Main content

    Bioethics Conferences, Lectures, and Events

    Dr. Albert Johnson

    The Program hosts several events each year for the public and for staff; from week long retreats to hour long lectures. Additionally, our Video Library provides videos from previous ethics education events.

    Summer Workshop 2016  |  Ethics WebEx Conferences  |  Department of Medicine Noon Conference Series  |  The Albert R. Jonsen Bioethics Symposium  |  Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education

    Summer Workshop 2016

    Resolving Conflict in the Clinical Setting: A Skills Workshop
    and Common Ethical Issues Encountered in Patient Care
    Summer Workshop agenda

    At the 11th annual Summer Workshop, seventy participants from twenty-seven different northern California institutions took part in the all-day skills building and case-based training. For details, please read Ethical Times #46. Should you have any inquiries regarding the content or details from any previous workshop, please call our office.

    PMHV staff would like to thank all participants from this year’s Workshop and those who have taken part at any time in the past eleven years. We look forward next summer to the twelfth annual Summer Workshop. A date and topic will be chosen by the end of the year.

    “Each year, bioethics committee members from both large and small hospitals in Northern California are treated to an excellent education opportunity, PMHV's annual Summer Workshop for Hospital Ethics Committees hosted at CPMC. The topics are always appropriate and timely. The presentations are case based and patient oriented. And there is always a time to collaborate and ask questions."
    Lynette R. Grandison, MD: Physician and Chair, Ethics Committee, Memorial Medical Centre, Modesto

    Back to top

    Ethics WebEx Conferences

    Upcoming Event
    End of Life Option Act
    Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

    This education session will highlight the recently implemented California law that allows terminally ill patients to request a life ending medication from their physician. The basics of the new law will be discussed, including the rights and responsibilities of providers and health care organizations in the context of the law. This talk will explore the different dimensions of the California End of Life Option Act and the ethical issues raised by this law.

    Past Events

    Decision Making for the Unrepresented Patient
    Monday, April 11, 2016
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D, and Shilpa Shashidhara, Ph.D.

    Patients who lack decisional capacity and have no friends or family to speak on their behalf are among the most vulnerable sections of our society. This WebEx presentation will use case studies to discuss best practice clinical and organizational approach in making health care decisions for unrepresented patients. Scenarios involving routine and aggressive medical treatments, withdrawal of life support, and other commonly encountered issues that providers face when caring for these patients will be discussed. This session will also outline policy and institutional considerations to address how unrepresented patients should be treated in the health care setting.

    Refusal of Therapy by Patients with Capacity Limitations: Ethical Approaches
    Monday, February 22, 2016
    Faculty: Paul J. Ford, PhD

    At times patients make what we perceive as ill-advised choices. This can be refusing life-saving surgery, being discharged to a risky environment, or being non-adherent to medical advice. Finding a way to balance our obligation to provide standard care and promote patient wellbeing with respecting a patient’s values and choices is always difficult. This talk will explore the ethical considerations in developing treatment plans to address these “ill-advised” choices in patients whose decisional capacities are called into question.

    What is Death and What is Wrong with It?
    November 13, 2015
    Faculty: John Harris, FMedSci., FRSA, D.Phil., University of Manchester

    How should we think about the prospect of death and, for example, the ethics of various scenarios for assisted dying or for definitions of death for the purposes of organ procurement? How should we think about medically assisted dying and about advance directives or so called “living wills’ which request death in certain specified future circumstances including circumstances where the subject has lost competence?

    This WebEx was led by invited guest Professor John Harris. Dr. Harris is a British philosopher and director of The Institute for Science, Ethics, and Innovation at the University of Manchester. He is one of the leading and most influential public figures in bioethics and has acted as Ethical Consultant to a number of national and international bodies and corporations. Dr. Harris was invited as part of our Clinical Neuroethics Initiative, developed to specifically address the clinical ethical issues arising in neuroscience.

    Advance Care Planning – I & II Understanding and Implementing Advance Directives
    August 17, 2015
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D, and Shilpa Shashidhara, Ph.D.

    Health care providers are obligated to honor patient wishes and preferences as documented in their Advance Heath Care Directive. With different forms of Advance Directives available, there is a need to clarify what constitutes a valid advance directive. This WebEx session will address the components of an Advance Directive and what it means in providing ethically appropriate patient-centered care.

    The Right to Say No: When medical treatments are non-beneficial
    May 2015
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D, and Shilpa Shashidhara, Ph.D.

    At the conclusion of this course, the learner was able to understand the criteria for defining non-beneficial treatments, manage conflicts around non-beneficial treatment decisions and describe the legal guidelines for declining medical requests for non-beneficial treatments.

    Whose Decision is it? Guidelines for Health Care Decision Making
    January 2015
    Faculty: Ruchika Mishra, Ph.D, and William S. Andereck, MD.

    At the conclusion of this course, the learner was able to list the steps for medical decision making in different patient care scenarios, describe the role of a surrogate decision maker and standards applicable to them and differentiate between the "substituted judgment" and "best interest" standards for medical decision making.

    Back to top

    Department of Medicine Noon Conference Series

    Here are the upcoming dates when a PMHV speaker will lecture about a clinical ethics topic for CPMC’s medical residents. This annual lecture series is part of our collaboration with Graduate Medical Education, where we teach clinical ethics to physicians in training.

    • Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

    Back to top

    The Albert R. Jonsen Bioethics Symposium

    The Journey of Bioethics: Past, Present, and Future
    Thank you to everyone who attended this event. It's not too late to make a contribution to the campaign.

    Back to top

    Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education

    Dr. Andereck (back row, middle), Dr. Kushner (back row, second from left), Dr. Mishra (front row, furthest left), Dr. Shashidhara (front row, furthest right) joined by fellow bioethicists at the 2016 Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education, Paris.

    The International Bioethics Retreat

    Dr. Andereck (back row, furthest right), Dr. Kushner, Dr. Shashidhara (second row, furthest right) and Dr. Mishra (front row, third person from the right), joined by fellow bioethicists at the 2016 International Bioethics Retreat, Paris.

    Cambridge University Press partners with Sciences Po, Chesapeake IRB, Reid Hall (Columbia University) and Program in Medicine and Human Values, to host the Cambridge Consortium for Bioethics Education. This annual consortium, allied with the International Bioethics Retreat, brings bioethics educators from all over the world to engage in information sharing, bioethics education innovation, and scholarship. We at PMHV take pride in our long-standing international collaborations, thus we are well represented as both events are organized by Dr. Thomasine Kushner, with Dr. William Andereck serving as Master of Ceremonies. Please visit for dates and more detailed information.
    Back to top