Vernon Collins Oration – The ethical life of the hospital

The Vernon Collins Oration was established in 1981, in memory of Professor Vernon Collins, the first Medical Director of The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.  Vernon Collins held this position from 1949 to 1960 and then became the first Professor of Child Health in the University of Melbourne, before retiring in 1974. The 2021 Vernon Collins Oration will be delivered by Professor Lynn Gillam AM, an experienced clinical ethicist and Academic Director of the Children’s Bioethics Centre at The Royal Children’s Hospital.  

Covid-19 in India and South Africa – Back of the queue or leading the world?

“Vaccine inequity – The world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure, and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”    
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

The availability of effective vaccines for the prevention of covid-19 has led to an unseemly competition as countries rushed to sign deals with manufacturers, often outbidding each other for access, to the exclusion of poorer countries. In high income countries 60% of people have received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, while in low income countries the figure is 3%.

Delta in Kids- what we do and don’t know

We have a National Roadmap, which includes COVID-19 vaccine coverage targets for the easing of restrictions.  But how do children and adolescents fit into this, with regard the direct and indirect effects of Delta on their health and well-being?

Involving children in clinical decision-making: Why it matters and how best to do it

This plenary session is named in honour of the recent Clinical Director of the Centre for Bioethics, A/Prof Jill Sewell. Professor Douglas Diekema will open the National Paediatric Bioethics Conference by considering the ethical underpinning of our conference theme, ‘Deciding with Children’. Deciding with Children is more than a vague abstraction or aspirational goal of children’s healthcare workers. Prof Diekema will demonstrate that Deciding with Children matters to the well-being of children and is a vital part of healthcare delivery. He will build on this foundation, using his clinical experience, to consider how best to authentically involve children in healthcare decisions. 

Newborn research: what is new in 2021? Highlights from the Centre of Research Excellence in Newborn Medicine

The last 3 decades has seen major advances in neonatal intensive care – this has led to increased survival in our tiniest and most immature newborns. The CRE in Newborn Medicine is in its 13th year, supporting new initiatives to improve how we care for our newborn babies. This presentation highlights the innovative work that is happening in newborn research.

Reproductive genetic carrier screening through the ages

Reproductive carrier screening has been possible since the 1970s. Initially conducted by testing of blood analytes for carrier status for haemoglobinopathies and Tay Sachs disease, screening for an ever increasing number of conditions became possible by genetic testing from the late 1980s. The advent of genomic sequencing means that it is now possible to screen over 1000 genes, a process called expanded carrier screening.