Dr. Julie Ponesse
Dr. Julie Ponesse is a pandemic ethics scholar and a central figure in Canada, as an advocate for Canadians’ right to confidently make educated, informed medical decisions.
She has a PhD in Philosophy (Western, 2008) with areas of specialization in ethics and ancient philosophy. She has a Masters in Philosophy with Collaborative Specialization in Bioethics from the University of Toronto and a Diploma in Ethics from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.
Dr. Ponesse has published in the areas of ancient philosophy, ethical theory, and applied ethics, and has taught at universities in Canada and the US for 20 years.
In the fall of 2021, Dr. Ponesse saw her academic career of 20 years fall apart after she refused to comply with a Canadian university’s COVID vaccine mandate. In response, Dr. Ponesse recorded a special video directed to her first-year ethics students. That video went viral.
Since the release of that video, Dr. Ponesse has joined The Democracy Fund as the Pandemic Ethics Scholar focussing on educating the public on civil liberties and the ethical concerns about policies that coerce compliance.
“As Canadians, as rational, autonomous people, my view is that we have a right to decide what goes into our body, even if we have the worst reasons for it,” Ponesse said.
In December 2021, Dr. Ponesse released a book, published by The Democracy fund, titled My Choice: The Ethical Case Against Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates (MyChoiceBook.ca). This is her account of the battle and its aftermath, written with passion and intelligence. But Dr. Ponesse’s story travels beyond the personal and examines the ethical and philosophical dimensions of our pandemic response.
If there is anyone out there who feels alone in the struggle to preserve personal choice and freedom, this book offers some very human advice on how to move forward and makes it clear that your voice deserves to be heard.