The deVeber Institute was founded in 1982 and first known as the Human Life Research Institute. A non-profit educational foundation, its mandate was to research and publish studies relating to the impact of biotechnological advances on the family and society, and ethical issues in health care, especially those resulting from reproductive technologies. The Institute remains steadfast to its original vision of an uncompromising commitment to scholarly and unbiased research.
The Institute, then and now, is composed of a Board of Directors and an Advisory Council. These men and women come from diverse disciplines including medicine, science, law, social work, history, philosophy, education, business, and journalism. With such depth and range of knowledge, and their expertise, the deVeber Institute takes pride in offering consultation and direction in bioethics. In particular, the media and students have always been encouraged to consult us.
The deVeber Institute is the only Canadian organization continuously studying the long-term effects of induced abortion on women's health. Its most comprehensive study to date, Complications: Abortion's Impact on Women is now available since November 2013.
In 1996, the Board of Directors renamed the organization the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. The new name features two key pieces of information, the name "deVeber" and "bioethics and social research."
The Board chose to honour Dr L.L. (Barrie) deVeber, then Professor of Paediatrics and Oncology at the University of Western Ontario. Internationally recognized as a pioneer in palliative paediatric care, Dr deVeber had developed a psycho-social team approach to the child with cancer and the family.
Dr deVeber also directed a program to manage RH haemolytic disease. His team performed the first amniocentesis and intrauterine fetal transfusion in Eastern Canada. Dr deVeber administered the first dose of RH immune globulin in Canada. This treatment eventually eliminated the disease. As a professor, Dr deVeber directed a course in ethics and law for medical students at the University of Western Ontario.
Because of his experiences in these fields Dr deVeber became aware that there were serious ethical considerations in human life and death issues that were not being adequately and openly addressed.
The addition of "Bioethics and Social Research" identifies the scope and purpose of the Institute. As reproductive and biomedical technologies continue to affect human life as never before, the Institute addresses key issues with academic integrity and insight.
For over twenty years the Institute has probed, examined, analyzed, researched and published on topics such as the long-term effects of induced abortion on women's health, assisted suicide and palliative care, the medical use of heroin and morphine, an evaluation of child sexual abuse prevention programs, and a survey and evaluation of sexual education programs offered in schools across Canada. The Institute also conducted original research on unplanned crisis pregnancies and single motherhood in Canada.
Research continues, particularly in the area of abortion sequelae.