Communication, ethics and the law in healthcare - international conference


The latest research and views on the intersections of communication, ethics and law in healthcare will be presented in Sydney at the Third International Conference on Communication, Medicine and Ethics and the Eighth Annual Seminar of the Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine (COMET-VELIM) from June 30 to July 2.

Hosted jointly by the Centre for Language in Social Life in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University and the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney, the conference features presentations from major international researchers as well as experts from all over Australia.

This conference brings together researchers, practitioners and administrators from a wide range of disciplines concerned with healthcare and the human and social sciences.

COMET-VELIM highlights include:

  • a full-day workshop on Clinical Ethics presented by Nancy Dubler, Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Division of Bioethics, Montefiore Medical Centre, New York
  • a half-day workshop on Tensions in coding and interpretive understanding: activity analysis in professional discourse settings presented by Srikant Sarangi, Professor of Language & Communication and Director of the Health Communication Research Centre, Cardiff University, UK
  • a half-day workshop on Social-Psychological Perspectives on Healthcare Communication by Cindy Gallois, Professor of Psychology and Director, Centre for Social Research in Communication, University of Queensland
  • a full-day seminar on the Limits of language, narrative and communication, featuring presentations by Miles Little, Emeritus Professor of Surgery, Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney; Jim Martin, Professor of Linguistics, University of Sydney; and Paul Komesaroff, Associate Professor, Centre for the Study of Ethics in Medicine and Society, Monash University

The conference will also feature:

Colloquia on

  • Language awareness in the bilingual healthcare setting
  • Access to healthcare: discourse and communication issues for deaf sign language users
  • Hospital interaction and communication

Presentations on

  • Discourse and decision making at the end of life
  • Mental illness in the public domain
  • Culture and language in interpreting and understanding health care
  • Patient safety and medical error
  • Risk and communication in genetic and prenatal counselling
  • Health and law

Plenary addresses on

  • Indigenous knowledge and biomedicine: the ethics of mutual incomprehension by Ian Anderson, Director, Centre for Study of Health and Society, Melbourne University
  • Brain chemicals, borderlines and risk: emerging themes in contemporary psychiatric discourse by Robert Barratt, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide.
  • Essential medicines: Public goods or rented intellectual property? by David Henry, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, School of Medical Practice and Population Health, University of Newcastle

For more information on the conference program and speakers go to

Conference sessions will be held at Macquarie University on Thursday 30 June, and the University of Sydney on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 July.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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