Frequently Asked Questions

Annual Conference and Proposals



What is the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH)?

The Society is an educational organization whose purpose is to promote the exchange of ideas and foster multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and inter-professional scholarship, research, teaching, policy development, professional development, and collegiality among people engaged in all endeavors related to clinical and academic bioethics and the health-related humanities.

How large is ASBH? 

ASBH membership varies throughout the year, but as of December 2021, ASBH has more than 1,950 members.

Does ASBH have a set of bylaws?

ASBH’s Bylaws describe the purpose of the organization, the makeup of its Board of Directors and major standing committees, and major rules by which the Board must abide. Read ASBH’s Bylaws here.

Can ASBH take “stands” on moral or policy issues?

ASBH leadership and its Board of Directors must abide by ASBH’s Bylaws, which prohibit the Society from attempting to influence legislation and issuing positions on substantive moral and policy issues. The Society may, however, adopt positions on matters related to academic freedom and professionalism in the fields of bioethics and the health humanities upon an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the full Board of Directors. Read ASBH’s Bylaws here.

What statements has ASBH made that are permissible within our bylaws?

See our most recent statements on Academic Freedom and Racial Injustice and Professionalism. Previous statements can be obtained by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Does ASBH have a code of ethics? 

ASBH's Code of Ethics set out the core ethical responsibilities of individuals performing healthcare ethics consultation. Read the Code of Ethics here.

Who are the current leaders of ASBH? 

ASBH is led by an Executive Committee that comprises the President, the Immediate Past President, the President-Elect, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The rosters of the current Executive Committee and Board of Directors are available here

Who is the ASBH spokesperson?

The President of the Board serves as the official spokesperson for ASBH. The President may from time to time designate other board members or past presidents to serve in this capacity for specific purposes or occasions.

What are ASBH’s strategic initiatives? 

ASBH’s Board of Directors has identified strategic priorities for the Society in six areas: the annual conference; resources for ethics consultation; certification for healthcare ethics consultants; the health humanities; governance and leadership; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Learn more about ASBH's Strategic Priorities here.

How is ASBH working to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the Society? 

In 2019, ASBH adopted the following strategic priority: “Define diversity, equity, and inclusion goals for ASBH as an organization and how those values will be reflected through ASBH programs.” In support of this priority, the Board of Directors approved a framework to provide structure and guidance for the Society’s DEI efforts. The foundational vision of the framework is to welcome, encourage, and support people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, beliefs, abilities, and identities who are engaged in bioethics and humanities. We encourage all to view the areas of focus and goals included in the framework.

Does ASBH endorse other meetings? 

ASBH will accept applications for endorsement of meetings sponsored by colleges, universities, and other non-profit organizations. ASBH will list the meetings it endorses on its website but will provide no other support. ASBH will not endorse meetings that occur within 4 weeks of ASBH’s Annual Conference. Download a Meeting Endorsement Application here.

Does ASBH have its own journal? 

ASBH does not have its own journal, but ASBH has published three texts for clinical ethics consultants, available here. Through agreements with publishers, ASBH members qualify for discounts on a number of bioethics and health humanities journals. The full list of discounted journals is available here.

What is ASBH's advertising policy? 

ASBH offers year-round opportunities to advertisers in the following categories:

  • Publishers, book distributors and others related to the publishing field
  • Academic programs or organizations
  • Professional societies
  • Other organizations or institutions relevant to bioethics and the health humanities and whose aims are consistent with ASBH's mission and goals as approved by the ASBH President or designee.

Learn more about the available opportunities here.



Who may become a member of ASBH? 

Membership is open to anyone interested in the specialties of bioethics and the health humanities. Our current membership spans a range of professional disciplines, including medicine, nursing, social work, theology, research, education, and public health.

What are the benefits of membership? 

ASBH offers members the opportunity to share their clinical or academic interests, network with others who practice in similar settings, and advance their careers. ASBH members are entitled to a range of networking opportunities such as special interest Affinity Groups, career development programs, and a membership directory. Learn more about the benefits here.

