Call for Papers – 2019 Institute of Medical Ethics Conference, 24th-26th June 2019 Cardiff Met

Call for Papers – 2019 IME Conference

Concept, Classroom and Clinic

24th – 26th June 2019

Cardiff Metropolitan University, Llandaff Campus, Western Avenue, Cardiff, CF2 2YB


Landaff Campus, Cardiff Metropolitan University

The Institute of Medical Ethics invites abstracts for its forthcoming conference in Cardiff, 24th – 26th June 2019. The conference is designed to give opportunities for researchers, educators, clinicians, and students involved in medical ethics, medical law and medical humanities to present their academic work.

The conference organisers welcome submissions from a range of disciplines relevant to medical ethics, including bioethics, medicine, healthcare, philosophy, social sciences, law, public policy and the medical humanities. In addition to submissions from established academics, early career researchers and healthcare professionals, we also encourage submissions from postgraduate and undergraduate students.

Contributions to the 2019 conference can take the form of posters, oral presentations, lightning talks or panels. Oral presentations last 20 minutes followed by questions and discussion. Panels will run for 90 minutes and should consist of two or three papers with sufficient time for audience discussion. Lightning talks last five minutes. In addition there is the Fringe focusing on performance art/stories/live medical humanities and a session where participants can make a pitch for funding a research proposal to an expert panel.
The abstract submission process is online and open at

Confirmed keynote speakers for this conference include Professor Alastair Campbell, Professor Mike McNamee; Baroness Ilona Finlay; Professor Deborah Bowman

There are six categories of abstract. Please indicate the categories for which you have submitted your abstract.

Oral presentations: 20 minutes, followed by ten minutes’ discussion to explore the implications for research, teaching clinical practice and critical humanities (to submit under this category please select ‘Oral’ from the Presentation Format dropdown box and when inputting text in the Abstract Content box please type ORAL).

Poster presentations: there will be a prize for the best poster (to submit under this category please select ‘Poster’ from the Presentation Format dropdown box).

Panel sessions: 90 minutes: two or three speakers related to a single topic with audience discussion. Abstracts should include a proposed timetable for the session (to submit under this category please select ‘Panel’ from the Presentation Format dropdown box).

Lightning talks: 5 minutes: a chance to share work in progress on a project – anything from a Master’s dissertation, a PhD, an educational development, a challenging clinical event or a piece of critical research (to submit under this category please select ‘Oral’ from the Presentation Format dropdown box and when inputting text in the Abstract Content box please type LIGHTNING).

Fringe: 15 minutes (maybe negotiable): something different, imaginative, perhaps provocative: performance, creativity, audience interaction (to submit under this category please select ‘Oral’ from the Presentation Format dropdown box and when inputting text in the Abstract Content box please type FRINGE).

(Red*) Dragon’s Den: This is a UK version of the popular US show Shark Tank based on a Japanese programme called Money Tigers: an opportunity to pitch an imaginative idea for funding a project or piece of research. Adapted for IME, this will offer constructive criticism to those making a pitch and will avoid the brutal humiliation sometimes associated with these shows (to submit under this category please select ‘Oral’ from the Presentation Format dropdown box and when inputting text in the Abstract Content box please type DRAGON).

*The Red Dragon is a symbol of Wales and appears on the Welsh flag.

You may submit more than one abstract to this conference.

Submissions should be submitted by midnight: 31st January 2019

The conference is organised by the IME Research Committee.

For queries about this conference email:

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Rachael Healy reports on the 20th Humanitarian Congress in Berlin


In October, I travelled with Katya Baker, our GHSM Student Experience Officer, to attend the 20th Humanitarian Congress in Berlin. Although this was my third time attending the conference, I found it to be as informative, intense and inspiring as the first. Run jointly by Medecins Sans Frontieres, Medecins Du Monde and the German Red Cross, the Humanitarian Congress is a conference which always asks the most pressing and current humanitarian questions which face us in the field of global health and social medicine. The 2018 conference, which this year had the theme of “No more excuses – Advocating for human dignity in times of crisis”, was no different. By looking outward at global political discussions which have been dominated us over the last 12 months – including the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, anti-migration and isolationist sentiments and diversity and representation of minority groups in workplaces – the conference forced us to also look inside the sector for the areas in which we have failed to uphold some of the values which we preach.

