2017 National Bioethics Symposium

The 2nd Biennial National Bioethics Symposium will be held in Berkeley, California from November 2nd to November 4th. This conference will be taking on important issues, speaking to timely values of the Organization—Social Justice, Vulnerable Populations, and Bias. At this symposium, we will look deeply at how we can continue to be both the best place to work and the best place to receive care, not only in the face of an ever-changing political tumult, but because of the opportunities the tumult provided to act courageously. This is a conference for our inpatient providers who struggle daily with difficult ethical issues, our quality teams who continually seek to raise the bar of care without losing the voice of our patients, and our administrators who carry the weight of decisions that can impact a great number of people. In particular, our ethics committee members will benefit from review and exploration of our shared social ideals, and some of the difficult moral problems we face.

Our plenary speakers will be addressing myriad issues that speak to the mission of all health care providers.

Dr. Mary Bassett, MD, MPH is the current health commissioner of New York City, and will speaking to the need for health care practitioners to care more about social justice.

Dr. Carol Tavris, PhD, Social Psychologist and Author of Mistakes Were Made (but not by me), will speak on how self-justifying behavior can harm an organization and how we can guard against it.

Dr. Renee Binder, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and the founder and director of UCSF's Psychiatry and the Law Program, served as Past President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and served as President of APA from 2015 to 2016. She will talk about mental illness, violence and victimization.

This conference will also devote significant time to issues that arise universally across our program, such as responding to the people in our communities struggling with mental health issues in often hostile environments, providing culturally competent care to our transgender and non-gender-conforming members, difficult issues in decisional-capacity determinations. We will also be applying an ethical lens to the End of Life Options program, which has now become practice in nearly all KP regions.

The clinical ethicists of Kaiser Permanente will also be providing a bevy of sessions that address questions faced by our physicians, nurses and other staff, such as “how to think about brain death diagnoses given the current cases in the news,” “what to do when there are non-decisional patients without decision-makers,” and “what exactly is conscientious objection, and how we think of our morality and our medical practice.” There is also a session dealing with ethics and physician wellness, as moral distress is a leading cause of physician burnout.

Please join us at the Berkeley Marina DoubleTree, November 2-4th, 2017. 

Register BEFORE 10/23/17 so you can join us on a scenic dinner around the San Francisco Bay aboard the Hornblower riverboat.