29th Annual Bioethics Network of Ohio - "Ethical Issues in Mental Healthcare"

The 29th Annual Conference will take place on Friday, April 26, 2019, at the OCLC Conference Center in Dublin, Ohio (6565 Kilgour Place, Dublin, OH).

We are excited to welcome plenary speakers and break-out facilitators from diverse professional backgrounds to discuss important topics associated with this year’s conference theme: ethical issues in mental healthcare.

Check-in will begin at 8am; presentations will begin at 8:30am and conclude at 4pm. Light breakfast and full lunch are included with registration. Registration is required prior to the conference. Early-bird registration ends April 1, 2019. 

Also, we are fortunate to be partnering with Hospice of the Western Reserve to provide 5 hours of CEU credits for SW, CNE credits for nurses, and CME credits for physicians.


Descriptions of Plenary Sessions

 KEYNOTE: “The Ethics of Autism 10 Years Later: What’s Changed, and What’s Remained the Same?”

Deborah Barnbaum, PhD, Kent State University Department of Philosophy

It has been 10 years since the presenter’s book The Ethics of Autism was published.  The intervening decade has been marked by the whiplash of both surprising changes, as well as frustrating stagnation, in autism studies.  After a brief recap of the book the presenter will examine the ethical implications of some of these milestones, such as the ever-increasing number of people diagnosed with ASD, the decoupling in the DSM-5 of ASD and Asperger’s Syndrome, the rise of the neurodiversity movement, and the intermittent progress towards effective treatment, especially for older persons with ASD.  These events have significant implications for disability rights, the notion of autonomy, and narrative ethics.  The presenter concludes that autism’s ethical implications only become more complex with time.


JIM BARLOW MEMORIAL LECTURE: “Validation as Value: A Medically-Informed and Ethically-Balanced Approach to Mental Health, Addiction, and Chronic Pain”

Xavier Jimenez, MD, Cleveland Clinic

The chronic pain and opioid epidemics have recently highlighted the need for greater synergy amongst clinical, sociopolitical, and ethical fronts. At the center of these forces are lives; understanding their experiences is of utmost importance. I will propose that patient validation is a universal value, and that healthcare stands to benefit from an aligned approach to patient validation that is both medically-informed and ethically-balanced. Nowhere is this needed more than in the intersection between mental health, addiction, and chronic pain. I will discuss conceptual aspects of validation as well as bioethics, but also will offer practical considerations in this effort.


FOUNDER’S PLENARY: “Ethical Issues in Dementia Care: Who drives decisions and who goes along for the ride?”

Elizabeth O’Toole, MD, MetroHealth & Case Western Reserve University

Although ethical issues in dementia care reflect those seen in care of other groups/populations, the nature of the disease may create additional complexity in ethical assessment of “best approach” and development of solutions to dilemmas. Case review will illustrate some of the ways in which this occurs. For example, fundamental concepts in ethical analysis such as “respect for persons” and application of the principle of autonomy may require difficult and careful consideration of the variable and temporal nature of personhood—especially with respect to changed interests and interpreting previously completed Advance Directives. Further, dependency on others and residing in long-term care or assisted living arrangements is common for patients with dementia, factors which complicate ethical decision making given the confluence of caregiver values and institutional policies.


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