The deliberate swerve from the discourse of western humanitarians as “saviours” who can do no wrong was refreshing. Speakers spoke of sexual assault in the aid sector, occurring both in cases of humanitarian abuse towards beneficiaries and also within organizations themselves. The theme of sexual harassment or violence was consistent throughout the entire weekend, with multiple female speakers and audience members from all types of organisations recounting statistics, anecdotes and personal stories of how the humanitarian sector has to work harder to better protect those – often women – who are more vulnerable to violence.

We also heard from Degan Ali, who is the Executive Director of Adeso. She spoke strongly about how she continues to deal with the “double standards of aid” in terms of what is expected from local humanitarian workers compared with the so-called “expats” who parachute into a crisis and can leave when necessary – a luxury which is not afforded to local NGO workers. Shaista Aziz, a campaigner from Oxford, highlighted how the lack of diversity and inclusion of minorities in board rooms trickles down into all parts of organisations which affects how people interact and work with each other and with communities.

Throughout the two-day conference, larger sessions moved into smaller and more specialised groups. A highlight here was a small breakout session led by leaders from MSF and MDM about how new tactics in warfare, especially by ISIS, have led to an increased danger for humanitarian workers when working in conflict zones. In 1996 when Red Cross workers were killed in Chechnya there was a global outrage; yet Aleppo, Syria, saw 22 airstrikes on hospitals across the city in just the first half of 2016. David Trevino from MSF ran the session, explaining that the emergence of ISIS has changed and blurred existing negotiation lines, leading to more hospitals, schools and supply vehicles being deliberately targeted. Much of the session also focused on an over overlooked part of humanitarian discussions, which is the “burnout” and mental health impacts this has on staff, both local and international.

A further highlight of attending the conference was to represent GHSM among similar departments from universities all over the world. Katya and I ran a King’s College London stall between sessions to advertise GHSM and the programs and work we do. It was great to receive so much interest from like-minded students and professionals, who were interested in the department’s post-graduate and research opportunities. We also connected with other universities from Copenhagen, Heidelberg and Berlin, which have some fascinating programs and summer schools which are similar and complementary to those at GHSM. Also, it was really encouraging (as someone who is fast approaching graduation!) to have some really productive and interesting conversations with professionals from organisations who were genuinely interested in and excited about what we study and focus on back in GHSM.

Although the conference welcomed discussions on current and trending events which have been prevalent in mainstream news stories, the overall theme remained as it always has – focused on upholding human dignity. Almost every session offered a timely reminder to remain reflective and self-aware whilst navigating global health delivery; that it is crucial that we, as actors who enter situations with good intentions, do not end up doing more harm to those we seek to help. Hugo Slim, from the International Committee of the Red Cross, gave final remarks by reminding us of the remaining work still to be done in “decolonising humanitarian action and work with people – not on them or “for” them”.


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Former Student Amrit Kaur Gill – Life at the Civil Service

Professional picLike many of you, before graduating I was unsure what my future career would look like. Whilst in my final year, I mainly searched for opportunities in the NGO sector in the hopes I would stumble across my dream job. I hadn’t considered working for the government until I saw the Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP) promoted on Guardian Jobs. From the advertisement, it looked like a great opportunity to gain insight into how the Civil Service works and prepare candidates for their graduate scheme, Civil Service Fast Stream. So, I decided to give it a shot and apply. This process involved completing online tests and an interview. I was thrilled when I had been accepted and placed in the Department for Education where I worked on delivering some of the government’s apprenticeship projects.

Over my placement, I set 3 objectives with my manager which I aimed to achieve by the end of my contract to receive a Fast Pass. This is a voucher code you can use to apply for the graduate scheme fast-tracking you to the assessment centre stage (on the condition that you meet your goals). Some of my targets included developing a toolkit for local authorities to raise the value of apprenticeships and delivering workshops for the 5 Cities project which aimed to increase BAME representation in apprenticeships.

My experience was truly a whirlwind and I loved every second of it. Not only was the project work fulfilling, but I was able to see how policies were implemented and I got the opportunity to work towards achieving them. The SDIP experience was great not only in developing my interests in the education sector, but there were several opportunities to get involved in a variety of additional events and workshops. These included a crisis management workshop, fundraising for charity with other interns, and tours of the Houses of Parliament.

