Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

January 13, 2011

The McGovern Center, through its Campus-Wide Ethics Program, is sponsoring a conference titled, Social Justice and the Health Professions: Ethical and Experiential Issues. The Center has issued a call for papers to be considered for presentation at the Conference.

Conference Details

Date & Time: June 2, 2011, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location:        Robertson Auditorium, The Institute for Molecular Medicine,
                         Houston, TX

About the Conference

A new trend is emerging in bioethics. As interdisciplinary and interprofessional teamwork has been emphasized in the health professions in recent years, ethics has been identified as a key area in which such teaching and learning can be fostered. Teams in hospitals, for example, often include doctors, nurses, social workers, and chaplains, and teams in outpatient settings often include scientist-researchers and clinicians involved in translational research. This shift, which emphasizes teamwork and interprofessional teaching and learning, invites bioethicists to consider a new area for study and research: "interprofessional ethics". The purpose of this conference, as a part of the Campus-Wide Ethics Program at UTHealth, is to clarify how to promote this new area both in terms of practical pedagogy and empirical or humanistic research.

The McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics is calling for papers to address the broad theme of "Social Justice and the Health Professions: Ethical and Experiential Issues." This day-long conference will include papers from various health professions—potentially from medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, health informatics, law, chaplaincy, and medical humanities. Faculty members from the Campus-Wide Ethics Program at UTHealth will serve as respondents to these papers.

Potential topics might include, but are by no means limited to, the following: expanding insurance to more people as part of the Health Reform Act (PPACA) during a time when there are political pressures to cut Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements; reimbursement disparities between primary care and medical specialties; health care reform and its implications for expanding responsibilities for nurses and allied health professionals; the experience of racism in America and its impact on health; the availability of health care and its impact on health; the availability of health care and the experience of illegal immigrants living in the US; the moral dilemmas that dentists and dental hygienists face as they struggle with access to care issues; and issues related to the impact of religious behavior that might raise concerns in public health.

Abstract Requirements

Please send a 500-word abstract of your proposed paper in Microsoft Word format to by February 15, 2011.

Download conference information and abstract requirements

Contact Information

Jeffrey Spike, Ph.D., at:

~ Angela Polczynski

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