Exploring the Humane Side of Healthcare: Medical Humanities and Ethics in Clinical Context

29th Annual CEP Conference

September 21 – 23, 2018
Oglebay Resort & Conference Center
465 Lodge Drive
Wheeling, WV 26003

Sponsored by the Consortium Ethics Program

Conference abstract and objectives

This conference will focus on the contribution of the arts, humanities, and social sciences to healthcare and healthcare ethics. Language and images play a critical role in healthcare and promotion of health. Narrative and narrative methods serve both to sustain clinicians and to complement technological advances such as machine learning, standardization, and the electronic health record. Analysis of literature and art develops moral imagination; reaction to dramatic presentations develops skills of cross-cultural discernment and interpersonal expression; examination of metaphors and images hones critical reasoning and exposes cultural influences and implicit bias.

With the goal of enhancing provider-patient communication and honing skills of cultural competence, this conference will employ a mix of methods—clinical case analysis, discussion, lecture, and participatory role-play/theater, as well as opportunities for reflective writing—to develop skills in dealing with cultural differences, difficult patients and difficult clinical encounters, end-of-life decision making, and grief, as well as regulatory and technological constraints/opportunities (e.g., the EHR and social media).

Following this conference, participants will be able to:

  • Identify how language, narrative, and images shape clinical encounters, medicoscientific understanding, and personal beliefs;
  • Recognize and address biases in clinical interactions, health records and their interpretation, institutional policies and practices, and research;
  • Appreciate the importance of narrative perspectives in clinical decision making, approaching the end of life, and addressing grief;
  • Employ the contributions of the arts, humanities, and social sciences in ethical analysis, and policy development and implementation, and clinical communication.

Target audience

This conference is designed for clinicians—including physicians, nurses, social workers, pastoral care providers, mental health professionals, and ethics committee members—healthcare administrators, policymakers, patients, and members of the public with an interest in healthcare ethics or medical humanities.

Registration information


Questions about the conference or registration may be obtained from Jody Stockdill, Administrator of the Consortium Ethics Program, 412-623-2033. Advance notification of any special needs will help us provide better service. Please notify Ms. Stockdill of your needs at least two weeks in advance of the program.