Événements 2017 HCALM International Conference Language and Health – Ethical and Policy Issues (with special focus on consent)

Le programme en français sera disponible sous peu. Consultez le lien suivant pour plus d'information: https://www.mcgill.ca/ihsp/events/2017-hcalm-international-conference-0


September 28th-30th


Hôtel de l'ITHQ (Montréal)


The HCALM network will hold its 2017 annual conference on the topic of ‘language and health – ethical and policy issues’ in September 28-30. Language and health are interrelated in myriad ways, ranging from issues of physical and mental healthcare provision in multilingual societies, to health literacy and communication among patients, practitioners and policymakers, and to discourses of health and wellbeing. In accordance with the strong interdisciplinary nature of HCALM’s community of researchers, the conference brings together theories, frameworks, concepts and methods from a broad range of disciplines in the medical sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Similarly, it addresses the significant ethical and policy issues at the interface of public health and language (including sign language) policy, broadly interpreted. The third day of the conference is dedicated specifically to the topic of consent in the context of language and health.




Day I: Quebec

Day II: Access

Day III: Consent

9.00 – 9.15

Registration and refreshments



9.15 – 9.30

Welcome and opening remarks (Daniel Weinstock, IHSP and Law, McGill)

9.30 – 11.00

Session 1: Quebec Cases

  • Linguistic and Cultural Barriers to Access and Utilization of Mental Health Care for Farsi-speaking Newcomers in Quebec (Fahime Mianji, Psychiatry, McGill; Laurence Kirmayer, Psychiatry, McGill)
  • Language, Acculturation and Social Networks: Chinese Migrants’ Second Language Mental Health Communication Anxiety and Help Seeking Behaviors in Montreal (Dan Tao, Psychology, Concordia; Norman Segalowitz, Psychology, Concordia; Marina M. Doucerain, Psychology, UQAM); Andrew Ryder, Psychology, Concordia)

Session 4: Bilingualism and/in Healthcare – Patients, Providers and Policies

  • Comparing Bilingual Health Care Services in New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec (Richard Y. Bourhis, Psychology, UQAM; Annie Montreuil, Psychology, UQAM)
  • Assessing Developmental Language Disorders among Bilingual English-Speaking Children in a Minority Language Context (Andrea A.N. MacLeod, Audiology and Speech Pathology, Université de Montréal; Natacha Trudeau, Audiology and Speech Pathology, Université de Montréal; Sainte-Justine; Kristina Findlay, Laval)

Session 7: Theorising Practice 

  • Vulnerability and Consent in a Health Care and Research Context (Nana Cecilie Halmsted Kongsholm, Philosophy, Copenhagen)
  • Double Jeopardy: Obtaining Consent from Language Minority Patients with Mental Illness (Alessandra Miklavcic, Psychiatry, McGill and Douglas; Eric Jarvis, Psychiatry, McGill; Cultural Consultation Service, Jewish General)

11.00 – 11.30

Coffee break

Coffee break

Coffee break

11.30 – 13.00

Session 2: Plenary – Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing

  • Communicating Our Distress, Can You Hear Us? (Chad Katsenhakeron Diabo, Kahnawake)

Session 5: Plenary – Language Beliefs and Technology in Accommodating Deaf Patients

  • Modality Matters: Deaf-Heart, Agency, and Video Remote Interpreting in Health Care Settings (Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Philosophy, Gallaudet)

Session 8: Plenary – Health(y) Communication

  • Medical Language (Spoken and Silent) and Informed Consent (Marc Zaffran, M.D., Montreal)

13.00 – 14.30




14.30 – 16.00

 Session 3: Training Challenges

  • Valider une ‘intervention’ auprès de proches aidants anglophones visant à mieux comprendre les quatre volets de la loi 2 sur les soins de fin de vie au Québec et la pérenniser pour améliorer l’accès aux soins palliatifs (Patrick Durivage, CREGÉS; Bilkis Vissandjee, Nursing, Université de Montréal; Isabelle Van Pevenage, CREGÉS)
  • Enhancing the English Language Content of University Nursing Programs in Quebec: English Language Needs Assessment for Training Purposes (Shahrzad Saif, Languages, Linguistics and Translation, Laval; Parisa Safaei; Reza Monfared, Languages, Linguistics and Translation, Laval)

     Session 6: The Limits of Bureaucracy

  • Medical Information and Language Access: Lessons learned from Houston School Districts (Rey Romero, Spanish Linguistics, Houston Downtown)
  • Intersections of Sexual Orientation, Missing Data and Language Preference in The Canadian Community Health Survey: Differences between English-Speaking people and other Linguistic Minorities living in Quebec (Andreea Brabete, Nursing, Université de Montréal; Bilkis Vissandjee, Nursing, Université de Montréal)

 Session 9: Diversity Beyond Language

  • Informed Consent in a Clinical Research Setting in India: Negotiating Language, Culture and Trust (Helen Martin, Douglas; Srividya Iyer, Psychiatry, McGill)
  • “Yes, I Accept the Terms and Conditions” – Consent Forms Youth Will Actually Read (Laura Morrison, McGill and Douglas; Heleen Loohuis; Allison MacNeil; Jimmy Tran; Mary Anne Levasseur, Ridha Joober, Ashok Malla and Srividya Iyer, Douglas and McGill)

16.00 – 16.15

Coffee break

Coffee break

Coffee break

16.15 – 17.00

General discussion

General discussion

General discussion and conclusion



  • Session 2: Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing

Communicating Our Distress, Can You Hear Us? (Chad Katsenhakeron Diabo, MHFA youth trainer and first responder, Kahnawake)

What linguistic barriers exist that hamper our going for help and those trying to help us deal with thoughts of suicide and mental health crisis's. What social prejudices do to close the ears of people to going for help and receiving help or at times even to some professionals who may be offering to help us. To be clear "us" is a reference to First Nations and Inuit people of Quebec and Labrador. Dialogue is possible, if all people are ready, able and willing to listen.

  • Session 5: Language Beliefs and Technology in Accommodating Deaf Patients

Modality Matters: Deaf-Heart, Agency, and Video Remote Interpreting in Health Care Settings (Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, bioethicist, Gallaudet)

Folk beliefs about signed languages impact communication access for signing deaf people in surprising ways, including the process of requesting and obtaining accommodations through signed language interpreting. A recent trend in health care settings is the use of video remote interpreting (VRI), in which an interpreter off site is viewed on a screen. This paper argues that the use of VRI runs counter to (indeed, threatens) two rising social movements in the signing Deaf community: Deaf agency in the interpreter accommodations process and the virtue of Deaf-Heart in interpreters.

  • Session 8: Health(y) Communication

Medical language (spoken and silent) and informed consent (Marc Zaffran, M.D., physician-writer, Montreal)

Medical language is specific but often difficult to understand for the layperson. When health caregivers wish to obtain informed consent, they must insure that patients fully comprehend what they say and can make a decision based on the information they were given. Therefore, all health caregivers should be translators of their professional language into words and concepts that can be understandable by all.


There is no fee for attending the conference; however, registration is essential, as places are limited. Included in the registration are all conference sessions, refreshments and catered lunches. In order to reserve your place, please register online.





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