Using a virtual clinical ethics committee to facilitate learning on ethical decision-making in Teenage/Young Adult (TYA) Cancer Care

Maria Cable, Debbie Critoph, Laura Strumidlo, Emily Gartshore

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract

Description
One of four learning objectives on an online Postgraduate Certificate in TYA Cancer Care is to critically analyse legal /ethical issues that may arise for TYA with cancer.
Online lectures detailing key ethical /legal principles that underpin healthcare and caring for TYA with cancer are given, including the concept of a Clinical Ethics Committee (CEC) where challenging cases are brought before an independent committee of multidisciplinary groups (health professionals and lay members) in practice. The aim of a CEC is to support teams and families in decision-making on ethical issues arising from patient care within hospitals and other institutions (UKCEN, 2017).
Our innovation is in bringing a mock CEC to an online environment of post qualified professionals, all of whom are asked to assume a role within the CEC. Students assume a predetermined role (not same as their own) and attend a real-time virtual CEC, facilitated by a chair of a real CEC, to present their perspectives on how care may be managed. A fictitious case study is presented of Freddie, 15yrs, with learning difficulties, with a good prognosis whose parents are disputing his cancer treatment plan on the basis of how he is coping.
Discussion
Anecdotal and formal evaluative online feedback reports this exercise as a positive learning experience, typically reported by students as,
‘… a challenging, enriching experience, because you had to look through a different perspective.’
thus prompting students to think differently about approaching ethical challenges in practice. Many have not heard of such committees and have sought where they might access same locally. A safe space for students to discuss challenges and knowledge gaps is fostered. The purposeful instructional design of this online pedagogical task (Copolla et al) 2002 along with responsibility for socialising and managing the activity appears to have facilitated learning in a very different way that might not be seen in a traditional classroom. This enables students to have an authentic experiential learning experience using an online platform
‘Good, helpful to make it more authentic…’
This multi-layered activity appears to facilitate collaborative and reflective learning as well as forming a TYA cancer ‘Community of Practice’ Wenger (2002).
‘….has helped appreciate there is not always a clear 'right' answer when making decisions. It
has given me confidence in contributing to multi-professional team discussions about patient choice based upon personal values…’
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Event2nd International Global Congress in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 5 Dec 20177 Dec 2017

Conference

Conference2nd International Global Congress in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta
Period5/12/177/12/17

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Cable, M., Critoph, D., Strumidlo, L., & Gartshore, E. (2017). Using a virtual clinical ethics committee to facilitate learning on ethical decision-making in Teenage/Young Adult (TYA) Cancer Care. Poster session presented at 2nd International Global Congress in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer, Atlanta, United States.