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2022 CBET lecture: How is COVID changing the ways doctors make end-of-life decisions?

Date: Monday 12th September 2022

Time: 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Venue: Waldegrave Drawing Room, St Mary’s University and online via zoom.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented clinical and ethical challenges to the NHS and the medical profession. Since March 2020 many aspects of healthcare in the UK have undergone significant transformation, including, and perhaps especially, end-of-life care.

In this lecture, we will be exploring how COVID is changing the way’s doctors make decisions around the ends of patients’ lives. We will be looking at the impact of the pandemic on decisions to not resuscitate patients, and whether COVID has changed clinicians’ thresholds for escalation to intensive care and for palliation. Finally we will be exploring if the pandemic has change doctors’ views on the legalisation of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

The lecturer is the author of a study into these issues published in the Journal of Medical Ethics in July 2022, which subsequently received coverage in multiple national newspapers including The Telegraph, Independent and Express.

Dr Benjamin Chang is an Emergency Physician working in North London. He completed his initial medical training at UCL, and then his Masters in Bioethics and Medical Law at St Mary’s. He is the winner of the 2022 CBET Lecture prize.

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