Debate: FERTILITY TREATMENT ADD-ONS: DO THEY ADD UP?

10 March 2017

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 27 Sussex Place, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RG

29 March 2017 6pm (wine reception), 6.30pm-8.30pm (panel discussion)

This Progress Educational Trust event, which is sponsored by the British Fertility Society, will begin with a wine reception at 6pm followed by a panel discussion at 6.30pm. To reserve your free place, email sstarr [at] progress.org.uk

The panel discussion will be chaired by FIONA FOX (Chair of Trustees at the Progress Educational Trust and Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre) with speakers PROFESSOR ADAM BALEN (Chair of the British Fertility Society), SALLY CHESHIRE (Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority), DR SIMON FISHEL (Founder and President of CARE Fertility) and DR RAJ MATHUR (Lead for Reproductive Medicine at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester).

Fertility treatment ‘add-ons’ are procedures and treatments offered alongside IVF – sometimes at considerable expense to the patient – which may not be supported by robust evidence. The benefits, harms and appropriateness of add-ons are often open to question, and the role of add-ons in fertility treatment has become a matter of heated debate among professionals and a source of confusion for patients.

Recently, add-ons have been discussed and debated in a controversial episode of the BBC1 programme Panorama entitled Inside Britain’s Fertility Business, in two studies published by in the British Medical Journal, in a study published by the journal Human Reproduction, and in work undertaken by the UK’s fertility regulator – the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

Our event will ask:

• What counts as an add-on?

• Who is best placed to judge the evidence for add-ons, and what is the ideal standard of evidence?

• How much evidence is it reasonable to expect, before a treatment is offered to patients?

• What is the role of the HFEA, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and professional bodies such as the British Fertility Society, in helping patients navigate add-ons?

• What is the duty of the medical professional, and what is the role of patient choice?

Much of the event’s running time will be devoted to letting YOU put questions and comments to the speakers.

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Conference:Mechanisms in medicine

6 January 2017

July 3-5 2017, Centre for Reasoning, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/jonw/mechanisms-in-medicine/

Keynote speakers
Raffaela Campaner (University of Bologna)
Daniel Commenges (Bordeaux Population Health Research Center)
Jeremy Howick (Oxford University)
Stathis Psillos (University of Athens)
Daniel Steel (The University of British Columbia)
Kurt Straif (International Agency for Research on Cancer)
John Worrall (LSE)

Background
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is a relatively recent technique for supporting clinical decisions by the current best evidence. While it is uncontroversial that we should use the current best evidence in clinical decision making, it is highly controversial what the best evidence is. EBM considers evidence from clinical trials, in particular, randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews of those trials to be the best evidence. On the other hand, evidence of mechanisms that is obtained by means other than clinical trials is considered to be of low quality.

However, there is a growing body of literature that highlights the many benefits of considering evidence of mechanisms alongside evidence from clinical trials. For instance, evidence of mechanisms is crucial for interpreting clinical trials, establishing a causal claim, and extrapolating from the trial population to the treatment population.
This conference seeks to explore whether and in which ways evidence of mechanism may improve medical decision making. The conference will bring together philosophers and medical researchers.

Call for papers
Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words on or before 1st February 2017 via email to c.wallmann-520[at]kent.ac.uk. The final decision on submissions will be made by 1st March.  A special session will be dedicated to contributions submitted by PhD candidates.

Contributions should address questions such as the following:
– How can we get evidence of mechanisms in medicine?
– How can evidence of mechanisms best be considered alongside evidence of correlation to evaluate causal claims in medical research and health policy?
– How can quality of evidence of mechanisms be characterised?
– Which accounts of causality best fit the programme for integrating evidence of mechanisms with evidence of correlation?
– How can evidence of mechanisms be employed in extrapolation?
– How can evidence of mechanisms inform statistical and graphical models in medicine?

Registration
Registration is free but compulsory. There are a limited number of places so please register early. Please register via email toc.wallmann-520[at]kent.ac.uk

Organisation  
This conference is organised by Christian Wallmann on behalf of the Centre for Reasoning at the University of Kent and the EBM+ consortium. It is an activity of the project Evaluating evidence in medicine, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.
For any queries please contact Christian Wallmann: c.wallmann-520[at]kent.ac.uk


Lecture: Evidence – Philosophy of Science meets Medicine

23 October 2010

Tuesday 26 October, 6 – 7.30pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, LSE

John Worrall, Professor of Philosophy of Science, LSE

Chair: Chlump Chatkupt, LSE

It might seem surprising that there is a relatively new movement called ‘Evidence Based Medicine’. Surely medicine – just like any rational pursuit – must be based on evidence! There is, however, devil in the details. Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) began by making sharp claims about what really counts as evidence that were too simple to be true. Nowadays EBM has developed a much more nuanced view of evidence, but one that is often unclear and lacking in any clear rationale. The study of the relationship between theory and evidence (more often known as confirmation theory) has always been a central part of philosophy of science. I argue that some simple principles from this logic of evidence can help towards articulating a defensible version of EBM.

This event is free and open to all without registration.
For further information contact Juliana Cardinale: 020 7955 7539
J.Cardinale@lse.ac.uk