A list of upcoming events and conferences on a variety of bioethics issues. Events are sourced from leading bioethics centers and forums across the country as well as internationally.


Challenges to the Patient-Surgeon Relationship

September 12, 2023

7 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"There are various types of patient-surgeon relationships that have been described, some more desirable than others. In this session we will discuss how the lack of a diverse workforce can impact the patient-surgeon relationship and healthcare outcomes, explore the limits of healthcare providers duty-to-care, and discuss the impact of the Dobbs decision on the patient-physician relationship. Featuring: Richard Whyte, MD, MBA; Leisha C. Elmore, MD; Jonathan Marron, MD, MPH; Louise P. King, MD, JD"

Ethical Implications of New Biomedical Technologies in Neuroscience

September 19, 2023

7 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"Rapidly advancing neurotechnologies have improved the management of neurological and psychiatric conditions, revealed new insights about cognition, and have been used by hospitals, employers, schools, and governments. Surgeons play a key role in the development, use, and patient informed consent for implantable devices. In this session we will address these and key ethical issues that arise for surgeons in the burgeoning field of neurotechnology. Featuring: Francis X. Shen, JD, PhD; Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz, PhD, JD; Theresa Williamson, MD"

Seen Yet Invisible: Lessons from Muslim Experiences at the Margins of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Healthcare

September 22, 2023

10 AM Pacific Time, Virtual

"Speaker: Aasim I. Padela, MD, MSc, FACEP, Vice Chair for Research & Scholarship, and Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine; Professor, Bioethics and the Medical Humanities at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Drawing from the experiences of Muslim patients and providers, this lecture will extend diversity, equity and inclusion conversations to the overlooked dimension of religious identity. Leveraging research data from 15+ years of community-engaged research the talk will describe the ways in which Muslims are disadvantaged in health equity interventions and the impacts of such upon health and professional outcomes. The talk will end with practical, ethical, and data-driven recommendations to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion by attending to the religious dimensions of healthcare delivery."

How Non-medical Factors Affect Surgical Decision-making and Patient Care

September 26, 2023

7 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"As members of a profession, surgeons have multiple responsibilities to their patients, including placing patients’ interests above their own and cherishing performance above personal reward, but also fairly distributing finite medical resources. In this session we will explore the impact of external forces, including insurers and government on access to surgical care and the potential impact of conflicts of interest relating to device development and utilization. Featuring: John E. Mayer Jr., MD; Alex Everhart, PhD; Sabrina Sanchez, MD, MPH; Dane Paneitz, MD"

The Future of Bioethics: Challenges, Visions and Opportunities

September 28, 2023

6:15 PM Eastern Time, Virtual

"Dr. Ravitsky is an internationally respected public scholar, a professor of bioethics at the University of Montreal, and a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School. A fellow of The Hastings Center and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, Ravitsky is also actively involved with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She is a co-principal investigator on two recent projects awarded through the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Bridge to Artificial Intelligence program. Ravitsky has published over 200 articles and commentaries, has given over 300 talks worldwide, and is a regular contributor to the media on bioethical issues."

Health Equity and the Role of Racism-Conscious Policymaking

October 6, 2023

9 AM Pacific Time, Virtual

"Policy makers have focused on advancing health equity using race-neutral and race-conscious policy, but large racial disparities persist. An alternative approach is using racism-conscious policymaking. Join Penn LDI and Health Affairs for a virtual seminar, offered in connection with Health Affairs’ October special issue on structural racism, that will explore the possibility of racism-conscious policy, the recent Supreme Court decision’s effect on race-conscious policies, and the tools available to policy makers seeking to provide everyone with a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health."

Immigration & Health Equity: From Demagoguery to Community

October 27, 2023

10 AM Pacific Time, Virtual

"Speaker: Mark G. Kuczewski, PhD, HEC-C, The Fr. Michael I. English, SJ, Professor of Medical Ethics, Director, Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Kuczewski will briefly review the history and context of immigration to the United States and separate facts from misleading rhetoric that results from the politicization of immigration. He will explain how failure to develop rational immigration policies has negative consequences for the health of our entire communities. He will argue for a stronger advocacy role by the health professions to decouple health care from immigration status."

