Report on the IPPE Webinar

The IPPE-Panel discussion with experts could count on a big turnout (242 participants) proving that the subject of palliative and end-of-life care is one that is very much living among the students and staff.

The webinar consisted of 2 parts. In the first part, the topic of ‘Medical decision making in the end-of-life and the place of euthanasia in end-of-life care’ was led by Mariana Pereira (IPS, Portugal) and Jana Hermanova (Charles University Prague, Czech Republic) and up for discussion with the following experts:

  •  Hilde Van den Hooff
     Teacher ethics, Artevelde University of Applied Sciences Gent, Belgium
  • Nancy Criel
    Head nurse Palliative care Unit A.Z. St. Lucas Gent, Belgium
  • Patrick Govaert
    Palliative care doctor, Team-doctor Network palliative care Ghent-Eeklo, Belgium
  • Christine De Bosschere
    Family member ‘Palliative Care’, Belgium
  • Martin Havrda
    Physician nefrology, Charles University Prague, Czech Republic

In this first part, topics such as the following were discussed:

  • Issues on euthanasia related to patients with dementia, psychiatric patients and paediatric patient. Three more controversial groups for what concerns euthanasia
  • The clinical/psychological point of view or experience on how euthanasia fits in palliative care
  • Only 7% of deaths by euthanasia had a consultation with a palliative care practitioner (extract of the report of the commission of euthanasia 2020 in Belgium)


In the second part, Mariana Pereira (IPS, Portugal) and Maria Kapanadze (EUIT, Spain) led the following experts into discussing the subject of ‘International perspectives on ethical issues in end-of-life care related to the COVID-19 pandemic’:

  •  Dr. Ignaas Devisch
    Professor in Philosophy & Ethics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Martha Goderis
    Intensive Care, 4th year student nursing AUOS, Belgium 
  • Jaromir Matejek
    MuDr, ThLic, Th.D., PhD, Czech Republic
  • Mimi Snyder
    PhD, MSN, RN, Director of Undergraduate Nursing Programme, University of Connecticut, School of Nursing, USA
  • Beatriz Ascensão
    Palliative Nurse, Portugal


The following questions were debated:

  • In the beginning of the pandemic, there were no clear rules for triage in different countries. Is it about age or survivability?
  • Could we do everything that biomedicine tells us to do?
  • What is the role of solidarity in the process?
  • What is the impact on client-centred care? Should be non-corona victims be left out?
  • What about the mental well-being of health care workers?
  • What will be the structure of the future European society? How do we want to see it?

Participants not only listened to the debate but actively participated as well by submitting their own questions. It was also found interesting to hear a testimonial of a student’s experience on the palliative care unit and the covid care unit.

If this report would have piqued your interest, you are welcome to watch the recording of part 1 here and part 2 here.