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CfP: IME Summer Conference, Liverpool

5 Jan, 17 | by Iain Brassington

Building on the success of three previous conferences held in Edinburgh, Newcastle and London, the 4th Institute of Medical Ethics Summer Conference will take place on the 15th and 16th June 2017 in Liverpool.

Two changes have been made to the conference format for 2017.  First, the Research Committee will accept proposals for individual papers as well as for panels.  The latter will be allocated 75mins and the time can be used for traditional presentations of 15-20 mins or for more collaborative and discursive interactions.  Second, there is a specific call for contributions from the medical humanities.  The IME’s Research Committee hopes to include a stream of medical humanities papers across both days of the conference.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers are Prof Rosamund Scott (KCL) and Prof. Stephen Wilkinson (Lancaster).

Further information can be found here, and the IME  can be found on Twitta via @IMEweb.

The location and date of this year’s conference have been coordinated with the annual conference of the UK Clinical Ethics Network.  Themed “Family Matters”, this will be their 17th Annual Conference.  It takes place on the 14th June, and there will be a short IME/ UKCEN crossover session on the morning of the 15th. For further details about UKCEN’s conference see

Call for Participants: Evolution or Revolution? The Biomaterials Property Debate and Changing Ethical, Legal, and Social Norms

14 Nov, 13 | by BMJ

Over the past thirty years, there has been considerable debate over the legal status of human body parts. While the body and biomaterials were traditionally considered to be outside of the realm of property in common law jurisdictions, recent legal decisions have challenged this. There has been a gradual shift towards recognition of some proprietary interests in body parts by the courts. Similarly, while academic opinion originally weighed against according body parts any status as a form of property, the tide has turned increasing to favour (at least) a limited property approach. Although approval of these recent moves is not universal, with regards to property and human biomaterials, this two day workshop will explore the possible foundations and implications of this transformation in legal thinking. It will examine why such a shift has come about, asking whether it has been driven in part by (a) a realisation of the challenges that maintaining a ‘no property’ paradigm presents in the biotechnological age and (b) an evolution in the way that the concept of property is understood as applied to human biomaterials.

The objectives of the workshop are to more…

CfP: 7th Annual Postgraduate Bioethics Conference: Bioethics in Law and Public Policy

8 Mar, 13 | by Iain Brassington

via Isra Black:

The convenors of the 7th annual Postgraduate Bioethics Conference invite doctoral students working in any area of bioethics to submit abstracts for this year’s conference, which will take place on 22-24 May 2013 at King’s College London.

In accordance with the theme of this year’s conference, we would particularly welcome papers that explore the law and/or policy dimensions of bioethics scholarship. We hope that the papers presented at PGBC 2013 will relate not only to the ethical implications of a particular issue, but also to the additional problems raised by the responses to ethical issues fashioned by laws and policies.

Please submit your abstracts to postgrad.bioethics [at] Abstracts should be in English, no more than 300 words, and in Word or preferably .pdf format.  Please note that you must be a registered PhD student, and we will only accept abstracts sent from a valid institutional email address.

The deadline for abstract submissions is 31 March 2013. Successful applicants will be notified by email by 10 April 2013. There will be an opportunity for unsuccessful applicants and those not wishing to give a paper to register as attendees (for free!) from 22 April 2013. The link to registration is:

Confirmed speakers include: Jonathan Glover (KCL), Rosamund Scott (KCL), Stephen Wilkinson (Lancaster), John Coggon (Southampton), James Wilson (UCL), Mark Sheehan (Oxford), and Tom Douglas (Oxford).

More information on PGBC 2013 is available at We are also on twitter ( and facebook ( Please contact us via social media or email (postgrad.bioethics [at] with any questions.

 We look forward to meeting you in May!

Revised CfP: 9th International Conference on Clinical Ethics Consultation

10 Sep, 12 | by Iain Brassington

The deadline for submissions to this conference has been extended to that 15th October.  Further details here.

CFP: “Neurotechnological Interventions: Therapy or Enhancement”

6 Sep, 12 | by Iain Brassington

Submissions (of 300 words max) are invited for inclusion at the TILT authors’ workshop on the theme of “Neurotechnological Interventions: Therapy or Enhancement” in Tilburg on 15-16th November 2012.  The workshop is part of the FP 7 RoboLaw project, and will lead to the publication of a volume with papers.

Abstracts shoud describe briefly how the paper that you intend to submit will shed new light on the traditional distinctions and arguments in the debate on human enhancement.  The use of casuistry from cognitive enhancement, neurotechnology or robotics is welcomed, but not a necessary condition.  Contributions from law, ethics, philosophy of technology, science and technology studies, economics and general regulation studies are especially appreciated, but scholars in the social sciences, science and technology should not hesitate to submit.

Although individual papers may take casuistry from the fields of neurotechnology and robotics as their starting point, the workshop papers and the volume to be published will primarily focus on some often returning fuzzy distinctions and arguments in the debate on human enhancement in general.  The distinction between therapy and enhancement itself is exemplary in this respect.  The distinction is often not meant to merely serve the theoretical purpose of creating definitional clarity; it is also often implicitly used to depict a class of actions  as morally unproblematic (therapy) and a class of actions as morally problematic (enhancement).  The distinction has of course been criticized  because of the blurred lines between therapy and enhancement as it builds on a presupposed vague notion of normal health conditions.  The implicit normative connotations, however, also tend to cause a lot of confusion.  In addition, many of the ethical concerns explicitly put forward in the general debate on human enhancement, especially those in which notions such as unnaturalness, cheating,  injustice, dignity et cetera occur, appear to be multilayered and often overlapping with other arguments.  In their clustered compound guise they can easily obfuscate original intuitions or emotions of indignation, but also block possibilities of resolution and agreement.  When they are meticulously analyzed and reduced to underlying constituents these arguments often become more persuasive or at least manageable.

Authors should email an abstract of their paper (relating to the theme and its elaboration) before 15 September, and upon acceptance on the basis of the abstract, a draft of the full draft paper (in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format) before 1 November 2012, so that the papers can be circulated in due time and the reviewers/ commentators can prepare themselves appropriately.  Only a limited number of external invited contributors to the volume can be reimbursed for their costs. Whether a paper will be included in the volume to be published will be decided after receiving the very final version of the paper after the author’s workshop.

Important Dates

Before 15 September: Send an email to anton.vedder{at} with a 300 words abstract of the paper you intend to submit

22 September: Notification of acceptance

Before 1 November: Submission of full paper

Before 8 November: Circulation of papers

15-16 November 2012: Workshop

7 December: Selected final papers to be handed in.


via Sheelagh McGuinness

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