One of the highlights from my experience was hosting workshops with training providers across the country to understand what barriers prevent BAME individuals from applying to apprenticeship programmes. This presented the opportunity to discuss how these can be overcome and what support the government could provide in doing so.

Throughout this internship, I had great development opportunities and the experience helped me discover where my interests lie, what skills I have and where I can improve. It has also sparked my interest in pursuing a career in the public sector which is why next September I will be applying for the graduate programme, and soon I will be starting a placement in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

So, next September if you are uncertain about what you should do after graduating, I would highly recommend checking your eligibility and applying for SDIP or the Fast Stream (the links are below). And one piece of advice I would give to you all is that it’s okay not to know what you want to do or have a plan for your long-term career. But there are still steps you can take in figuring out what you’re passionate about. For some of you, this could be one of the many options!

Amrit Kaur Gill

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Annual David Hobman lecture given by the Bishop of London


A packed audience was present on Monday November 19th 2018 at the Annual David Hobman lecture given by the Bishop of London on ‘Spirituality and Ageing’. The lecture in the Great Hall, King’s College London was followed by a lively question and answer session.

Photo – left to right: Chairman of Age UK (Sir Brian Pomeroy), the Bishop of London (the Right Reverend and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally), The Director of the Institute of Gerontology, (Professor Mauricio Avenda Pabon) and Professor Anthea Tinker

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GHSM students Amber Mulcahy & Miranda Weston report on their summer internships at mental health facilities in Rio de Janeiro

In June 2018, we, Amber and Miranda, spent three weeks interning in mental health facilities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We were drawn to this opportunity due to our interest in mental health and our desire to work in this field after graduation. We also would not have been able to do this without the generous funding and bursary from our department to cover the flights and additional costs of this trip. We were also drawn to the trip because it was advertised as a structured split between hands-on experience in mental health settings and academic learning at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

We also viewed it as an opportunity to expand our language skills. When we arrived, it became clear that we would need some assistance in this area. One of the students offered to be our translator for the time we were there and this was invaluable to our experience. We had never been to South America and saw this as a great opportunity to spend time in a radically different environment such as Brazil.

When spending time in mental healthcare settings, we were initially confused as to why so much healthcare was provided in primary care settings rather than specialist mental health units. However, the reason for this soon became clear when we were shown the inpatient units. The threshold for treatment at these locations was clearly significantly higher than that in the U.K. We also found that a lot of the mental health issues experienced by Brazilian citizens were as a direct result of circumstances that are unique to their locality. We questioned whether these localised mental health issues should be medicalised and/or medicated or whether they are a normal response to an acute stressor. These circumstantial experiences refer to the violence experienced, such as family members lost due to gun violence, on a daily basis by Brazilian citizens. On our days off, we were privileged to experience the attractions that Rio de Janeiro had to offer. This included Christ the Redeemer, one of the seven wonders of the world, which was amazing to see on a clear morning. We also took a cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain, which we found to be the quietest place in Rio! One of the students in the seminars at the university offered to show us the local beaches, including the famous Copacabana Beach. We also spent many hours on Flamengo and Ipanema beaches.

In view of the recent election of President Bolsonaro, who is vehemently anti-LGBT rights, we reflect on our time in the gay capital of Latin America in a different light. As members of the LGBT community ourselves, we felt safe at the time to explore the LGBT scene in Rio and be open about our sexuality. However, if we were applying next year we may be more hesitant about our safety.

We found this experience to be invaluable in enriching our skills as researchers. The opportunity to gain access to mental healthcare on the ground, sitting in on mental health consultations and therapy groups, was particularly important in broadening our experience in this field. This brought our class readings to life, now being able to read about Brazil with a lived experience of its culture and everyday life. Having the opportunity to engage with postgraduate seminars at the university enhanced our critical thinking skills. Having academic discussions with postgraduate students and PhD candidates was a wonderful opportunity to challenge our understanding of how mental healthcare should be delivered.

In summary, we are incredibly grateful to our department here at King’s for this opportunity and to those that were so welcoming to us in Rio. Particular thanks goes to our translator, Thais, who stood in at the last minute when we thought our limited language skills may bring the internship to a premature ending and a swift flight home.

Best wishes, Amber Mulcahy & Miranda Weston


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