CFP: Colo Ethics Forum

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS: CHEF 2012: Borders and Barriers: Mapping a Moral Path

Deadline: February 15th, 2012

The 2012 Colorado Healthcare Ethics Forum Conference will be held April 26th and 27th, 2012 at The Stonebrook Manor Event Center and Gardens in Thornton, Colorado. This year’s theme is Borders and Barriers: Mapping a Moral Path. Ethics is a process of choosing among different paths, each path having its own unique obstacles and challenges. Some obstacles are moral in nature as we attempt to address conflicts among ethical principles or different methods of assessing the moral dimensions of a situation. Other challenges relate to conflicts among deeply held beliefs, values and preferences among patients, families, providers and the community at large. Finally, many obstacles are practical such as those involving scarce resources, limited time, lack of knowledge and uncertain outcomes. Borders are the diverse lines we often must cross when making ethical decisions including legal and regulatory requirements or competing political, social, religious and moral beliefs. Borders also include the fine lines between patients and families, providers and/or the organization. Barriers include all of the practical realities that seem to challenge our efforts at moral action including ineffective communication, lack of support, scarce resources and limited options.

The two day conference will have a Hot Topics track that will focus on high profile issues in the healthcare headlines and an Issues in Practice track that will focus on highly applied topics for individual and ethics committee development. Proposals are sought on a wide range of topics. Suggestions include:

  • Health care reform (e.g., financial constraints, access, quality, community based health care, accountable care organizations)
  • Allocation of resources (e.g., drug shortages, high cost treatment, new technologies)
  • Setting-specific topics (long term care, hospice, behavioral health, military healthcare)
  • Patient-centered topics (e.g., undocumented and/or indigent patients, patient compliance, spiritual care in different cultural and religious traditions)
  • Provider-centered topics (e.g., limits of provider conscience, compassion fatigue, moral distress)
  • Organization-centered topics (e.g., organizational ethics and social responsibility, quality management, privacy)
  • Vulnerable populations (cultural differences, children, research subjects)
  • Effective communication (e.g. difficult conversations, conflict management, language barriers)
  • Ethics committee development and performance (e.g., decision-making, consultation, leadership)
  • Moral theories, concepts and decision making


The Colorado Healthcare Ethics Forum is an active and diverse community of health professionals and laypersons in Colorado who work collaboratively to raise the awareness of ethical issues, promote ethical practice and respond to current and future ethical challenges in the delivery of health care. The annual CHEF conference attracts 150-175 participants annually and is well recognized throughout the Rocky Mountain region. For more on the vision, mission and values of CHEF, visit our website at  .

Please submit written proposals to Deb Bennett-Woods at  no later than February 15, 2012. Proposals should include the following:

  • Presentation type (Individual / Panel / Workshop). Individual and Panel presentations are typically scheduled for 60 minutes. Workshops may be proposed for longer periods, generally 2 hours.
  • Name, CV and a brief biography of presenter(s). (Note: Brief bios should be no more than 75 words.)
  • An abstract of the presentation, no longer than a single page, setting forth the issue, the presenter’s thesis, and the approach to be taken.
  • Any special presentation requirements (audio/visual, seating arrangements, etc) and limitations on availability for those dates.

In addition to requesting proposals, we encourage you to pass along any suggestions for speakers or presentations with which you may be familiar that would be a good match for this year’s conference.


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