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Limiting and rationing treatment in paediatric and neonatal intensive care

Publication year
2006
Author(s)
Fortune, P. M.
Pages
577-88
Volume
20
Number
4

In this chapter I consider the ethical decisions surrounding the provision and limitation of treatment offered to children requiring intensive care. I focus on the processes surrounding end of life decision making and consider how the concepts of futility, burden and uncertainty should impact upon these decisions. I also examine resource allocation to children’s critical care services. The discussion does not provide a structure that will solve any given situation. It does take a practical approach to the issues faced by considering why we should engage in life limiting discussions; When they should occur; Who should be involved; How they should be carried out; and where and by what means withholding or withdrawal should occur. I have drawn the discussions closer to clinical practice with the intention of making them more useful, for those engaged in direct patient care, than those focused around philosophical principles.

Research abstracts