1st Global Conference (2017)

Loneliness by Oliver Steiner

Loneliness by Oliver Steiner

1st Global Conference

The End of Life Experience
Dying, Death and Culture in the 21st Century

including a guided tour of Belém and the Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon

Saturday 17th March 2018 – Sunday 18th March 2018
Lisbon, Portugal

This inclusive interdisciplinary conference explores dying and death and the ways culture impacts care for the dying, the overall experience of dying, and how the dead are remembered. Culture not only presents and portrays ideas about “a good death” and norms that seek to achieve it, culture also operates as both a vehicle and medium through which meaning about death is communicated and understood.

A central theme in our meeting this year will involve tracing on-going and profound shifts in contemporary attitudes toward death. The “Lisbon mandate” asserts palliative care to be a fundamental human right, one that is based on the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and one that continually explores implementation and design thinking that put into place health policies that address the needs of patients with life-limiting or terminal illnesses. Building on this mandate, the conference brings together a wide variety of disciplines to consider these goals. Lisbon has a rich history in forging provocative, new, creative, and interdisciplinary paths forward that expand how palliative care is defined, offered, and accessed. Our conference will explore these connections as well as those between contemporary technologies, social media hubs and current health care delivery systems that impact current end-of-life issues and decisions. Included in our discussions will be the experience of bereavement and grief, particularly in relation to how patients, staff and survivors intersect amidst newly emerging care settings.

We welcome submissions that engage medical, therapeutic, cinematic, historical, ethnographic, ethical, literary, anthropological, philosophical, theological, political, or artistic approaches to relationships between dying, death and culture, including:

  • How might health care systems integrate empathic design principles across the entire spectrum of the end of life experience? How might new technologies offer new propositions for models of care?
  • How might we implement best practices in high-quality, patient-centred care?
  • How do options such as Physician Aid in Dying (sometimes called Physician Assisted Dying) factor into contemporary dying trajectories, and how best might we consider the quality vs. quantity balance?
  • How might cultural, spiritual and traditional belief systems and practices more fully empower our relationship with mortality, both in personal and professional settings?
  • How are cultural attitudes toward death and dying currently depicted across various artistic and media platforms?

We welcome everyone who struggle to understand, assess, re-imagine and/or improve the end of life experience. Augmenting our rich conversations, our ethos aspires to create essential partnerships that can drive local visions for patient-centred, high-quality care that can help transform the end of life experience in differing geographic environments. To that end, we invite collaboration with organizations and individuals ready to change the conversation about living and dying.

Progressive Connexions also invites papers from caregivers, artists, therapists, theologians, thought leaders, stake holders, medical professionals, entrepreneurs, designers, patients, activists, journalists, policy makers, developers, technologists, and academics from across these and other disciplines that respond to or innovatively (re-)frame any of the following additional core conference themes listed below:

1: Health Care Systems: Patients, Staff, and Institutions
Modern Health Care Delivery Systems and Care for the Dying
Palliative Care
Elder Care/Ageing in Place Models
Trauma and Emergency Care
Nursing Homes/Skilled Facilities/Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs)/Assisted Living
Clinical Competencies in Pain Management and Symptom Control
Measurements, Incentives, Regulatory Statutes, and Recommendations
Continuity of Care Across Treatment Settings
Interdisciplinary Care

2: The Caregiver-Patient Relationship
The Obligations and Virtues of Caregivers
Medical Paternalism and Respect for the Patient, Autonomy
Informed Consent
Medicine in Multicultural Societies
Contested Therapies Within the Physician-Patient Relationship
Conflicts of Interest; Problems of Conscience
Caregiver Stress/Caregiver Burnout/Compassion Fatigue
Being With Someone Who Is Dying
Assessment Challenges/Barriers

3: End-of-Life Issues and Decisions
Defining Death
Organ Transplantation and Organ Donation
The Interplay of Ethical Meta-Principles at the End of Life
Death Anxiety
Choosing Death
Advance Directives/Advance Planning/Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatments (POLST)/Do Not Resuscitate
Considering End-of-Life Issues and Decisions and Legislation

4: Relationships Between Death and Culture:
Dying, death and the internet
Dying, death and social media
Dying, death and music
The end of life experience in literature, film, theatre, television and radio
Death and athletics
Death in comic books and graphic novels
The architectures of dying and death
Dying, death and advertising
Consumerism and the end of life

The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics will be publishing a themed special edition under the guest editorship of Nate Hinerman focusing on themes arising from discussions held at the conference. Subject to the normal review processes operated by the journal and Cambridge University Press, a small number of submissions will be invited for development and inclusion in the themed edition.

What’s so special about Progressive Connexions events?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – we at Progressive Connexions are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are history-laden and suited to the event. And to further tickle your appetite for exploration, learning and discovery, our Lisbon 2018 event package includes personalized tours of some of the most relevant historical and cultural sites in the city.

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGOs, voluntary sector workers and many more in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, panels, q&a’s, performances etc.

300 word reviews of your proposed contribution (paper abstracts, proposals for workshops, collaborative works or round tables, overviews of artistic projects or any other relevant forms of participation you are interested in) should be submitted to the Joint Organising Chairs. All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Advisory Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed. If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 16th February 2018.

Proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled:  End of Life Submission

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Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.