Annual Conference

FINAL 12 18ASBH 22nd Annual Conference

*Conference Update

It is difficult to believe how our world has changed in recent months. Despite the challenging circumstances, ASBH members continue to educate across the health professions and beyond; contextualize our professional and human experiences using history, literature, poetry, and the arts; contribute to rapid development and deployment of virtual learning and telehealth communications; provide patient care as nurses, doctors, and ethics consultants; support the ethical conduct of research; and engage in institutional and public policymaking.

ASBH leadership and staff have been monitoring conditions as we plan for our Annual Conference, scheduled for October 15-18, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. We are mindful of the uncertainties regarding COVID-19 outbreaks now and their possibility in the fall. We are committed to protecting the health and safety of attendees, ASBH staff, and local staff. And we are concerned about the travel challenges many of us could face in October. Consequently, the ASBH Board of Directors has decided to hold the 2020 meeting as a virtual conference.

The Board of Directors and the Program Committee will work closely with ASBH staff to plan an engaging, virtual conference. We are excited to explore the theme ‘Justice and Flourishing in a Pluralistic World’ together. The theme could not be more fitting for the realities facing our communities, nation, and the world.

Aware of this possibility, the Program Committee has already begun workshopping a virtual approach to our conference. As previously announced, presenters will be notified later in June regarding the status of their submission.

We understand that some of you will be relieved by this decision and others will be disappointed. We are committed to providing compelling content, networking and professional development opportunities, a vibrant exhibit hall, and space to engage with friends and colleagues socially. We hope that colleagues who often are unable to attend the in-person Annual Conference will be able to us for our virtual conference.

We hope that you remain safe and healthy during these unusual times. Please continue to save the dates (October 12-18, 2020) and stay tuned for more details regarding conference presentations, registration, and other opportunities. We look forward to sharing more information with you in the coming weeks.


Ana S. Iltis, PhD
President, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities

Thomas V. Cunningham, PhD, MA, MS
Program Committee Chair, American Society for Bioethics and Humanities 

Program Theme
Justice and Flourishing in a Pluralistic World

Program Description

The 22nd ASBH Annual Conference takes place at a time when themes that preoccupy the bioethics and health humanities community are receiving increased national attention. By focusing on justice and flourishing, we invite submissions that interrogate, bolster, and reflect upon those themes and our past, present, and future ways of approaching them. We wonder: What does it mean to seek justice in a world where injustices are manifest? What does it mean to practice tolerance in a pluralistic society, yet also seek truth or certainty in response to moral dilemmas? How should we pursue social justice as educators, scholars, public intellectuals, clinicians, policymakers, and humanists? Should we at all? What is human flourishing and what are the institutions and practices that support it? What role should we have in supporting human flourishing? We invite submissions responsive to questions like these, as well as perennial topics in bioethics and health humanities. We also invite interprofessional and interdisciplinary approaches to these subjects, including empirical bioethics, critical humanities, religious bioethics, activist scholarship, conceptual analysis, education theory, economic analysis, policymaking, and traditional methods in bioethics and health humanities.

After participating in this conference, attendees should be able to:

  • Discuss emerging issues in bioethics and the medical humanities
  • Discuss and apply recent research findings related to bioethics and the medical humanities
  • Articulate differing conceptions of justice within a pluralistic society

Session topics include:

  • Clinical ethics and clinical ethics consultation
  • Religion, culture and social sciences
  • Arts and literature
  • Philosophy and history
  • Research ethics and empirical research
  • Law, public health policy, organizational ethics
  • Education and inter-professional studies
  • Diversity, disparity and inclusion

Who Should Attend

The American Society of Bioethics and Humanities (ASBH) Annual Conference is designed for physicians, nurses, attorneys, historians, philosophers, professors of literature and the humanities, members of the clergy, social workers, and others engaged in endeavors related to clinical and academic bioethics and the health-related humanities. 

Continuing Education Credit


Past/Future Conferences




2020 Program Committee

Thomas Cunningham, PhD, Chair
Kaiser Permanente

Stacey Tovino, JD, PhD
UNLV William S Boyd School of Law

Devan Stahl, PhD
Baylor University 

Erin Lamb, PhD
Hiram College 

Board Liaisons

Ana Iltis, PhD
Wake Forest University

Kayhan Parsi, HEC-C, JD, PhD
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine 

Thank you to our 2019 Sponsors!

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