How do I log in as a member on the ASBH website? 

How do I access the Membership Directory? 

You can access the database by clicking on “Membership Directory” under the Membership tab of the ASBH website menu. If you are not logged in at that point, you will be prompted to do so before you can access the page. AFter you log in, you can search by name, location, area of expertise, work setting, and the Healthcare Ethics Consultant-Certified (HEC-C) credential.

How do I update my contact information? 

To update your contact information, log into the ASBH website and click “My Account” on the upper-right corner of the screen. Click “Edit Contact Information,” and then update your name, credentials, phone number, email, or web links as desired. To change your address or update your affiliation, click “Edit” below the Primary Address section. Remember to click “Save Changes” at the end! You can update your area of expertise, degrees earned, professional discipline, position, and primary work setting by clicking on “Demographics” on the left side in the About Me section. You can also update your information by contacting Member Services.

Can I renew my membership online? 

How can I access a copy of the receipt for payment of my membership dues? 

To access a copy of your receipt, log into the ASBH website and click “My Account” on the upper-right corner of the screen. Click on “Purchase History” in the menu on the left side of the page. Adjust the date range to match the desired purchase date. To focus on a specific order, click on its order number on the right side. You can then save or print the receipt by clicking “Printable View.” You can also contact Member Services at 847.375.4745 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a receipt.

How do I join an Affinity Group?

To join an Affinity Group, log into the ASBH website and click “My Account” on the upper-right corner of the screen. On the left side, click “Affinity Groups” in the Membership and Participation section. Check the box for each group you would like to join, and then click “Save.” Learn more about Affinity Groups here.

How do I post to the ASBH ListServe? 

You can post to the ListServe by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from the email address affiliated with your ASBH account. If you are not sure which email address is affiliated, contact Member Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please consult the ASBH ListServe policy before submitting a post, and note that your message may be held for up to 36 hours to avoid conflict with official ASBH announcements.

How do I post a job to the Career Center? 

To access the Career Center, visit the Career Opportunities page on the ASBH website, and then click “Post jobs.” If you have never posted a job before, you will need to create an Employer account with our partner, Naylor. Your ASBH log-in credentials are not compatible with the Career Center; you will need to log into or create a Naylor account. To do so, click “Sign In” on the right side, next to “Help.” After you have logged into a Naylor account, you can click “Post Jobs” to create a new post or view options for managing existing posts and applications.

How can I serve ASBH? 

ASBH offers many opportunities for members to get involved in all facets of the Society. Members interested in serving are encouraged to read their emails from ASBH and respond to the opportunities that best suit their interests and availability. Calls for volunteers will also be posted to the new Service Opportunities page on the ASBH website.

How are volunteers selected? 

Each opportunity has a unique set of preferred qualifications and necessary availability for volunteers. Some positions, such as Peer Reviewer and Executive Committee Member, require applicants to have had prior experience participating in ASBH programs or serving ASBH. Depending on the opportunity, volunteers may be selected by committee chairs, category leaders, or the ASBH President. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and their selection processes here.


Annual Conference and Proposals


What if I did not anonymize my abstract?

Abstracts that contain identifying information will not be reviewed or accepted for the program. You are responsible for removing all identifying information, such as speakers’ names and institutions, from the abstract prior to submission. Please double-check your proposal before submitting to make sure your proposal does not have any identifying information.

Can I see examples of abstracts that were accepted into the conference?

You can see examples of accepted abstracts in the 2022 Annual Conference schedule.

Can I submit my abstract to other conferences?

You are not able to submit an ASBH proposal to other conferences or journals prior to the proposal deadline, and ASBH may not consider a paper whose central, substantive content has already been published.

How do I write an effective abstract?

The Program Committee has provided a series of tips for writing an abstract, available here. Please note that you are not required to use these guidelines and their use does not guarantee an opportunity to present at the Annual Conference.



How can I get an accommodation for a special need? 

