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Parents' views critical at the end of a child's life
Date:2/14/2013

ild. Parents also need greater support in this role," he says.

Associate Professor Wilkinson's book sets out a framework for decision-making, and identifies an upper and lower threshold for parents to make decisions about extending their child's life or withdrawing life support.

"While the parents' wishes are very important, there also needs to be a point at which clinicians are able to say: this child's outlook is so poor that we should not prolong his or her life with advanced medical technology, even if the parents wish us to; or that despite the parents' wishes to withdraw life support, we think that treatment would help the child and should be provided," Associate Professor Wilkinson says.

"Thanks to technological advances, our ability to sustain life is greater than it has ever been, and this will improve as advances continue. However, this also raises serious ethical questions about extending life, and what that means for the quality of life of both the child and the family. Improved guidelines for the medical profession would go some way towards addressing this."


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Contact: Dr Dominic Wilkinson, University of Adelaide
dominic.wilkinson@adelaide.edu.au
61-881-617-631
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert  

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