surrogates, clinics and hospitals. She has spoken at conferences and seminars in both Canada and the US, including the Ontario Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the National Judges Institute (Ontario), the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the University of Toronto, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and the (American) Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, of which she is an elected Fellow. Shirley was asked to teach the first fertility law course at Queen’s University Law School, and continues to do so. She is also published in the 2021 Cambridge University Press “50 Big Debates in Reproductive Medicine’’, and was asked by Lexis Nexis, a popular international legal online data base, to create its first Fertility Law unit. Shirley has extensive experience with drafting the various agreements and consents necessary in the practice of reproductive technology law, as well as preparing and attending to court and government applications dealing with cross border, national and international, birth registration issues that arise in the context of assisted reproductive technology.
Shirley is one of the few lawyers in Ontario who has considerable experience in both family law and fertility law, and as a result, was asked to assist with reviewing and revising Bill 28, which amends Ontario’s former Children’s Law Reform Act. The amendments have direct and vital legal impact on Ontario families created using third party reproductive technology. Additionally, because Shirley practices in both these areas, she offers the knowledge and insight to help an increasing number of people with issues encompassing both fertility law and family law issues, such as embryo creation by non-spouses who wish to co-parent, and embryo ‘battles’ between separating spouses.
Shawn Winsor - Co-Chair
Shawn Winsor is a bioethicist working in clinical practice, public policy, education, and research, with a specialty in reproductive health. He has been Director of the Ethics Centres at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Trillium Health Partners, and consults for individual and organizational healthcare clients across Canada. Shawn advises provincial (Ontario’s Genetics Advisory Committee and Taskforce on Fetal RhD Genotyping) and national organizations (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health and Canadian Medical Association) on bioethics and health technology policy. He is a Member of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Joint Center for Bioethics at the University of Toronto, and is a Vanier Canada Scholar at the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis at McMaster University. Shawn is proud to have been founding co-chair of the Ethics-Law Special Interest Group of the CFAS.
Kathleen Hammond, PhD - Secretary/Treasurer
I am a B.C.L./LL.B candidate at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Prior McGill, I completed a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge, for which I explored the market and regulation of assisted reproductive technologies in Canada. While completing my PhD I was a fellow at the Brocher Foundation, and a fellow of the Embryo Project at Arizona State University. I have been involved with policy development in the area of reproduction for organizations including the World Health Organization. I have shared my research through many different forums, including through webinars for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and of course, the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society annual meetings. In the winter semester, I will be running a fertility law course at McGill’s Faculty of Law.