Special accommodations can be requested in the proposal submission form. Please contact ASBH’s Education and Operations Manager, Lauren Winters, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. regarding any further accommodations.

My co-presenter cannot present in person. Can they present virtually instead?

It is expected that all presenters must attend the Annual Conference in-person in order to present. Only submit proposals including presenters that will agree to register and pay to attend the conference in Baltimore.


Co-Authors of Papers and Flash Presentations

May co-authors of a paper or flash presentation present at the conference?

Paper and flash presentations will have only one designated presenter. A co-author that chooses to attend the conference may offer brief remarks, but the designated presenter will be the only formal presenter recognized in conference materials and communications.

Do co-authors need to register and attend the conference?

No, co-authors of paper and flash proposals are not required to attend the conference. If they do choose to attend, they will be required to register and pay for the conference registration.

Will co-authors be recognized in the conference program?

Co-authors will be recognized by name in the conference schedule.



By which date do I need to submit a proposal?

All proposals must be submitted by 6 pm CT, Monday, March 6, 2023. No proposals or changes will be accepted after that time. The ASBH office closes at 5 pm Central Time (6 pm ET/3 pm PT), and no live assistance will be available after that time. It is advisable to submit your proposal well in advance of the proposal deadline.

I’ll be away from work during the week of the deadline. Can I get an extension?

We are unable to offer any extensions, and thus we strongly recommend that all those submitting proposals do so well in advance of the deadline.

I thought my proposal was submitted, and now the deadline has passed. What can I do?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer any exceptions for those who did not submit their proposal in advance of the deadline. Be sure to hit the “submit” button on the top right of your proposal page to enter your proposal into consideration. You will receive a confirmation email once your proposal has been submitted; please be sure to check the submission portal if you did not receive a confirmation email.



Where will the Annual Conference be held this year?

The 2023 Annual Conference will be held in-person at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, MD.

How does ASBH choose conference locations?

The Board of Directors chooses conference locations using a number of determinants, including site price, room rates, available dates, additional costs and fees, and average flight costs from locations across the country.



How are registration rates determined? 

Registration rates are set by the Board of Directors each year during the budgeting process. The Board balances the need to cover conference expenses with the desire to keep registration rates accessible and comparable with similar interdisciplinary conferences. 

Do speakers need to register for the conference? 

All speakers must register and pay for the conference in order to present. Speakers who have gone through the abstract submission process must register by a specific deadline in order to reserve a spot in the conference schedule. Visit the conference page for more information on registration deadlines.

How can I get a discount on ASBH Annual Conference registration? 

ASBH offers discounted rates for students and members. If you decide not to become a member, you can still receive a $100 discount by registering before the early-bird deadline in September.


Review Process

By which criteria are abstracts reviewed?

Abstracts are reviewed using a rigorous 3-stage process:

  1. All submissions are reviewed anonymously by three ASBH members recruited for their expertise in the topic category selected. Each reviewer is asked to score the proposal on a 5-point scale considering contribution to existing knowledge; innovation, cutting-edge, and novelty; presentation of innovative solutions to current issues in the fields of bioethics and humanities; cross-disciplinary approaches; and quality of the written proposal.
  2. At the second stage of the process, one experienced reviewer for each category assesses all the individual and average scores throughout that category, taking into consideration factors such as significance, innovation, relevance, breadth of topic, and appropriateness for the meeting.
  3. Finally, the Program Committee—with access to all the previous assessments—selects the strongest proposals that address topics of interest to a multidisciplinary community. The committee then considers balance among the categories and subjects, and scans for unique or unusual topics. At this stage, the names of all presenters are revealed to ensure compliance with the two-presenter rule.

When will I know if my proposal has been accepted?

All proposal submitters will be notified in late June or early July 2023.



May I include speakers outside the fields of bioethics and the health humanities in my conference proposal? 

