CFP: Making Sense Of: Dying and Death: Care, Dying and the End of Life

7th Global Conference, Making Sense Of: Dying and Death: Care, Dying and the End of Life, Monday 8th November – Wednesday 10th November 2010, Prague, Czech Republic

This inter- and multi-disciplinary conference explores connections between health care systems, caregivers, and matters of public policy that serve those at the end-of-life. As the primary cause of death increasingly becomes slow progressive illnesses, many people are now living longer. As a result, end-of-life care has been pushed from the context of the home to the context of the hospital so that the dying can be close to important life-extending technologies. In turn, this means care giving at the end-of-life is often assigned to medical professionals rather than friends and family. The impact of this migration has caused many to have an increasingly passive role in caring for the dying. A challenge has arisen surrounding how to explore questions of meaning, questions of value, and questions of relationship with the dying when the context of care they receive is almost purely geared towards the biological dimension of their personhood. Furthermore, our increasingly passive role in providing care to the dying leaves, for many, few opportunities to reflect on and consider carefully one’s own mortality. A common perception is emerging that portrays death as a “medical failure,” and not as a natural process.

As clinical competencies surrounding pain management and symptom control evolve, the formation of interdisciplinary teams designed to treat the whole person has become increasingly necessary. Advance planning is a vital way to assist efforts to insure the dying receive the kind(s) of care they desire. However, discontinuity of care across treatment settings can undermine even the clearest planning documents.

Ethical ideals, patient goals, and regulatory requirements of a given institution all shape the dying trajectory. This conference specifically aims to assess how heath care systems, patients, and staff intersect during end-of-life care, and explores how important the caregiver-patient relationship continues to be amidst end-of-life issues and decisions.

Papers, reports, presentations, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues on or broadly related to any of the following themes:

1: Health Care Systems: Patients, Staff, and Institutions

  • * Modern Health Care Delivery Systems and Care for the Dying
  • * Palliative Care
  • * Hospice
  • * Elder Care/Ageing in Place Models
  • * Trauma and Emergency Care
  • * Nursing Homes/Skilled Facilities/Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs)/Assisted Living
  • * Clinical Competencies in Pain Management and Symptom Control
  • * Measurements, Incentives, Regulatory Statutes, and Recommendations
  • * Continuity of Care Across Treatment Settings
  • * Interdisciplinary Care

2: The Caregiver-Patient Relationship

  • * Caregiver’s (Physician’s?) Obligations and Virtues
  • * Medical Paternalism and Respect for the Patient, Autonomy
  • * Truth-Telling
  • * Informed Consent
  • * Medicine in the West for a Multicultural Society
  • * Contested Therapies Within the Physician-Patient Relationship
  • * Conflicts of Interest; Problems of Conscience
  • * Caregiver Stress/Caregiver Burnout/Compassion Fatigue
  • * Being With Someone Who Is Dying
  • * Assessment Challenges/Barriers

3: Death Systems: Matters of Public Policy

  • * Defining Death
  • * Organ Transplantation and Organ Donation
  • * Death Certification
  • * The Coroner and the Medical Examiner
  • * Autopsies
  • * The Impact of the Death System

4: End-of-Life Issues and Decisions

  • * The Interplay of Ethical Meta-Principles at the End of Life
  • * Nonmaleficence
  • * Beneficence
  • * Autonomy
  • * Justice
  • * Fidelity
  • * Death Anxiety
  • * Choosing Death
  • * Advance Directives/Advance Planning/Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatments (POLST)/Do Not Resuscitate
  • * Wills and Inheritance
  • * Probate
  • * Insurance and Death Benefits
  • * Considering End-of-Life Issues and Decisions and Legislation

Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 28th May 2010. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 24th September 2010. 300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract. E-mails should be entitled: Care, Dying and the End of Life Abstract Submission. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:

Nate Hinerman, Nursing/Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, USA, E-mail: and Rob Fisher, Network Leader, Inter-Disciplinary.Net, Freeland, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, E-Mail:

The conference is part of the Making Sense Of: series of research projects, which in turn belong to the Probing the Boundaries programmes of Inter-Disciplinary.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore discussions which are innovative and challenging. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

For further details about the project please visit:

For further details about the conference please visit:


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