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WVNEC Annual Symposium

Event Cost:

WVNEC Members - $105
Non-Members - $130

Series Description: (Click Here for Brochure)

Healthcare ethics tends to focus on matters of life and death, especially at the beginning and end of life, and sometimes on the treatment of those whose cognitive capacity is diminished by illness or disability, but much less on mental health per se. Medical professionals often lack education and training on how to preserve to the greatest extent possible the autonomous decision-making rights of patients with mental health disorders (MHD). The symposium will center around the ethical duty of health providers to maximize opportunities for people with MHD to direct their own healthcare including the use of mental health advance directives as tools to empower patients to maintain control over their mental health treatment decisions during mental health crises. The keynote speaker, Pulitzer Prize winner Pam Belluck of the New York Times (NYT), will discuss her research that resulted in an insightful December 4, 2018 article in the Health Section of the NYT, “Now Mental Health Patients Can Specify Their Care Before Hallucinations and Voices Overwhelm Them.” This symposium will also present the newly developed West Virginia mental health advance directive, proposed legislation to amend it into the West Virginia Health Care Decisions Act, and a panel discussing ethics consultation for a patient with a mental health disorder and highlighting the ethical issues in such consults. Rounding out the day will be talks on 1) the vulnerability to exploitation and abuse by surrogates, 2) the stigma of patients with mental health disorders, and 3) the ever popular breakout groups for discussion of challenging cases.

Series Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this conference, participants should be able to . . .

  • Discuss impediments to allowing patients with mental health disorders to make their own treatment decisions in the healthcare setting;
  • Describe a mental health advance directive and how it protects patient autonomous decision-making rights;
  • Identify resources to assist West Virginians with mental health disorders to advocate for themselves when they interact with the healthcare community; and
  • Detail ways in which mental health stigma may impede effective provider-patient communication.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the WVU School of Medicine and WV Network of Ethics Committees.

The WVU School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The WVU Office of CME designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This continuing education activity has been provided by the West Virginia University School of Nursing for 6.9 contact hours. The West Virginia University School of Nursing is an approved provider of continuing education by the State of West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses, Legislative Rule §19CSR11-4 under provider number WV1996-0120RN.

This course is sponsored by the Center for Health Ethics and Law, Provider Number 490095, which is a Certified Provider of continuing education credits for social workers. This program has been awarded up to 5.75 hours of continuing education credit.

This program qualifies for a total of 6.90 hours under the West Virginia Rules for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education.

This program is approved for 5.75 continuing education hours for psychologists by the State of West Virginia Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

Hotel Accommodations:

A block of rooms for the night of May 7 has been reserved at the Stonewall Resort for conference participants under Center for Health Ethics and Law for $140. To make reservations, contact the hotel directly at 304-269-7400. Room reservations must be made by April 7, 2019.

Disclosure: It has been determined that the content of this activity is not related to any products or services of any commercial interests, therefore, no evidence was gathered related to faculty / authors / planners’ relationships with commercial interests.”

Want to Participate?

Register for the event by clicking the button below. Fill out the registration form then submit the form to be taken to the E-commerce site for payment completion. Make sure to indicate your membership status and if you would like to receive continuing education credit for attending the event.

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