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William J. Sullivan Q.C.


Bill practices in the corporate and commercial area as well as estate planning, including health care related issues such as representation agreements, advance directives and patient autonomy. He has lectured extensively and published on health care matters.


Education | Professional Affiliations

Bill is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia and is a life bencher of the Society. He was a member (including chair) of the Law Society Ethics Committee for twelve years. He attended Queens University (BA), Dalhousie University (LLB) and Southern Methodist University (MCL) where he did post-graduate work in law.

Publications | Seminars

Lectures & Publications

  • Author, Multiculturalism and Medical Ethics, April 1997, British Columbia Medical Journal
  • Co-author, Advance Directives, a Third Alternative, September 1999, Annals of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Canada
  • Author, Autonomy and the Terminally-Ill Patient, July/August 2001, British Columbia Medical Journal
  • Co-Author, Ethical Concerns of Staff in a Rehabilitation Center, December 2001, HEC Forum
  • Co-author, The Importance of Patient Autonomy at Birth, July 2002, International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia
  • Author, The Law and the Physician as Principal Investigator in Sponsored Clinical Trials, May 2003, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia
  • Co-author, Abortion in Canada, Summer 2005, Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics
  • Co-author, Maternal Autonomy: Ethics and the Law, April 2006, International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia
  • Co-author, Advance Directives in Canada, Summer 2006, Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics
  • Co-author, book chapter, Informed consent and other ethical and legal issues in obstetric anesthesia, December 2012. Shnider and Levinson’s Anesthesia for Obstetrics. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
  • Co-author, book chapter, Fetal beneficence and maternal autonomy, January 2013. Anaesthesia and the Fetus. John Wiley and Sons Inc./Blackwell
  • Speaker and panellist on various aspects of health law or health ethics on numerous occasions, including at annual ethics conferences of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, annual meetings of the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society, Grand (and other) Rounds at Vancouver Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and Children’s and Women’s Hospital, Vancouver, UBC Faculty of Medicine, Canadian Bioethics Society, G.F.Strong Rehabilitation Centre, palliative care conferences, the University of British Columbia and the Departments of Anesthesia, Faculties of Medicine at Queens University, the University of California and the University of Saskatchewan.
Community Involvement
  • Adjunct professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • Member, G.F. Strong Ethics Committee
  • Member, B.C. Children’s Hospital Ethics Committee
  • Member, University of British Columbia Clinical Research Ethics Board


Direct Phone

604 844 5503




Azmina Kara

604-688-1221 ext.574