One of the toughest decisions that parents and doctors face is the decision about when to stop life-support for critically ill children.  Most deaths in children’s hospitals are preceded by discussions between doctors and parents about whether to continue aggressive treatment or to withhold or withdraw some form of life-support.[1]  The American Academy of Pediatrics has guidelines for such decisions.[2]  There have been some high-profile legal cases involving controversies at the end of life.[3]

We wanted to hear what doctors who care for critically ill children thought of the current state of law, ethics, and clinical practice in this domain.  So we asked them.  You can read some of the interviews on our website.  

We’d love to hear your thoughts about their thoughts.

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 [1] Singh J, Lantos J, Meadow W. End-of-life after birth: death and dying in a neonatal intensive care unit. Pediatrics. 2004;114:1620-6.  Morrison W, Berkowitz I. Do not attempt resuscitation orders in pediatrics. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2007;54:757-71

[2] Committee on Bioethics.  Guidelines on forgoing life-sustaining medical treatment.  http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/pediatrics;93/3/532

[3] Paris JJ, Billings JA, Cummings B, Moreland MP.  Howe v. MGH and Hudson v. Texas Children's Hospital: two approaches to resolving family–physician disputes in end-of-life care. J Perinatol (2006) 26, 726–9.