‘Palliative Medicine Update 2023’ included at the Max Cancer Congress 2023

The Max Institute of Cancer Care (MICC) organised a one day ‘Max Cancer Congress 2023’ on Saturday, 29th April, 2023, at the Taj Palace, New Delhi.

Though the conference primarily focussed on the various aspects of cancer care, the congress also included a four-hour session on palliative medicine to target the 1500 captive audience represented by oncologists and palliative care professionals. The palliative care segment was organised by the Palliative care division of Max Hospitals.

The first panel discussion for the day was on the legal stance of DNI / DNAR in India: An insight into the Supreme Court Judgement on Advance Medical Directive / Passive Euthanasia, and its implementation, was moderated by Dr Megha Pruthi (Senior Consultant, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali). The panel was represented by Dr Dhvani Mehta (Co-Founder and Lead – Health, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy), Dr Raj Kumar Mani (Director, Clinical Services, Pulmonology and Critical Care, Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital), and Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (President, IAPC; Chief, DR BRA IRCH, AIIMS, New Delhi). The discussions also touched upon the history of end of life care in India and its various medico-legal issues surrounding the care in ICU, the end of life care policy at AIIMS, New Delhi, etc.

This was followed by a second panel discussion in which Senior physicians from Max Hospital dwelled upon their practices for critically ill patients in the last phase of their life in hospital, in the oncology wards and in the ICU. The panellists for this session were represented by Dr Sandeep Budhiraja (Group Medical Director, Max Hospitals), and senior Oncologists Dr Dinesh Singh, Dr Rajat Saha and Dr Deven Juneja from the Critical Care Department. Mr Rakesh Kaushik (Head, In-house Legal team) and Ms Madhu Juneja (Cancer Survivor, Palliative care volunteer) also contributed with their insightful inputs to the discussion which was moderated by Dr Gaurav Chanana (Consultant, Pain & Palliative Medicine, Max Institute of Cancer Care, Saket).

The next segment included quick reviews on palliative care topics such as venous thromboembolism, delirium and cannabinoids by Dr Raghav Gupta (Assistant Professor, Department of Onco-anesthesia and Palliative Medicine, National Cancer Institute, Jhajjar, AIIMS Delhi), Dr Puneet Rathore (Associate Consultant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi), Dr Sanjeev Kumar (Senior Resident, Department of Onco-anesthesia and Palliative Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi), respectively, and was chaired by Dr Mridul Mehta (Senior Consultant and Unit Head, Medical Oncology and Heamto Oncology, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad), Dr Paras Kathuria (Professor, Internal Medicine, Safdarjung and VMMC, New Delhi) and Dr Sai Priya Tiwari (Consultant, Palliative Medicine, Manipal Hospital, Dwarka).

The sessions for this segment concluded with a compact module on quality improvement, based on the EQuIP INDIA (Enabling Quality Improvement in Patient Care) course by the National Cancer Grid. This session was delivered by Dr Ravi Kannan (Director, Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre) and Dr Shirley Lewis Salins (Associate Professor, Radiotherapy and Oncology, Kasturba Medical Center, Manipal) and was supported by Dr Gaurav Chanana. The discussions also briefly touched on the A3 based quality improvement methodology used for problem solving in medical issues.

The program was very interactive and well received by the attending audience.

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