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Carey DeMichelis

Dr. Carey DeMichelis

Assistant Professor


Abbotsford campus, D218a

email Carey


Postdoctoral Fellowship

Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society

Vanderbilt University Medical Center


PhD, University of Toronto

Applied Psychology and Human Development

Joint Center for Bioethics


MA, University of Chicago

Social Science

Teaching Interests

Dr. DeMichelis' teaching interests include health psychology, developmental psychology, moral development, medical ethics, research ethics, and critical qualitative methods. Across her courses, Dr. DeMichelis emphasizes the political dimensions of healthcare decision-making and the relational nature of human development.

Research Interests

Dr. DeMichelis' current research explores childhood biomedical refusal - situations in which young people and families resist or refuse forms of medical treatment. These cases raise complex and pressing question about young people’s capacity to make their own medical decisions, about who has the authority to determine the “Best Interests” of a medically fragile child, and about the limits of multicultural accommodation within the liberal institutions of settler states.

Other ongoing projects involve interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues in applied healthcare settings. In 2018, Dr. DeMichelis worked with a team at The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) to draft a policy on Medical Assistance in Dying. In 2016 she edited a handbook on pediatric resilience, which draws connections between health psychology, pediatric oncology, social work, and medical anthropology. At present, Dr. DeMichelis is collaborating with colleagues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to explore political and ethical dilemmas that arise in the care of neurologically devastated infants.

Dr.  DeMichelis' methodological expertise are in ethnography, case study, discourse analysis, and clinical ethics consultation. Theoretically she draws from feminist theories of relational autonomy, Foucauldian analyses of resistance, and Indigenous critiques of settler colonialism. 


Select Articles

DeMichelis, C., Zlotnik Shaul, R., Kirsch, R. (2022). Healthcare’s search for “wellness”: How bioethics reduces burnout among health professionals. Canadian Health Policy, ISSN 2562-9492

DeMichelis, C., (2021) Bioethics as Object of Study: Dilemmas of Immanence in Research Ethics Review. American Journal of Bioethics: Empirical Bioethics. 137-143

DeMichelis, C., Zlotnik-Shaul, R., Rapoport, A., (2020). Continuing the Conversation about Medical Assistance in Dying. Journal of Medical Ethics. 1-2.

DeMichelis, C., Zlotnik-Shaul, R., Rapoport, A., (2019) Medical Assistance in Dying at a Pediatric Hospital. Journal of Medical Ethics, 1-8

DeMichelis, C., (2018) The Best Interests Standard as a Logic of Empire: Unpacking the Political Dimensions of Parental Refusal. The American Journal of Bioethics, 83-85.

DeMichelis C., (2017) Transfusion Refusal and the Shifting Limits of Multicultural Accommodation. Journal of Qualitative Health Research. 150-161.


Edited Books and Book Chapters 

DeMichelis C., & Ferrari M (Eds.) (2016) Child and Adolescent Resilience within Medical Contexts: Integrating Research and Practice. Springer Publishing Company.

DeMichelis C., (2016) “Relational Resilience: An Interdisciplinary Perspective” in DeMichelis C. & Ferrari M. (Eds) Child and Adolescent Resilience within Medical Contexts: Integrating Research and Practice. Springer Publishing Company. 1-10.

Academic Commentaries

DeMichelis C., (2020) Troubling Consent and Theorizing Refusal in Pediatric Medicine. American Ethnologist Website, May 13, 2020.  https://americanethnologist.org/features/reflections/troubling-consent-and-theorizing-refusal-in-pediatric-medicine 


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