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“Importance of discussing intraoperative radiotherapy during consultations planning breast cancer surgery”

BASO~ACS Annual (virtual) Meeting, 23rd November 2020 - Medico-Legal issues in Covid times session

'Here is a question from one of the panellists, "What are the legal implications of not giving the option for patients to have an RCT-proven treatment that reduces treatment burden, improves quality of life, reduces non-breast-cancer deaths but makes less money for the hospital?"

Mr Robert Wheeler (Consultant Paediatric & Neonatal Surgeon at the Wessex Regional Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Director of the Department of Clinical Law at University Hospitals of Southampton) answers, "Oh, that is a very awkward situation. Ahem, because of course, going back to the GMC and what happened last week, it's very clear that we do have to declare to our patients what their options are, including of course the option of doing absolutely nothing at all. Anyway, but if there is an option open to the population, then I think it should be declared. And if you can't produce it locally for whatever political reason, then there is always the second opinion. I think, not to disclose that that treatment, that RCT, exists would be contrary to GMC advice. This is a professional matter, individual professional matter, rather than a 'obeying the hospital'. You can comply with the hospital by saying 'I am sorry, I can't do it here', but I would certainly disclose to the patient the reality that it exists somewhere."

This question was asked by Professor Jayant S Vaidya, and it was regarding offering TARGIT-IORT during lumpectomy for breast cancer.

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