International Healthcare Ethics Research Team

IHERT research team

The study of ethics in health-care is an emerging field of inquiry. Further, the exploration of the antecedents of decision-making in medical contexts is a relatively untapped area of research. The International Health Ethics Research Team (IHERT) ventures to explore the manner in which ethical choices physicians make are influenced by their moral ideology, religion, and culture. Our interdisciplinary research spans the boundaries of medicine, ethics, psychology, and theology, and is unique in terms of:

  1. the comprehensiveness of the multi-cultural and multi-religious context and,
  2. the quantitative and qualitative methods being applied.

IHERT is an international consortium of researchers based in Regina, Canada. This group, consisting of academics from seven nations, joined together in 2001 to explore ethics in healthcare. Specifically we are interested in the factors which influence decision-making behaviour among physicians and nurses, such as religion, culture, and ethical ideology. We carry out this research from a variety theoretical disciplines (e.g., psychology, medicine, nursing, gerontology, & applied philosophy) and methodologies. We also have a keen interest in ethical decision-making as it pertains to patients who are elderly and those with dementia. Its mission is to conduct world class research, to publish in peer-reviewed journals, and to make this information accessible to healthcare practitioners through conferences, symposiums, and workshops.

Physician Ethics

This research examines the specific impact of cultural, ethical, and religious factors on ethical health-care decision-making by physicians in Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, China, and Australia. Its main focus is on perceptions and ethical decision-making regarding senior care, pain management and dementia. While a significant amount of research has examined perceptions of death and dying in different religious and cultural contexts, none of this literature has investigated the influence of ethical ideology or religiosity on the decision-making behaviour of the physician. Preliminary data analysis is already providing valuable insights into the many issues that are faced by health-care administrators in general and specifically into the doctor-patient relationship in the primary health-care setting.

Nurse Ethics

The cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds of both the providers (nurses) and recipients (patients) of primary health-care have a significant impact on the determinants of health and on health-care decision-making. This research project focuses on the specific impact of cultural, ethical and religious factors on ethical health-care decision-making and the perception of personhood and meaning in nursing by nurses in Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, China, and Australia. This Nurse Ethics research sheds some light on cultural, ethical, and religious variations, allowing the health-care environment to more comprehensively prepare health-care providers to understand the subjective rationale for their decision-making behaviour.


IHERT Research Opportunities:

The International Healthcare Ethics Research Team (IHERT) is inviting applicants for Master's, PhD, and Post-doctoral studies in the area of cross-cultural healthcare ethics. If you are genuinely interested in being involved in a vibrant programme of research with an international team of researchers, please contact us to discuss your academic future. Funding is available.


David Cruise Malloy, Ph.D.
Professor & Principal Investigator:
International Healthcare Ethics Team
Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, CKHS 164.7
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, S4S 0A2
(306) 337-3181 (Office); (306) 337-2444 (FAX)
Personal web page: