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Call for Abstracts 

Opens: December 4, 2019

Closed: January 19, 2020 at Midnight (EST)

Canadian Bioethics Society 

31st Annual Conference

June 3-5, 2020

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Conference registration is open!

Click the link here to access the abstract submission process. Please note: All submitters will need to create a new profile to initiate the process. 



The theme of the 2020 Canadian Bioethics Society 31st Annual Conference is The Role of Bioethics in Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Health Technologies: Activator, Inhibitor, or Collaborator? 


It is expected that healthcare will be transformed by rapidly developing technologies and the realities of a growing demand to treat an aging population with longer lifespans. Genomic technology will enable better prevention, prediction, diagnosis, and personalized treatment options. Interventions will be more targeted and possible prenatally or early in life and could prevent or eradicate some chronic diseases. Synthetic biology could be used to help solve problems such as antibiotic resistance. 


The use of big data and artificial intelligence will be widely used to gather realtime behavioural data and with powerful associated analytical tools lead to medical insights such as simplified clinical trials and improved medical decisionmaking. The preventable risk factors responsible for chronic diseases can be identified and addressed. Emerging health technologies will most certainly have a profoundly impact on health, healthcare, public health and health systems. 


The same technologies that can improve health can also be employed to enhance our physical and cognitive abilities. Bionic limbs, neurological enhancements, and gene editing may soon become part of everyday life for many people, and will raise social, legal, and ethical issues around inequality, human rights, and what it means to be human. 

Presenters and participants are invited to contemplate a broad canvas of ethical concerns associated with the role of bioethics in AI and emerging health technologies. Issues may range from the local to the global, technologies impacting individual patients to populations, theoretical to practical, from practice to policy, and from single technologies to complex interacting technologies. In particular, we will examine bioethics role in a descriptive, normative, educational, and practical capacity in navigating emerging health technologies. 




This conference will be a success if we facilitate a conversation between bench scientists, AI programmers and engineers and the ethics community. The CBS 2020 Local Organizing Committee would like to extend an invitation to all consumers of healthcare, those connected to the science of AI and emerging health technologies and those connected to health care ethics to submit their work and attend and share a space conducive to respectful dialogue, learning and debate.


Learning Objectives


After attending this conference, participants will be able to:

• identify different emerging technologies and how they may impact healthcare, and health systems; and

• describe the ethical issues associated with AI and emerging health technologies.

Presentation Formats
The CBS 2020 Local Organizing Committee is pleased to announce five presentation format categories to which applicants can submit an abstract – including two oral presentation formats, one interactive format, and a poster format, each described below.   There is also an opportunity to submit an abstract for a Pre-Conference Workshop, which will take place prior to the main conference. 
Please read the presentation formats carefully to decide where your presentation best fits, and then indicate on the abstract submission form the category for which you would like your abstract considered. You may list both a first choice and a second choice. 
These five session formats are intended to reflect the variance in disciplines and presentation methods within bioethics and the breadth of interests of conference participants. 

Standard Concurrent Session (20 minute presentation + 10 minute discussion)

• Abstract Word Limit: maximum 500 words

• Presentations will be grouped according to theme.

• Discussion period will be moderated by an individual with relevant background.
Poster Presentations (printed poster)

• Abstract Word Limit: maximum 500 words

• Poster viewing will take place before and after sessions, and during breaks. Presenters are encouraged to make themselves available nearby their posters during these times in order to respond to questions.

• Accepted abstracts are also eligible to enter the Best Poster Competition. Authors wishing to be considered for this competition should electronically submit their completed poster to the Evaluation Committee by May 10, 2020.  

• Delegates who have submitted posters in advance must still bring a printed copy of their poster to the event. 

 Ethics "Mortality & Morbidity" (M&M) Rounds (15 minute presentation)

• Abstract Word Limit: maximum 250 words

• In the hospital setting, M&M Rounds provide an opportunity for staff to review challenging cases with the goal of learning and improving quality of care. Similarly, Ethics M&M Rounds, will focus on a difficult clinical ethics case, research ethics case or organizational ethics case, any recommendations provided and the outcome if known.  

 Ethics Lab (90 minute session during main conference)

• Abstract Word Limit: maximum 500 words

• A 90 facilitated session involving discussion, audience engagement and/or group activity.

• An ethics lab differs from an oral presentation in that the primary goal is not to share information, but to facilitate learning through participation and hands-on learning.

• Lab sessions are intended to be productive sessions and are not the venue for panel discussions or extended lectures.

• Lab sessions are expected to produce results, which could include findings, insights, a tool, or other outputs that can be distributed with ab and conference attendees more widely. 

• The abstract should include: a brief description of the lab’s theme and purpose;  a draft agenda; learning objectives for the participants; and a description of intended output of the Lab session. 
Preconference Workshops (3 hour session prior to main conference)

• Abstract Word Limit: maximum 1,000 words 

• Preconference workshops will take place during the morning of June 3, 2020, prior to the start of the main conference.

• Workshops should be interactive and give delegates an opportunity to participate meaningfully with the material and focus of the event.

• The submitted abstract should include: a brief description of the workshop focus and purpose; a draft agenda; and learning objectives for the participants.
Guidelines for Submission of Abstracts
• Plan to draft and save your abstract in a word processing software program; copy and paste the information into the online submission form.

• Please review your abstract to ensure accuracy. If it is selected, it will be published as it was submitted. 

• Conflicts of interests (e.g., grants, consultation, memberships in advisory boards) and financing sources must be disclosed. 

• Abstracts may be submitted in French or English. Unless otherwise indicated, the language of submission will be assumed to be the language of presentation. However, in order to promote the bilingual character of the CBS, authors who are able to present in both languages are strongly encouraged to do so, either by adapting their PowerPoint presentation for both languages or by indicating that they can answer questions in both official languages.  Note that simultaneous interpretation will be offered in the plenary sessions only and not in the parallel sessions. 

• The individual listed as primary author will also be the main contact person. Co-author(s) should also be listed in the appropriate field on the abstract submission form. 

• If the author is a full-time student, they must identify themselves as such. A valid piece of identification will be required at Conference registration in order to be eligible for student awards.

• Authors whose abstracts are selected for presentation must register for the Conference and pay the associated fees.

• On the abstract submission form, abstract applicants will be asked to identify three valuable questions that a participant could pose about the presentation. 

• All abstract applicants must identify a primary theme that best describes the general subject area of bioethics being addressed. This information will be used by the program committee to group presentations, where feasible.

Primary Themes
1. Ethics and health technology assessment

2. Public health ethics

3. Theories and methodology in bioethics

4. Ethics and genomics

5. Neuroethics and neuroscience

6. Ethics and information technology or social media/networks

7. Ethics, perinatality and procreation

8. Ethics and health policy

9. Research Ethics

10. Ethics and AI

11. Other
Click the link here to access the abstract submission process. Please note: All submitters will need to create a new profile to initiate the process. The January 19, 2020 deadline at midnight is a firm deadline and is unlikely to be extended.  

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