CFA: Ethics and Error in Medicine

Ethics and Error in Medicine

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society
Western Michigan University

The Western Michigan University Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, in partnership with the Medical Humanities Workgroup, invites abstract submissions for an edited volume entitled Ethics and Error in Medicine. The proposal will be submitted to the highest-caliber academic presses; journal symposia may also be considered.

Medical error cannot be completely avoided or foreseen. Nevertheless, it raises a host of ethical issues because of patients’ dependence on their doctors’ expert judgment and the effects of medical mistakes on patient safety and public health. Medical providers and hospitals may be ethically blameworthy if they do not take care to prevent mistakes, if they do not communicate honestly about mistakes, and if they do not respond justly and compassionately when mistakes happen.

Possible paper topics relating to the ethical implications of medical error include:

    • Risk factors for medical error
    • Preventing medical error
    • Disclosing medical error
    • Medical error and trust in health-care professions
    • Learning from medical error
    • Reporting a colleague’s medical error
    • Defensive medicine and medical error
    • History of medical error
    • Medical error v. medical malpractice
    • Economics of medical error
    • Coping with the results of medical error
    • Vulnerability and medical error
    • Different perspectives on medical error based on roles in the health-care system
    • International perspectives on medical error in different health-care systems
    • Links between medical error and error in professional ethics more generally

This volume builds on a recent mini-conference on the same topic, hosted by the Association for Professional and Practical Ethics (APPE) at its annual meeting. Participation in the mini-conference is not required for submission to the volume.

Abstracts of approximately 250 words are due by May 1, 2018. We anticipate that submissions will be due September 1, 2018. Please also include a biosketch for the author(s) of approximately 100 words. Submissions may be sent to Additional questions may also be sent to Dr. Fritz Allhoff ( and Dr. Sandra Borden (

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