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Informing ethical lung cancer screening policies through inquiries of key informant perspectives and public values

March 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Speaker: Manisha Pahwa, McGill University

Lung cancer screening policies and programs are evolving in Canadian jurisdictions with the goal of reducing lung cancer mortality. Potential ethical issues range from promoting autonomy and minimizing harm, to group-level justice considerations related screening access and the use of lung cancer risk factor information to determine individual screening eligibility. An empirical understanding of ethical issues in lung cancer screening grounded in real-world policy and social contexts is key for informing fair and effective screening. This seminar shares the results of two qualitative description studies that probe ethical issues experienced by key informants who design and implement screening policies, and by members of the public who may be eligible to participate in screening. In comparing and contrasting the results from these two studies, this seminar contributes to debates about ethical resource allocation and the role of public values in health policymaking.

Manisha Pahwa is a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University and recipient of a CIHR Research Excellence, Diversity, and Independence (REDI) Early Career Transition Award. Her postdoctoral research engages South Asian communities in Canada on ethical issues in personalized breast cancer screening. Dr Pahwa earned her PhD in Health Policy at McMaster University in 2023, where she conducted her doctoral thesis about the ethical dimensions of lung cancer screening in Canada. Prior to her PhD, Dr Pahwa contributed to research on the epidemiology and prevention of occupational cancer in her positions at the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization in Washington, DC and Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Toronto.