ASBH’s Guest Speaker Policy allows for speakers outside the fields of bioethics and the health humanities to offer a unique point of view at the Annual Conference. Designated Guest Speakers may attend the session at which they are presenting without paying registration fees, with the understanding that they will attend only the session in which they are presenting. This designation is limited to nonmembers who otherwise would not attend the ASBH Annual Conference and who either (1) work in a governmental, industry, or comparable capacity not directly related to bioethics or the health humanities and would bring a unique point of view; or (2) represent patients and/or family members who have a connection to the topic being presented. To submit a request for the Guest Speaker designation, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the desired guest’s name, email, and an explanation of their qualification for the designation.

How can my co-presenters submit a conflict of interest (COI) disclosure form? 

All co-presenters will be prompted to complete a COI disclosure form via the email listed on the proposal submission. All co-presenters must complete the form in order to successfully submit a proposal for review.

What if my co-presenters haven’t submitted a conflict of interest?

All co-presenters must complete their COI form in order for the proposal to be reviewed. Please reach out to your co-presenters directly if they fail to complete the form by the proposal deadline. You can resend the prompt to complete the form by opening the “Conflict of Interest Policy” task and clicking on the appropriate presenter.

What’s the difference between a co-author and a co-presenter?

Co-authors will only be listed on paper or flash presentations; co-authors will not be recognized as presenters in the conference schedule and communications. Co-authors are not required to attend the conference.

Co-presenters may contribute to a preconference workshop, panel, workshop, debate, or performance/exhibition. Panels and debates are required to list at least one co-presenter on their proposal submission. Co-presenters are required to submit COI information, register for the conference and pay the appropriate registration fee, and attend the conference in person. 

My co-presenter did not receive a COI form prompt. Can I resend it to them?

You can resend the prompt to complete the form by opening the “Conflict of Interest Policy” task and clicking on the appropriate presenter.




How will I know if my proposal has been submitted?

You will need to press the blue “submit” button on the upper-right corner of your proposal page to submit. You will receive a confirmation email upon submission, and your proposal will then be marked “complete” on the submission portal. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please revisit the proposal submission portal to confirm your proposal’s status or resend the confirmation email.

What do I need to submit a proposal?

You can view a list of proposal requirements and more information about the various proposal formats here.

I inputted my information, but I don’t see a “Submit” button at the top of the screen. How do I make sure my proposal was submitted?

If you do not see a “Submit” button at the top of the page, you have not yet completed all of the tasks required to submit your proposal. Check that each task is complete by looking for a green checkmark, and finish any outstanding tasks in order to submit the proposal for review.

What if I need to change my proposal after I submitted it?

Please reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any requested changes. We are unable to make any substantive proposal changes, including any changes to the abstract, title, learning objectives, category, or presentation format, after the submission deadline.



What is the relationship between ASBH and the HCEC Certification Commission?

In 2017, ASBH decided to advance its mission by creating a functionally autonomous body, the Healthcare Ethics Consultant Certification Commission (“the Commission”), with responsibility for administering a certification program for healthcare ethics consultants. The purpose of the certification program is to promote excellence and professionalism within the field of health-care ethics consultation by documenting individual performance as measured against a predetermined level of knowledge and skill.

The Commission has autonomy in decision making for all essential certification policies and activities such as eligibility standards; standards for initial certification and maintaining certification; disciplinary determinations; the development, administration, and scoring of examinations; and the selection of subject-matter experts.

ASBH retains decision-making authority for non-essential certification decisions including those related to staff selection and office location; marketing and communication efforts; and final budget or contract approval as long as sufficient financial resources are provided for the certification program and  as long as policies and procedures are in place to provide for autonomy in essential certification decisions. These decisions shall be made in collaboration or consultation with the Commission.

How can I obtain the Healthcare Ethics Consultant-Certified (HEC-C) credential?

To become an HEC-C, you must meet the qualifications outlined in the Candidate Handbook, pay the application fee, and pass the qualifying examination. Learn more about the process and download an application here.


Still have questions? Contact ASBH Member Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 847.375.4745.