13th National Paediatric Bioethics Conference:   Dialogue across Difference

13th National Paediatric Bioethics Conference: Dialogue across Difference

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Ella Latham Auditorium, The Royal Children's Hospital

50 Flemington Road

Parkville, VIC 3052


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The 13th National Paediatric Bioethics Conference (7-9th September, 2022) Dialogue across Difference: Ethical challenges and opportunities

About this event

Dialogue occurs when two or more people interact, whether the conversation is verbal or not. Everything that happens in healthcare practice involves dialogue. In paediatric healthcare, clinicians not only have conversations with the children for whom they are caring, but also with their parents and carers, their siblings and extended family, and with their colleagues. Families have conversations with each other, with their friends and wider social group, including people online. These conversations are pivotal in making healthcare decisions.

But people—surgeons, paediatricians, neonatologists, parents, children, nurses, allied health and so on – are all different! They speak and think differently, have different concerns, values, past experiences, education, cultural and religious backgrounds and professional and personal expectations. These differences mean that people do not always agree about what matters for a child.

In our 2022 conference, we tackle the challenges and opportunities which arise when dialogue occurs across difference. What kind of difference matters ethically? How do we respect difference while upholding our own values and integrity? When should clinicians notice difference, acknowledge difference and accommodate to or change because of difference? The types of questions we will consider include:

1. When should clinicians compromise/accommodate/shift or change in response to difference?

2. To what extent should clinicians’ personal religious, cultural and professional values influence their decision making?

3. What are some of the opportunities that ‘difference’ can bring in paediatric health care?

4. When should differences between families and clinicians or between clinical teams be embraced rather than problematised?

5. If ‘difference’ prevents or challenges good care for children, what should be done?

6. How are different cultural views accommodated or integrated into clinical care? How much should they be accommodated?

7. Are there some differences that should not be tolerated or are irreconcilable with good clinical care for children?

8. Could it ever be ethically problematic to openly acknowledge and discuss difference?

The conference will be held online, with sessions conducted via Zoom presentations. Logistics will be updated in due course. For more information on this event please visit the Children's Bioethics Centre website: http://www.rch.org.au/bioethics/

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