Care and the End of Life

Monday, January 18, 2016 - 7:30am to Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 12:30pm

Care and the End of Life
A Dying and Death Project

Call for Presentations 2016

Monday 18th January – Wednesday 20th January 2016
London, United Kingdom

This inclusive interdisciplinary event aims to explore the connections between health care systems at work across the world, matters of public, social and legal policy, caregivers and care providers, and people (‘patients’) who strive to make sense of suffering and find themselves at the end-of-life. The meeting specifically aims to consider how health care systems, patients and staff intersect and interact during hospice and palliative care interventions. Attention will be given to illuminating the importance of what takes place in the relationship between the caregiver/provider and the person/patient and the ways in which this informs end-of-life issues and decisions. Understanding the frameworks these create for shaping the experiences of people who are suffering and nearing the end of their lives, especially within hospice and palliative care contexts, will also be assessed and explored. We are interested in exploring the intersections between the medical, the social and the personal.

As hospice and palliative care strives to address and mitigate suffering, a further aim of the meeting is to assesses whether, and to what extent, meaning can be found in suffering. During the course of living our lives, we are invariably forced to stop and question why we suffer – be it through illness, pain, loss, grief or the multitude of distressing circumstances which we encounter. Problems arise in a variety of contexts and due to a bewildering variety of conditions. And because our lives are constant streams of experience, the nature of suffering and consequently the “meaning” of such suffering continually varies and changes.

The meeting will also investigate how culture impacts care for those suffering and/or dying, along with how the dead are remembered. Over the past three decades, research in thanatology has increased dramatically. As a result, we are seeking a broad array of perspectives that explore, analyze, and/or interpret the myriad interrelations and interactions that exist between death and culture. 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. Sadly, too, culture sometimes facilitates death through violence.

Contributions to the discussions on suffering, care, palliative care, dying and death are invited. These may relate to:

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; Multidisciplinary care

2: The Caregiver-Patient Relationship

    Caregiver’s (Physician’s?) Obligations and Virtues
    Medical Paternalism and Respect for the Patient, Autonomy
    Informed Consent
    Medicine in the West for a Multicultural Society
    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: Confronting Suffering at the End of Life

    Meanings of suffering at the end of life
    Responses to suffering
    Practice(s), resolution(s), settlement
    Case studies
    Non-human suffering at the end of life
    Categories of suffering: as a problem; a condition; an expression; an experience; a position of powerlessness; a consequence of meaninglessness; a result of affliction.
    Theories of suffering: the work of the disciplines, professions and vocations
    Representation of end of life suffering in literature, film, tv, theatre, radio, literature, art and cyberculture
    Religious perspectives on suffering at the end of life

4: 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

5: Representations of Relationships Between Dying, Care, Suffering and Culture in:

    broadcast media
    religious broadcasting
    comic books
    novels / poetry / short story
    print media
    internet / technology
    popular art / architecture
    sacred vs. profane space

The Advisory Group welcomes the submission of proposals for papers, short workshops, practitioner-based activities, performances, and pre-formed panels. We also welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.

Call for Cross-Over Presentations
The Care at the End of Life project will be meeting at the same time as a project on Evil Spaces, Wicked Places. We welcome submissions which cross the divide between both project areas. If you would like to be considered for a cross project session, please mark your submission “Crossover Submission”.

Further details and information can be found at:

What to Send
300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 14th August 2015.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project 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.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 28th August 2015.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 11th December 2015.

Abstracts may be in Word, 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 programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Care at the End of Life Abstract Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:

Organising Chairs:

Nate Hinerman:
Rob Fisher:

This event is part of an emerging inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing project which overlaps projects working in the areas of Sexuality, Spirituality, Gender and other related areas. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

It is anticipated that a number of publishing options will arise from the work of the project generally and from the meeting of Exploring the Erotic stream in particular. Minimally there will be a digital eBook resulting from the conference meeting. Other options, some of which might include digital publications, paperbacks and a journal will be explored during the meeting itself.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net 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 for presentation. Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.


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