Conscientious Objection: The Pharmacist’s Right to Refuse to Fill Contraceptive Prescriptions

November 14, 2023

10 AM Pacific Time, Virtual

"Speaker: Tim Stratton, PhD, RPh, FAphA (pronouns he/him), Pharmacist, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Duluth. Can a pharmacist ethically refuse to honor a woman’s request to refill a prescription for contraceptives, even if the patient has refills available? Can a pharmacist ethically refuse to fill a prescription for emergency contraception? Depending upon the state in which each woman lives, “Actual answers may vary.” Two Midwest U.S. cases addressing these questions will be discussed."

Trust Takes Two: Barriers to Trust in the Healthcare System Among Ethnically Diverse Parents

November 17, 2023

10 AM Pacific Time, Virtual

"Speakers: Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH, HEC-C, Associate Professor, Center for Bioethics & Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota. Shannon Pergament, MPH MSW, Founding Member of SoLaHmo, Community-Based Research Facilitator, Community University Health Care Center. More than 20% of children in the United States live with a chronic and serious illness. Parents who care for these children are challenged by children’s intense medical needs, navigating a complex health system, and significant time demands. For parents from ethnically diverse communities, such as Somali, Hmong, and Latin American, these challenges may be compounded by numerous social and structural determinants of health including language barriers, economic insecurity, and structural racism. Recent work by the presenters and research colleagues found that common contributors to miscommunication and mistrust were lack of access to quality professional interpreters and experiences of racism in the healthcare setting. The use of a community-based participatory action approach allowed us to explore the drivers of mistrust and offer community-centered recommendations to improve the outcomes and patient experience among ethnically diverse families of children with serious illness."


National Nursing Ethics Conference

It’s Complicated: Responding Ethically from the Beginning to the End of Life

March 23-24, 2023, Virtual

From 2022: "The challenges nurses face today are monumental. They arise from the many expectations that come from patients and families, the institutions in which we work, and our professional identity within society. The reckoning with the global pandemic has highlighted the challenges we face including: our work environments, systemic racism, and disparities in healthcare. Recognizing and honoring what feels broken, we need to make space for meaning and healing, to consider a bigger picture and to imagine what is possible as we move ahead. One path is through moral agency – reflecting on perceptions of right and wrong, giving voice to ethical issues, and taking steps forward. Integrating our Code of Ethics for Nurses, the new Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, and the latest Future of Nursing Report, we acknowledge the need for an expanded discussion of ethics which embraces our roles in caring, advocacy, and promoting respect, equity, inclusion, and social justice. This conference will build ethics knowledge and skills; foster support for others in our ethical practice; address collective responses to the challenges at hand; and encourage engagement with our colleagues, institutions, and communities. In our pursuits to learn more, we honor our commitment to take care of not only our patients, but one another. "

Arizona Bioethics Network 10th Annual Conference


"The presenters will be examining “Making Space: Ethics and Neurodiversity.” This includes a historical look at the place of neurodiversity in medicine, the ethics in the diagnosis, treatment, search for genetic cause, and how the search for treatment may make parents or patients vulnerable to ineffective treatments."

Asia-Pacific Bioethics Education Network 2022 Online Conference

Annually held in May each year; Virtual

From 2022: "The Asia Pacific Bioethics Education Network (APBEN) is holding its fourth annual conference wholly online between 21st and 22nd May 2022. The conference will be co-hosted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Asian Medical Student Association Monash Malaysia (AMSA Monash Malaysia). Our 2022 theme - The New Norm of Professionalism, Bioethics and Beyond - recognizes the emerging challenges pose to the teaching and practice of Professionalism and Bioethics. We look forward to a collaborative environment where educators and healthcare practitioners come together to initiate and engage in discussions that lead to new ideas and research."

Harvard Medical School Annual Bioethics Conference

Biotechnology and the Future of Medicine

Annually held in June each year

From 2021: "The practice of medicine over the course of the last fifty years has changed dramatically. Novel technological developments will continue to generate new discoveries, therapies, and patient outcomes. Recent advances in intertwined areas, such as stem cell-based bioengineering, organoid technology, low-cost personal genome sequencing, machine learning, and human genome editing have the potential to create more effective, personalized medical treatments. But as we progress toward this biotechnologically-driven medical future, we must consider how ethical values can shape these advancements and vice versa. This online conference will examine how ethics interacts with biotechnology in medicine, and consider multiple approaches to how we might ensure that biotechnology continues to evolve ethically and for the benefit of all."

Harvard Surgical Ethics Conference

June 6-27, 2022, Virtual

From 2022: "The Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School is pleased to offer a virtual Surgical Ethics Conference over four weeks in June. Each week will feature a different topic that will explore timely and controversial questions in surgery today."

