OnCoVID - Management in oncology during COVID-19 pandemic – ethical, legal and health-economic implications

Sponsor: BMBF
Duration: 2020 - 2021
Coordinator: Jörg Haier (Hannover Medical School) 
CELLS contributors: Nils HoppeJürgen Robienski; Michaela Pook-Kolb

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Project Description

The aim of the network is to provide a checklist for oncological care management during a pandemic and for the data-based development of ethically evaluated decision guidelines for oncological care in the context of pandemics. Decision-making on cancer treatment during the COVID 19 pandemic is not only characterized by limited resources and prioritization of acute treatments, but also by multidimensional effects on treatment algorithms, long-term outcomes and clinical process management. However, this is not restricted to the phase of insufficient availability of resources during the pandemic, but has to be considered in all phases of the progression of the pandemic: 0) regular treatment before the pandemic; 1) prevention of spread and preparation for infected patients; 2) resource shortages; and 3) restoration of regular treatment routines. In this context, the complexity of cancer treatment requires specific considerations on ethical and medical aspects during the pandemic, but currently such guidelines are only available for intensive/emergency care.

Subproject 3 (Ethical and Legal Aspects) at CELLS looks at the normative conditions surrounding the clinical care of oncology patients during a pandemic. Ethical and legal challenges, such as triage and allocation, derogation from fundamental rights and freedoms and duties of care towards staff lead to the current situation being a fruitful test bed for developing processes and knowledge for future pandemic events.   

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