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Jointly organised by the General Practice with Primary Healthcare and Open Sections, RSM and the Oxford Healthcare Values Partnership. 

This event is sponsored by the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award Programme and supported by the Faculty of Theology and Religion, Harris Manchester College and the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. 

The rhetoric of markets affects all clinicians and patients in some way, shaping the meanings attached to health and healthcare. With the growing significance of markets to healthcare in the UK and many other global settings, clinicians need to make ethical choices every day in commonplace situations. This meeting will explore these ethical issues and others which arise in primary care and healthcare more broadly, exploring how policy-makers, commissioners, clinicians and patients think and act in a way that is both right and fair. A market in healthcare is often thought to damage positive health outcomes for patients and the working environment for practitioners because it introduces unworthy motives and immoral incentives. But is this so? And how might markets shape and serve the meaning that people ascribe to health and healthcare?

Partnership between clinicians and humanities and social sciences researchers in fields such as philosophy, theology, law and psychology can help find answers to these questions. Bringing together academic researchers, educators, general practitioners, clinicians, ethicists and others involved in the planning and delivery of primary care, the meeting will discuss such questions as: 
  • Is the market an appropriate way to think about primary care? 
  • What influence do market processes have on the meaningfulness of health and healthcare for patients, practitioners and policy makers? 
  • How might the presence of private providers shape the ethos of healthcare as experienced by practitioners and patients? 
  • Is there a heightened risk of demoralisation attendant on the widespread use of private provision in healthcare? 
  • Might commissioning a greater mix of public and private provision enable an enhanced and innovative focus on patient experience and evidence-based medicine? 
  • What is the ethical response to market forces and performance incentives in primary care? 
  • Do new medical technologies distort an ethical marketplace? 
  • Do different markets require different values, and should they? 
  • How do we prepare new clinicians to navigate the ethical marketplace? 
  • Why should the ideas of some who study or teach ethics in practice be endorsed and others shunned?
  • This interdisciplinary event will unite the Primary Care Ethics annual conference, now in its 5th year, with the University of Oxford’s Healthcare Values Partnership and other partners to provide an opportunity for delegates to discuss and share their experience and learning in this field.

The objectives for the meeting are:
  • To discuss current professional and public concerns concerning markets, market forces and elements of trade and finance in the ethics of healthcare
  • To learn about the ethics of financially incentivised practice and nudging
  • To discuss what role academic healthcare ethics plays in the delivery and improvement of services and the flourishing of those who provide healthcare.
  • To discuss existing and future research in this area, including how such research may be supported.
  • To provide a context for developing partnerships where delegates who are involved in research, education and/or practice can share experience and expertise
Deadline: Monday 25 May 2015 at 9am (GMT)
Word count: 500 words
As part of this conference, there will be a session at which delegates can present their work and ideas in the form of a poster presentation.
To download the full call for abstracts please click here.

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