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The American Society for Bioethics and Humanities seeks proposals for its 2016 annual conference on October 6-9, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Where Do We Stand? Critical Distance in Bioethics and Medical Humanities

After over half a century of work, and as ASBH celebrates its coming-of-age, we have chosen to focus on “critical distance” and our “insider-outsider” status at our 18th annual meeting. Where should we stand to do our best work? Which (and whose) ends should we serve? What brought about the emergence of bioethics and the medical humanities in the world of health care education and delivery—and have we lived up to expectations?  We welcome proposals on the theme of “critical distance” and others in every submission category listed below.


  • Please read this document thoroughly and collect all of the information in the requirements checklist. When you are ready to submit your proposal, click on the “My Proposals” tab in the submission tool.
  • The call for proposals will close at 11:59 pm Pacific Time, Friday, March 4, 2016. No proposals or changes will be accepted after that time. The ASBH office closes at 6 pm Central Time and no live assistance will be available after that time.
  • ASBH has a “two submission” rule. You can submit no more than two abstracts (including posters) or be included in no more than two workshops or panels submitted by others. This rule does not apply to co-authors of posters and papers or pre-conference workshop presenters.
  • ASBH has a “two presentation” rule. You may present no more than two times during a meeting. This rule does not apply to co-authors of posters and papers (who do not present), paper session timekeepers, or pre-conference workshop presenters.
  • If accepted, all presenters and co-authors will be required to complete financial disclosure forms to qualify for continuing education credit.
  • Presenters are required to complete a registration form, pay the registration fee for the whole meeting or for one day, and cover all travel and personal expenses.
  • Questions? Call 847-375-4745 or email

Requirements Checklist:

Be sure to allow time to collect all of the following information before the submission deadline. You must provide all of the information requested to complete your submission. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

For each presentation:

  • title
  • preferred format
  • topic category
  • abstract
  • time frame
  • 2-3 learning objectives
  • core competencies

For each presenter and co-author:

  • name
  • credentials
  • institution name, city, and state
  • mailing address
  • phone number
  • role
    • presenter
    • paper or poster co-author

Preferred Format:

  • Preconference Workshop (3.5 hours)
    Preconference workshops usually focus on teaching content knowledge, developing a skill, or assisting members with a project. Your description should address why the content is best presented in a 3.5 hour timeframe; why the target audience will come to the meeting early and pay more for this session; the methods you will use to build skills or transmit information; and the specific expertise or background that qualifies the faculty to teach this workshop.
  • Program Workshop (90 minutes)
    Program workshops are designed for instruction and interaction. Presenters engage and involve the members of the audience for a significant portion of the session in small group activties, breakouts, role play, audience feedback, or discussion of cases or other content, design of materials and models, and similar forms of interactions. Workshops are limited to 4 presenters who should be from multiple disciplines and institutions.
  • Panel Session (60 minutes)
    The ideal panel session compares and contrasts a variety of perspectives on a cohesive theme or includes presentations that are cross-disciplinary and build on one another. Panels are limited to 4 presenters who should be from multiple disciplines and institutions. One of these 4 presenters will serve as a moderator, and will be responsible for teeing up the discussion, introducing the panelists, keeping the session on schedule, and facilitating questions and answers as time allows.
  • Individual Paper Session (20 minutes)
    Each presenter will have 15 minutes to present a brief structured discussion or lecture based on a work-in-progress or a paper whose central, substantive content has not been previously published, followed by 5 minutes to address questions from the audience.
  • Poster
    The submitter displays a poster to demonstrate or explain a concept, work or art, or research project.

Topic Category:

Submit your proposal in one topic category and in one format only. Do not revise your proposal and submit it in more than one area or more than one format.

  • Arts and Literature
  • Clinical Ethics
  • Diversity, Disparity, and Inclusion
  • Education / Interprofessionalism
  • Law, Public Health Policy, and Organizational Ethics
  • Philosophy / History
  • Religion, Culture, and Social Sciences
  • Research Ethics


In 250 words or fewer, describe the content of your presentation or nature of your study as you wish it to appear in the program. Your submission will not be reviewed if you include the names of presenters or institutions or other information in the body of the abstract that will compromise the anonymous review process.

Time Frame:

Describe how you will use the presentation time, including how you will engage the audience, with sufficient detail to permit an independent evaluation of the potential effectiveness of your session.

Learning Objectives:

  • Provide a minimum of 2 and no more than 3 objectives.
  • Begin each objective with a verb.
  • Construct each objective from the point of view of the attendee by completing the following sentence: “At the end of this session, attendees will be able to…”

Core Competencies:

Indicate which core competency/ies your session is designated to address. This information will be used for CE purposes only and will not be considered in the evaluation of your proposal.

  • Patient Care / Clinical Skills. Demonstrate effective use of motor and cognitive skills in diagnosis, management, and prevention of common health problems encountered in patient care.
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills. Demonstrate effective listening, verbal, and written communication skills with a wide range of individuals and groups in order to provide patient-center care.
  • Knowledge for Practice. Demonstrate the ability to recall and apply knowledge of human structure, function, development, and pathophysiology and psychosocial development to patient care.
  • Professionalism. Demonstrate, through knowledge and behavior, a commitment to the highest standards of competence, ethics, integrity, and accountability to the patient and the profession.
  • Continuous Improvement of Care through Reflective Practice. Demonstrate habits of self-directed learning, including awareness of gaps in understanding, recognition of personal limitations, and acquisition of new knowledge and skills in order to stay current in all aspects of medical practice and provide optimal patient care.
  • Systems of Health Care. Recognize and work effectively within the larger context and system of health care to advocate for and provide quality patient care.
  • Interprofessional Collaboration. Demonstrate the ability to engage in an interprofessional team in a manner that optimizes safe, effective patient-and population-centered care.

Review and Notification:

  • Only complete, online submissions will be reviewed. Proposals received via fax, mail, or e-mail will not be reviewed.
  • Any proposals that contain identifying information in the abstract will not be reviewed.
  • ASBH uses a rigorous 3-stage review process:
  1. All submissions are reviewed anonymously by an average of three ASBH members recruited for their expertise in the topic category selected. Each reviewer is asked to score the proposal on a 5-point scale considering contribution to existing knowledge; innovation, cutting-edge, and novelty; presentation of innovative solutions to current issues in the fields of bioethics and humanities; cross-disciplinary approaches; and quality of the written proposal.
  2. At the second stage of the process, one experienced reviewer for each category assesses all of the individual and average scores throughout that category, taking into consideration factors such as significance, innovation, relevance, breadth of topic, and appropriateness for the meeting.
  3. Finally, in a face-to-face meeting, the Program Committee—with access to all of the previous assessments—selects the strongest proposals that address topics of interest to a multidisciplinary community. The committee then considers balance among the categories and subjects, and scans for unique or unusual topics. At this stage, the names of all presenters are revealed to ensure compliance with the two-presenter rule.
  • The program committee may accept some proposals in a different format, e.g., a proposal submitted as an individual presentation may be accepted as a poster.
  • You will receive notification of your proposal’s status via email in the spring of 2016.

American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
O’Hare Plaza Office Complex
8735 W. Higgins Road, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60631

© American Society for Bioethics and Humanities


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