Meet Us

Co-Presidents

L.L. Barrie de Veber, MD, FRCP(C)

Internationally recognized as a pioneer in palliative paediatric care, Dr. L.L. (Barrie) deVeber is the Founding President of the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. He is Professor Emeritus in Paediatrics and Oncology at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) where he also taught ethics and law for medical students. Dr. deVeber developed a psycho-social team approach to the child with cancer and the family. He continues to contribute to ongoing research, give public lectures, and to guide the Institute with a vision for the ethical and compassionate treatment of all people.

Martha Crean, BA, TESL

Martha Crean is an English as a Second Language teacher for adult refugees and immigrants in Toronto. She has also worked with young people with developmental disabilities. Ms. Crean has been involved in many areas of social justice and community activism, and she volunteers with her housing co-operative. Ms. Crean provides a clear vision for a consistent life ethic to the deVeber Institute, where she gives direction to the research and the organization, and she appreciates the opportunity to speak to young people about life issues.

Vice-President

Ian Gentles, PhD, FRHS — Research Director

Ian Gentles is a Professor of History at York University's Glendon College and at Tyndale University College, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is also a member of the Graduate Programme in History at York University. Prof Gentles teaches a seminar on human population, and has published articles and edited books on the causes of death, funeral practices in past societies, child sexual abuse, euthanasia and assisted suicide. He has edited numerous books for the deVeber Institute, and is a co-author of the newest publication, Complications: Abortion's Impact on Women.

Board of Directors

Keith Cassidy, PhD

Keith Cassidy is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph in Ontario. His principal field of research is the social and intellectual history of modern America. Prof. Cassidy's thesis was concerned with aspects of the political culture of the United States in the early twentieth century. He is currently working on a history of the abortion controversy in the United States since the early 1960s, with a particular focus on the origins and evolution of the right-to-life movement. Several of his articles on this topic have already appeared, most notably in the Journal of Policy History. Prof. Cassidy’s expertise in social research helps to guide the Institute’s research process.

Patricia Dolente-Matijczyk, BA, MEd

Ms. Particia Dolente Matijczyk is a supply teacher for the Toronto Catholic District School Board. She has taught French and English as a Second Language, and is fluent in five languages. Ms. Dolente Matijczyk brings her experience in volunteering and fundraising to the deVeber Institute, and helps to host unique events that showcase the Institute’s talent while disseminating its research to the wider public.

Deborah Zeni, MD, CCFP — Senior Researcher

Dr. Deborah Zeni is a family physician in Georgetown, Ontario who specializes in Obstetrics and Pediatrics. She has won the 2006 Mentorship Award for The Rural Ontario Medicine Program, the 2004 Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons Award for Excellence in Community Medicine, and was named the Halton Community Physician of the Year in 2004. Dr. Zeni is a widely acclaimed speaker. She has spoken about women’s and children’s health and abortion to medical students, universities, and community groups while actively researching these topics with the deVeber Institute.

Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy, MA — Senior Researcher

Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy has a BA from St. Francis Xavier University and an MA in developmental psychology from the University of Guelph. She has a continued interest in Catholic Psychology and has taken American Psychological Association Continuing Credits in this area. Elizabeth is a Registered Psychologist in the Province of Alberta where she maintains a private practice in assessment and diagnosis of children and adolescents with developmental/learning disorders. As researcher for the deVeber Institute, Elizabeth has contributed to publications on Child Sexual Abuse; Single Parenting in Canada; the Elderly and Euthanasia and has published on a variety of topics around abortion’s aftermath. She has also co-authored developmental/educational research. Elizabeth has spoken widely on her research, and has served on the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.

 

Robert Michael Parke, MHSc, MSW

Bob Parke is a resident bioethicist at a large Toronto hospital. He is the originator of the safe haven hospice project in the GTA. In addition to this project, he is a consulting bioethicist for Spectrum Health Care and the S.R.T Med Staff. He is a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee for the Ontario Palliative Care Network, University of Toronto Joint Centre of Bioethics, Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Ontario and countless others. He has been the publishing author and co-author of countless peer-reviewed articles in notable journals including the British Medical Journal, the Journal of Biomedical Central Medical Ethics, and the New England Journal of Medicine. Since the recent change in legislation concerning assisted suicide in Canada law, he has been active in education about hospital policies, procedures and guidelines. He frequently gives presentations and lectures about health care and ethics throughout the Greater Toronto Area. 

Advisory Council

  • Bridget Campion, PhD
  • Michael De Robertis, PhD
  • D. Jean Echlin, RN, MScN
  • Patricia Armstrong Egan, LLB, BCL
  • Timothy M. Egan, LLB, BCL
  • Barbara Farlow, BEngSci, MBA
  • Tom Lynch, BA, MDiv, STL, STD(Cand)
  • David Mikulis, MD
  • Heather S. Morris, FRCOG, FRCS(C), LLD (HON)
  • Robert Nadeau, LLB
  • David Novak, MHL, PhD
  • Nancy Olivieri, MD, FRCP(C)
  • Paul Ranalli, MD, FRCP(C)
  • Paul Zeni, MD

Associates

  • Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy — Research Associate
  • Brent Rooney  — Research Associate
  • Jean Echlin — Research Associate
  • Lorraine McCallum — Development Associate
  • Paul McDougall — Financial Advisor
  • Kathy Matusiak  — Executive Director

About Our Founder

Internationally recognized as a pioneer in palliative paediatric care, Dr. L.L. (Barrie) deVeber is the Founding President of the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. He is Professor Emeritus in Paediatrics and Oncology at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) where he also taught ethics and law for medical students.

Dr. deVeber is known for his work in managing RH haemolytic disease. He directed the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology programme at the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario. His team performed the first amniocentesis and intrauterine fetal transfusion in Eastern Canada, and Dr. deVeber administered the first dose of RH immune globulin in Canada. This treatment eventually eliminated the disease.

Dr deVeber developed a psycho-social team approach to the child with cancer and the family. As part of Dr. deVeber's involvement with children with cancer and their families, he co-founded Camp Trillium for young cancer patients and their siblings. Camp Trillium has now expanded to include two sites with year-round support programs for these children and their families.

Dr. deVeber was a founding board member for the Ronald McDonald House in London, the Sunshine Foundation of Canada for seriously ill children, and the Childhood Cancer Research Association of Southwestern Ontario.

Dr. deVeber belongs to a distinguished medical family. His paternal grandfather, L.G. (George) deVeber, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police surgeon stationed at Fort MacLeod, Alberta (one of the first RCMP forts in the Western Canada), was later appointed to the Senate. Mount deVeber, located in Alberta's Wellmore Wilderness Park is named after him.

Due to his extensive experience in palliative care, Dr. deVeber has been invited to an international committee on Death and Bereavement. He continues to research and educate on topics including palliative care, informed consent.