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Hospital bed
9 Feb. 2022 -
19:30 - 21:30
De Balie

I'm afraid it's rather bad news


Every year more and more people get diagnosed with advanced forms of cancer or other incurable diseases. And medical experts expect this figure to steadily rise over the coming decades.

About the programme

Such a diagnosis has a huge impact on a patient’s life, and it is up to medical professionals to deliver them the bad news and to continue conversations during the ensuing illness trajectory. But are they properly equipped to deal with this difficult task?

Tonight we will discuss the future of the bad news conversation. What do patients and their families need from their doctors? Is it better to be as transparent as possible about disease diagnosis and prognosis, or does this depend on the individual context? And is there even a good way to tell someone that they are dying? In this talk we will explore these questions further with the help and personal experiences of doctors, patients and other experts.


  • Jonathan Koffman is Reader in Palliative Care King’s College London
  • Marike de Meij is Head of Palliative Care OLGV Amsterdam
  • Evelien van Manten-Horst is Nationaal AYA ‘Jong & Kanker’​ Zorgnetwerk 
  • Anthony Back is Co-director UW Center for Excellence in Palliative Care
  • Anne Rios is NIAS Fellow 2021/22 and Principal Investigator Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology