Analysis

When parents disagree with clinical decisions: the nurse’s role

Disputes over decisions to withdraw treatment for critically ill children are distressing for families and staff, and communication is vital to de-escalate tensions

Disputes over decisions to withdraw treatment for critically ill children are distressing for families and staff, and communication is vital to de-escalate tensions

  • High-profile court cases serve to highlight the distress surrounding critically ill children when parents disagree with clinical decisions to withdraw treatment
  • The legal implications of withdrawing treatment, when it should be considered and how early communication with families or the use of independent mediation can help avoid lengthy legal proceedings
  • Caring for patients and families when disputes occur takes its toll and nurses should be offered support to maintain their well-being

The immense sensitivities of cases in

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