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We are happy to announce an Agenda at a Glance for those of you needing more dates, times and details. Full agenda to come soon....

Theme: JUST HEALTH : Balancing Interests, Needs and Obligations

Hosted by the Department of Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University

The 2018 Annual Conference and Meeting of the Canadian Bioethics Society provides an opportunity to explore the potential contributions of bioethics to both understanding and addressing the complex and interconnected relationships between justice and health. The discussion at the 2017 conference, with its theme of "Falling through the Cracks: Ethics, Equity and the Challenges of Vulnerability", informed and stimulated our consideration of the range of options available to constructively navigate or bridge existing health practice, policy and systems gaps toward realization of justice in health and health care.

For this year’s conference, presenters and participants are invited to consider operational conceptions of justice relevant to health including, but not limited to, social justice, distributive justice, procedural justice, formal justice, restorative/reparative justice, global justiceand intergenerational justice. Applying these justice frameworks to practice, policy and systems domains,we seek to identify and achieve an optimal balance between competing interests, needs and obligations.

The conference organizers invite paper, panel, poster and lightning round abstract submissions that:

  1. Canvass the spectrum from theoretical to applied,
  2. Address new justice-related questions and issues or undertake a more in-depth analysis of known health justice concerns, and
  3. Bridge the micro, mesoand macro levels from direct care to health policy and systems.

We are particularly interested in submissions that address important justice-related matters from a wide-range of perspectives, including challenges faced by patients, family members, health care providers, policy makers, health researchers and those working in the broad field of health care ethics.

Abstract Categories

Concurrent Sessions (May 23 to May 25)

30 minutes: (20 minutes + 10 minutes moderated discussion)

45 minutes: (30 minutes + 15 minutes moderated discussion)

  • Based on the complexity of your subject matter, select the time frame that is most appropriate. Forty-five minute concurrent sessions typically have a significant conceptual component.
  • If you are using slides or other type of presentation, you will be expected to provide a copy to the conference planners two weeks in advance.

60 minute panels: (2-3 panellists) + minimum 15 minutes moderated discussion

  • A panel presentation differs from an individual oral presentation by engaging multiple perspectives.
  • This format is well-suited to topics or themes that may be controversial, are relevant to multiple levels in health systems, engage with multiple theoretical and/or pragmatic approaches and/or generally benefit from engaging with multiple perspectives
  • The abstract should include:
    • the names and institutional affiliations of the panel chair and co-presenter(s);
    • a brief description of the general theme and each of thepanellist’s contributions.
  • If you are using slides or other type of presentation, you will be expected to provide a copy to the conference planners two weeks in advance.

1/2-Day Workshops (Morning [8:30 am - 12 pm] of May 23)

  • Presenters facilitate a workshop involving discussion, audience engagement and/or group activities.
  • A workshop differs from an oral presentation in that the primary goal is to facilitate learning through participation and hands-on learning.
  • This format is well-suited for sessions designed to teach or introduce particular skills.
  • If you are using slides or other type of presentation, you will be expected to provide a copy to the conference planners two weeks in advance.
  • The abstract should include:
    • the names and affiliations of the workshop presenter and co-presenter(s);
    • a brief description of the workshop’s general theme and purpose;
    • a draft agenda; and
    • the learning objectives for participants.

Poster Presentations (May 23 - May 25)

  • A poster presentation is a printed poster that provides a description of a project or program, its goals, methods and results.
  • An electronic version (in pdf format) of all posters will be featured on the official conference website and made available for public viewing and online conversation.
  • There are dedicated times during the conference for poster viewing; presenters are required to make themselves available nearby their posters during these times in order to respond to participants’ questions.

NOTE OUR NEW CATEGORY: 5 x 5 Lightning Round

  • The 5x5 Lightning Round is a simple format consisting of 5-minute presentations using a maximum of 5slides (containing text or images) to supplement the narrative.
  • The presentation is meant to introducean idea, a dilemma or a novel issue that is of interest to the bioethics community.
  • A set of 5 slides must be provided to conference planners two-weeks in advance of the conference.

Student Submissions


  • The abstract submission process for students is the same as for others. Please refer to the guidelines below.


  • Each year, the CBS holds an abstract competition for full-time students.
  • Only abstracts submitted in the concurrent session format will be considered for a student abstract award; the primary author must be a student to be eligible. A valid piece of identification will be required at conference registration.
  • In order to be considered for a student abstract award, please check yes to the corresponding question on the Abstract Submission Form. Your completed Abstract Submission Form will be forwarded to the Student Awards Committee of the Canadian Bioethics Society Executive.

Guidelines for Submission of Abstracts

General Instructions

  • Abstract submission lengths are as follows:
    • Pre-Conference Workshop Session: maximum 1,000 words
    • Concurrent Session / Panel: maximum 500 words
    • Poster Presentation: maximum 500 words
    • 5x5 Lightning Round:  maximum 200 words
  • Abstracts may be submitted in French or English. Unless otherwise indicated, the language of submission will be assumed to be the language of presentation. However, in order to promote the bilingual character of the CBS, authors who are able to present in both languages are strongly encouraged to do so, either by adapting their Power Point presentation for both languages or by responding to questions in both official languages.
  • Note that simultaneous interpretation (SI) will be offered in the plenary session room only (not all concurrent sessions will have access to SI).
  • Unless otherwise noted, the applicant will be the main contact person. Additional authors and/or presenter(s) should be listed in the appropriate fields on the Abstract Submission Form.
  • There is no limit to the number of abstracts that an applicant may submit. However, to ensure broader participation, a maximum of one individual concurrent 30 or 45 minute session per presenting author will be accepted. An individual selected as presenter for a concurrent session may also participate in one three-person panel, a poster presentation and/or be a co-author on additional abstracts.
  • It is advisable to draft and save your abstract in a word processing software program and then copy and paste the information into the online submission form.
  • Please review your abstract to ensure it is completely accurate. If it is chosen, it will be published as it was submitted.
  • Conflicts of interests (for example: grants, consultation, memberships in advisory boards, etc.) and financing sources must be disclosed for all presenters and/or authors at the time of submission and during the workshop, concurrent, or poster presentation.
  • Concurrent session, poster and lightning round presenters must register for the conference and pay the associated fees.
  • On the abstract submission form (excluding Lightning Round), applicants are asked to identify three relevant questions that a participant could pose after attending your workshop, poster presentation or concurrent session.This information is provided to the moderators of the sessions to guide discussion as needed and is also included with the abstract in the on-line program booklet to enable participants to quickly understand the intended purpose of the presentation.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Abstracts that reflect the conference theme will receive priority in evaluation.
  • Abstracts will be reviewed by a national abstract committee established by the CBS Board.


  • Abstract applicants are required to identify at least onegeneral subject area in bioethics that relates to the topic of their submitted abstract. This information is used by the program committee to group presentations together when possible.