Ethics. Research. Community.

Balancing rights and duties in 'life and death' decision making involving children: a role for nurses?

Nursing ethics. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
In recent years, increasing pressures have been brought to bear upon nurses and others more closely to inform, involve and support the rights of parents or guardians when crucial 'life and death' ethical decisions are made on behalf of their seriously ill child. Such decisions can be very painful for all involved, and may easily become deadlocked when there is an apparent clash of moral ideals or values between the medical team and the parents or guardians. This article examines a growing number of such cases in New Zealand and analyses the moral parameters, processes, outcomes and ethical responses that must be considered when life and death ethical decisions involving children are made. The article concludes with a recommendation that nurses should be recognized as perhaps the most suitable of all health care personnel when careful mediation is needed to produce an acceptable moral outcome in difficult ethical situations.
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Record TypeJournal Article
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