Our clinical nursing articles aim to inform and educate nurse practitioners and students. This is achieved through the publication of peer-reviewed, evidence-based, relevant and topical articles.
Study found that safeguarding children work can have significant emotional effects on nurses
Families can provide skilled, competent care at home to their children with support
Literature review identified factors contributing to nurses’ underuse of such pain relief
Children spending prolonged periods in hospital need to play and express themselves
Children’s nurses require education and training in mental health to provide optimal care
It is vital that nurses understand the importance of injection site assessment
Children’s nurses can help parents manage anxiety to reduce the traumatic effect on children
Why you should read this article: • To understand that medical advances have meant that children with complex diseases are living longer, but in some cases prolonging treatment may be deemed futile • To understand the ethics involved in decisions about withholding or withdrawing treatment and the best interests of the child • To recognise the importance of nurturing partnerships and encouraging parents to be involved in decision-making particularly about end of life care The aim of this article is to explore the concept of medical futility and the withdrawal of care for children in intensive care units. There have been several recent cases where medical staff have considered that there was no possibility of recovery for a child, yet their clinical judgments were challenged by the parents. The private anguish of these families became public, social media heightened emotions and this was followed by political and religious intrusion. Innovations in medical treatment and technological advances raise issues for all those involved in the care of children and young people especially when decisions need to be made about end of life care. Healthcare professionals have a moral and legal obligation to determine when treatment should cease in cases where it is determined to be futile. The aim should be to work collaboratively with parents but all decisions must be made in the best interests of the child. However, medical staff and parents may have differing opinions about care decisions. In part, this may be as a result of their unique relationships with the child and different understanding of the extent to which the child is in discomfort or can endure pain.
Exploring the evidence for and against the practice of family-witnessed resuscitation
Genetic testing of children to predict the future risk of illness remains controversial
Developing a tool to measure competence in the decision-making process in children aged 8-12
The complex issues involved in the care of children who receive life-sustaining treatment