Disagreements in the care of critically ill children

Bioethics Briefing Note

Published 03/04/2019

Disagreements in the care of critically ill children cover
Infant foot with IV line

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 and its horizon scanning work. Catherine is currently on secondment (part-time) at the UK National Screening Committee.

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