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15 Jun 2021
  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

VCCC head and neck cancer ethics seminar series

Seminar one: tough cases in head and neck cancer – we can treat, but should we?

The treatment of head and neck cancer can often have a serious impact on the appearance and function of those living with the disease. Treatment is often surgically complex, and decisions may need to be made with no certainty about outcomes.

VCCC Research and Education Lead, Professor David Wiesenfeld will facilitate this three-part webinar series aimed to equip participants with knowledge to manage ethically complex situations and decisions in head and neck cancer treatment.

Seminar one will focus on the fundamental decisions regarding risk, burden and benefits of treatment that require a patient centred approach and rarely fit into a neat algorithm. Professor Clare Delany, Professor of Ethics at the University of Melbourne, will review a series of ethically tough head and neck cancer case studies where options are limited, and address questions including:

  • What do clinicians need to consider when deciding to offer a treatment pathway?
  • How are patients’ interests framed and considered in the decision-making process?
  • Should treatment always be offered?
  • What would trigger a change in treatment goals?

Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual discussion with a multidisciplinary panel of experts.

Keynote presentation

Professor Clare Delany, Professor of Ethics, The University of Melbourne

Panel discussion

  • Ben Dixon, Acting Head of Head and Neck Department, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne
  • Morikatsu Wada, Radiation Oncologist, Austin Health
  • Hui Gan, Clinical Research Lead, Austin Health
  • Felicity Megee, Senior Speech Pathologist, Melbourne Health
  • Carly Fox, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Lora Winter, Consumer Representative                       
  • Rebecca Barnett, Head and Neck Nurse Coordinator, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
Tuesday 15 June