Presumed consent in emergency neonatal research. (9/200)

Current methods of obtaining consent for emergency neonatal research are flawed. They risk aggravating the distress of parents of preterm and other sick neonates. This distress, and the inevitable time constraints, compromise understanding and voluntariness, essential components of adequately informed consent. Current practice may be unjust in over-representing babies of more vulnerable and deprived parents. The research findings may thus not be generalisable. Informing parents antenatally about the possible need for emergency neonatal research, with presumed consent and scope for opting out, would address these problems. It would spare parents of sick neonates, already terrified by their baby's illness, further distress. Experience with opting out suggests that recruitment might increase, thus generating earlier results, without compromising parental understanding of the nature and purpose of the research.  (+info)

The decision making process regarding the withdrawal or withholding of potential life-saving treatments in a children's hospital. (10/200)

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the factors considered by staff, and the practicalities involved in the decision making process regarding the withdrawal or withholding of potential life-sustaining treatment in a children's hospital. To compare our current practice with that recommended by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) guidelines, published in 1997. DESIGN: A prospective, observational study using self-reported questionnaires. SETTING: Tertiary paediatric hospital. PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS: Consecutive patients identified during a six-month period, about whom a formal discussion took place between medical staff, nursing staff and family regarding the withholding or withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatments. The primary physician and primary nurse involved in the discussion were identified. METHOD: Two questionnaires completed independently by the primary physician and nurse. RESULTS: Twenty-two patients were identified (median age 1 year; range 1 day-34 years). In 20 cases treatment was withdrawn or withheld, in two cases treatment was continued. Nursing staff considered family wishes and family perceptions of patient suffering as significantly more important factors in decision making than medical staff, who considered prognostic factors as most important. In only two cases were the patient's expressed wishes apparently available. In most cases staff considered the patient's best interests were served and the process would not be enhanced by the involvement of an independent ethics committee. The exceptions were those cases in which treatment was continued following disagreement between parties. CONCLUSIONS: Our current practice is consistent with that recommended by the RCPCH. The contribution of the patient, provision of staff counselling and general practitioner (GP) involvement were identified as areas for improvement.  (+info)

Resolution 8224: parental notification of prescription contraceptives for teenagers.(11/200)


Concern at Gillick judgment.(12/200)


Annual report of Council, 1986-1987: medical ethics.(13/200)


Treatment without consent: intervention by the court.(14/200)


Patient care and paternalism: dilemmas of family practice. (15/200)

From the clinical records of a country doctor, this vignette concerns a teenaged girl who, having refused treatment, is persuaded, under near duress, to accept a regimen that her family physician considers best for her. Although apparently arrogant paternalism, the practitioner's approach proves, on reflection, to possess considerable merit. The author discusses the ethical principles that have led to rejection of paternalism in the West. Formulated as absolute maxims, they soon require, like all absolutes, a multitude of explanations and additions. Some logical, social, and other "exceptions" are briefly mentioned, because the old doctor's intuitive actions seem to have oddly coincided with a number of them. Yet the questions remain: Should this medical practitioner have become so deeply involved? Should he have interfered with his patient's autonomy to the extent he did? Was he justified?  (+info)

Informed consent of the minor. Implications of present day Spanish law. (16/200)

In Spain, any person under the age of 18 is a minor. Generally, minors lack the legal capacity to take legally binding actions because they are deemed incapable of legally binding consent. Spanish civil law recognises, however, that the child, in accordance with the law and being sufficiently mature, may act for himself. It stands, then, that consent, as expressed by the "sufficiently mature" minor, should be legally valid.  (+info)