Disagreements in the care of critically ill children

Bioethics Briefing Note

Published 03/04/2019

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There have been several recent high-profile cases of healthcare teams and parents fundamentally disagreeing about the care of critically ill children in the UK. Disagreements of this kind have happened before, but these cases have attracted an unprecedented level of attention from professionals, policy makers, families and wider communities, and the media, both in the UK and internationally.

This short project explores the social and medical factors that might be contributing to how disagreements about the care of critically ill children develop in the UK, and how they are being resolved. We commissioned reviews of current research and academic opinion, held a multidisciplinary workshop and met with a number of individuals and organisations. We have published a Bioethics briefing note that summarises the evidence and the potential challenges for policy-makers.

Project team

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Catherine Joynson

Assistant Director

Catherine is part of the senior management team. She is responsible for leading a range of Council projects including the active response programme (e.g. Bioethics briefing notes) and its horizon scanning work. Catherine speaks on behalf of the Council on a range of ethical issues.

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Ran Svenning Berg

Research Officer (Maternity leave)

Ranveig undertakes research to support the Council’s work and monitors developments in areas of interest to the Council. Prior to this she was the Communications Officer at the Council, and before that managed communications at the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) and completed a BA in Development Studies and International Relations at London Metropolitan University.

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Arzoo Ahmed

Research Officer (maternity cover)

Arzoo is undertaking research as part of the Council’s active response programme and its horizon scanning work. Prior to joining the Council, Arzoo was director at the Centre for Islam and Medicine and a research associate at the Office for Public Management. Arzoo is completing an MA in philosophy at King’s College London, and graduated with a BA in Physics and an MPhil in Medieval Arabic Thought from the University of Oxford.