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Nuffield Council on Bioethics

04/04/19

 

In a recent publication the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has published a bioethics briefing note on disagreements in the care and treatment of critically ill babies and young children.

 

The briefing note outlines the possible causes of disagreements between parents and healthcare staff, and highlights areas of action for healthcare policy-makers that could help to prevent prolonged and damaging disagreements developing in future, or to resolve them more quickly.

 

Overall, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics suggest the aim should be:         

 

  • good communication between families and staff and an understanding of differing perspectives
  • appropriate involvement of parents in discussions and decisions about the care and treatment of their child
  • timely use of resolution interventions, such as mediation, in cases of disagreement
  • attention to the profound psychological effects that disagreements can have for families and staff.