Oxford Global Health and Bioethics International Conference

June 27-28, 2021, In-person at Oxford, UK (and some sessions virtual)

From 2022: "The Oxford Global Health and Bioethics International Conference takes place every two years. It aims to foster comprehensive multi-disciplinary debate and addresses critically important ethical issues in the conception and implementation of Global Health."

Precision Medicine Annual Conference

The New "Normal"?

September 20, 2022; In-person at Boston, MA, Harvard's Joseph B. Martin Conference Center

From 2022: "This year our annual conference will focus on novel applications as well as long-standing challenges of genetic testing, a measurement modality central to precision medicine.* While the clinical applications of genetic testing have broadened from a single gene focus to increasingly available whole genome sequencing and genome-wide risk scores, there remains much confusion around the appropriate evidentiary standards for their use in clinical practice and in R&D. This conference will provide a platform to discuss foundational questions such as the nature of “normal” genetic variation in the context of both established forms of testing and cutting-edge technology. To achieve these goals, we will convene expert scientists from academia and industry who are developing new applications and technologies of genetic testing as well as laboratory directors and individuals responsible for guidelines on variant interpretation. We will frame these discussions around how best to improve precision medicine for all populations. As we have done in years past, we will center on elevating the patient voice and building patient engagement."

Western Michigan University Medical Humanities Conference

12th Annual Conference

September 22-23, 2022; Undecided if In-person or Virtual

From 2022: "This annual conference considers perspectives on the intersection of the humanities and health, including patient narratives, the history of medicine and healthcare, biomedical ethics, spirituality, arts, and literature. Due to an evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we are currently unsure whether the conference will be held physically, virtually, or hybridized. The call for abstracts is now available; abstracts are due by June 1, 2022."

American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) Conference

Engaging the Past to Energize the Future: Creating Space for Inclusive Public Discourse

October 14-17, 2023; In-person at Baltimore, MD

"The 25th anniversary of ASBH is an opportunity for us as a community to reconsider the role of bioethics and humanities in society. For example, how best to respond to divisive policies and frame honest and open discussions with those with whom we disagree. Part of this reconsideration calls for creating spaces—physical or otherwise—that facilitate interaction and deliberation. In that vein, the 2023 ASBH Annual Conference will address critical questions including: How can we frame conversations and debates to identify substantive discussion points without resorting to pure rhetoric? How best can we solicit the perspectives of key stakeholders when making decisions with broad implications? How can we destructuralize racism and other biases routinely built into healthcare access?"

American Society of Human Genetics

Annually held in end of October each year

From 2021: "The ASHG 2021 Virtual Meeting will bring the global human genetics and genomics research community together for multiple days of cutting-edge science across all areas of human genetics."

Annual Dorothy J. MacLean Conference on Clinical Medical Ethics

Annually held in November each year

From 2021: "This year's MacLean Center conference will bring together 40 of the most innovative and respected clinicians in the field of Clinical Medical Ethics. Most of our speakers will be physician-ethicists and they will include Drs. Peter Angelos, Megan Applewhite, Marshall Chin, Farr Curlin, Richard Gunderman, Jason Karlawish, Eric Kodish, John Lantos, Alvin Moss, Monica Peek, Preston Reynolds, Laura Roberts, Selwyn Rogers, Lainie Ross, David Schiedermayer, Peter A. Singer, Giuliano Testa, Susan Tolle, Alexia Torke, Peter Ubel, and 20 additional outstanding clinical ethics scholars. The exceptional lectures will address the following topics: the Covid-19 pandemic, health policy and health disparities, surgical ethics, ethical issues in end-of-life care, pediatrics and family ethics, clinical ethics decision-making and, of course, the field of Clinical Medical Ethics."

Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference

Annually held in November each year

From 2021: "Wolfson Children’s Hospital, in partnership with the Florida Bioethics Network, presents the 14th Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference. This year it will be a virtual conference with talks on pressing issues by experts in the field and will serve as fertile ground for the development and clarification of best practices in pediatric bioethics."

Reproductive Ethics Conference

Seventh Annual Conference

Annually held in January each year

"The controversies and challenges of reproductive ethics arise from new technologies, political and ideological divisions, theology, and changing cultural norms. The goal of this conference is to explore the range of topics addressed in reproductive ethics. We welcome individuals from all professional fields to create a rich and robust discussion."